Immodesty, then, is not simply about being vigilant about your clothing (don’t wear a purse that falls diagonally across your body, don’t show your arms or your thighs), it’s a constant vigilance about how you display your body (don’t stretch, bend, or bounce). “Clothing plays a part in modesty, but it is only a part,” an 18 year old male explains, “Any item of clothing can be immodest” (his emphasis).
In addition, these rules are potentially changing all the time. A “technically modest” outfit, such as a school uniform, can suddenly have immodest connotations (so watch MTV, girls, to stay on top of these shifting meanings)
This is a great deal of self-monitoring for girls. Not just when they shop, but when they get dressed, and all day as they move, and with constant re-evaluation of their clothes and how they fit. But, the rationale is, they must be vigilant and obey these rules in order to protect guys from the power of all bodies (both their own sexiness, and men’s biological response to it). Guys are burdened with lust, they insist.
There is no line to chest immodesty. However, it shouldn't be "How close can I get without being immodest?" It should be "How can I glorify Christ and build up my brothers in Him?"
A tough one. What is the rest of the wardrobe? Is it a spagehtti strap shirt? A little collarbone is OK, but there's certainly a point where, even though cleavage isn't being shown the shirt could be immodest.
Immodesty has to start somewhere, we should not be trying to walk the line, but flee from it.
It's once the cleavage shows up that it really begins to be a problem - but do leave at least a small margin for error.
As a man, I don't really see how anyone could really defend this position. Never once in my long career of being in a locker room and hearing lewd talk have I ever heard a man say "DUDE! DID YOU SEE HER COLLAR BONE!?!? AND THE TWO INCHES OF SKIN BENEATH IT?!"
It depends on the person, really: How high on the chest the breasts are, etc.
I agree mildly--let me explain. The more skin that is exposed the more risk of being a stumbling block to a brother. And another caution is that if you have a dress that has a neck that comes down past the collar bone (I have seen it especially on those that have squarish necks) you have much more of a chance when you bend over of exposing yourself. (and don't kid yourself by saying "I won't bend over") Most often from the dresses that I have seen that expose the chest bellow the collar bone are immodest if you bend over (cleavage or worse will be visible.) Thus I believe that it is generally immodest to wear a dress that exposes below the collarbone. Does this make sense? I do not think that it is necessarily immodest for me to see your collarbone, but almost all dresses that exposes your collar bone will be immodest.
I think that it draws attention to the chest, even if it doesn't reveal anything bad.
Personally, I've never had a problem with this. My concern is that the breasts be completely covered, in all reasonable postures. Just don't make it an ambition to push the neckline as low as possible.
I think girls can expose their upper chest without being immodest. As long as it is without cleavage.
This alone need not necessarily be immodest, but if a lot more is exposed elsewhere, it could perhaps contribute to an overall immodest appearance.
If you don't have a dad or brother to ask about the propriety of specific outfits or articles, try to find a brother in Christ who you can ask. As helpful as surveys and things like this can be, they can't ever answer a question like "Does THIS pattern draw too much attention to my chest?" I'm not really sure what kind of criteria you should put on this kind of surrogate male family member (except that they should definitely be "aware" of girls, and understand and appreciate what you're trying to do), so you'll have to think through what would be appropriate, and what you would be most comfortable with, yourself. I don't think it should be too hard to find someone willing to help you in this way. I know for sure that I would be perfectly happy (not to mention thrilled that a girl was taking this stuff into consideration) to help someone in this manner.
cgk - I was also wondering about the not insignificant subset of respondents who are not teenagers, and whether they correlate to the insanely puritanical end of the spectrum or whether it's the younger kids (raised completely within Religious Right backlash culture) who are more fanatical than their more liberal older counterparts (who'd have been of the "burn your Nirvana albums" generation).
"She is not some body or shape to serve my foul pleasure of the moment; rather she is in truth a daughter of God."
Put simply, mainstream American Christian culture has a profoundly fucked up approach to human sexuality, sensuality, and sexual identity.*
I have to disagree with you. The entire Judeo-Christian religion is founded on on a fucked-up approach to human sexuality.
This thread is terrible in all the predictable MeFi LOLXIANS ways. verb's comment is pretty much the only one I've seen that even comes close do doing this subject justice.
