Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Modesty Revisited

Yesterday's Cautionary Tale entitled “The Naked Truth” was about Christian modesty. It drew this response from "Mercury":

Now that I have discovered this whole issue on the ultratrad side of the spectrum, I see "immodesty" everywhere. Before I knew that people cared, I would have never been bothered by say, a woman in a one-piece bathing suit, or a tank-top and jogging shorts, or a ballet outfit, or, God forbid, pants.

So now all these things that were once neutral in my sight and mind are suddenly "sexualized" because I am constantly wondering "well, is that really modest enough ...

I also received this from a priest of my acquaintance, which serves as an effective response:

Even those who vigorously oppose relativISM have become accustomed appropriately to relativize certain propositions, such as when a hemline is "modest" or not. I know a family in which even the WOMEN will not join a gym, because of the clothing of OTHER women. Ultimately, if one is chaste, one will not be much concerned with what other people wear. Many people think that the virtue of chastity is that virtue which enables us to obsess about, and criticize, what other people are wearing and how much skin they are showing.



Rick said...

I am more of the old school cover your body up because I think a man's physiology is more responsive to visual stimuli. Here's a video about that http://divine-ripples.blogspot.com/2010/10/video-modesty-begins-inside-closet.html

David L Alexander said...

The video to which you refer is already featured in yesterday's piece. I invite you to read it again. And again.

Then ask yourself if girls should be allowed to take phys ed, or compete on swim teams, or swim in the same pool with boys ...

Mercury said...

I mean, we could take it as far as St. Clement of Alexandria, who said that a woman should cover her whole body, even her face, and not wear anything that would reveal the shape of her body. But that's basically a burka.

I'd say "use common sense and do not wear clothes intended to arouse lust in others". I think the function of an article of clothing, as well as the setting, can be important.

Like I said, most people do not have lust problems with your average swimsuit (let's say, a sporty one-piece or a classic style) - but if one were to wear the same amount of coverage in the library, at a party, etc, it'd be scandalous. I have no idea why things work that way, but they do.

Fr. VF said...

I was looking at tapes/dvds of the "Our Gang" comedies on amazon.com. A customer said she had a warning about these films: She is raising her little boys as "Christians," or "modest" (or both), and quoted, apparently approvingly, one of her boys as saying: "Those girls' dresses aren't very modest." We're talking here about a seven-year-old boy watching a five-year old girl in a 1931 movie. I would say this boy's problem is his mother.