...Criticizing something like this from the perspective that one should be able to have consensual sex with whomever one wants, whenever one wants, isn't terribly interesting. If that's your sexual ethos, anything which suggests that it might not actually be okay to have sex with anyone you please is bound to look draconian and impossibly backward.
Not in those words, no. But there are injunctions against masturbation in the Talmud. I do not know if they are repeated in Christian scripture.
Girls are in a tough spot when it comes to modesty. They are called by God to dress modestly, but because they aren't born with the same "visual nature" in their sexuality as guys are, it is difficult for women to spot where modesty begins and ends. Where are the boundaries? What trips a guy's trigger, and what doesn't?
I wish we didn't need this survey. I wish that fathers and brothers in local churches could serve their daughters and sisters and that each home could provide loving direction on its own.
As women, clothing and appearance are some of the most powerful and important means we have of sending a message about our hearts and our values.
The thing is, theologically rigorous Christianity does view lust as sinful, yes?
But most of the crowd seems to be operating on the assumption that any argument for female modesty is the same thing as Sharia law, and it's just not true.
Besides, isn't this logically equivalent to asking "You know who else likes modesty?" It permits the questioner to reject the thesis out of hand without actually trying to figure out what's going on.
If anyone ever tells these kids that there is porn on the internet, they're fucked.
9Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? 11So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
"If you don't have a dad or brother to ask about the propriety of specific outfits or articles, try to find a brother in Christ who you can ask. As helpful as surveys and things like this can be, they can't ever answer a question like "Does THIS pattern draw too much attention to my chest?" I'm not really sure what kind of criteria you should put on this kind of surrogate male family member (except that they should definitely be "aware" of girls, and understand and appreciate what you're trying to do), so you'll have to think through what would be appropriate, and what you would be most comfortable with, yourself. I don't think it should be too hard to find someone willing to help you in this way. I know for sure that I would be perfectly happy (not to mention thrilled that a girl was taking this stuff into consideration) to help someone in this manner."
The idea that what you feel when you see an attractive girl is "sin" as opposed to "something you have to learn to deal with as a human being."
Yeah... see... the thing is they don't believe that. What they believe is that indulging in sexual pleasure outside of marriage is sinful. This doesn't mean that simply being attracted to another person is sinful, but that what you do with that attraction may be sinful.
There's a general Christian idea that those who have burdens (which in this case is the men) shouldn't have to shoulder them alone
I'm not trying to defend what these people are doing. If anything, I'm more offended by it than most people here seem to be. The only difference is that I'm attempting to critique it from within rather than from without.
"However, a system of religious belief that has, at its center, an assumption about women as pollutants--women as temptations--women as subordinates--is, in fact misogynistic."
The problem we're having here is that observers such as yourself are arguing that the only way one could do something along the lines of the Rebelution survey is to make those assumptions. The Rebelution people would disagree, and from my experience in evangelical culture, I'd disagree as well. Those attitudes are actually pretty foreign to my experience in evangelical culture.
No, actually, it doesn't. The Catholic position regarding homosexuality is that homosexual desires are just desires. They're essentially things that happen to you and have no different moral valence than the desire for food.
I didn't. I just switched denominations within the Protestant tradition. I'll no longer accept the moniker "evangelical," as that's come to mean the overly political, theologically vapid stuff you see on the news, but I'm probably more Protestant than I was when I made the switch. I'm also still pretty involved in the culture--personally and professionally--so I can still speak as an insider, even if I'm something of a mole.
But the problem there is that they're failing to recognize that being a heterosexual married couple does not give one permission to indulge in sexual license.
The history of evangelicalism as a distinct and identifiable movement isn't a terribly long one--think Billy Graham in the 1950s and 1960s--and there was a rather uncomfortable amount of segregationist sentiment knocking around at the time, most of which has been forgotten as embarrassing.
Like, for example, the fact that the Protestant church was uniformly opposed to contraception until the 1930s, when the Church of England moderated its stance. Within two decades, American Protestant traditions had forgotten that it had once been a moral issue at all. Huh?
Sorry, but you don't get to frame the argument to suit yourself. American Fundaentalism didn't just arise out of thin air-- it is what it is because of the foundations.
Thus leading to strange life involving a perversely carnal relationship with automobiles.
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