HF: I know it's from the post, but it's still a little weird to see it in the comments like that, that's all.


HF-- Okay, maybe I'm out-of-touch with who's actually "out there." But I don't live a sheltered life and know people from all sorts of faiths, beliefs, backgrounds, etc. I just don't run into men like Kevin and Jack. And just because Focus on the Family broadcasts their sort of drivel doesn't mean its listeners embrace it. (Remember too that Catholics are not suppose to use birth control or have abortions. So much for strict adherence to matters of faith, huh?) I have a "born again" friend who listens to Focus, but would never agree with Kevin and Jack. Just as you like to say about feminists, Right wingers are not a monolith either. (Case in point is me. I've never in my life voted for anyone other than a Republican for president, and yet I'm pro-choice, anti-Intelligent design, encourage my sisters to have careers traditionally reserved for men, and think Kevin and Jack are screwballs.)

I'm pretty optimistic that such Kevin/Jack backward thinking is doomed to eventual failure with the broader society, just as Intelligent Design is pretty much getting hammered wherever its proponents try to introduce it into school curriculum.


My alias is from the Tale of Genji, written at a time when a man wasn't supposed to talk to a woman unless there was a screen between them (in polite society, anyway). There are cases where a mere glance of a woman - even by the light of fireflies through the screen - drives a man mad with desire. Somehow, this barrier of morality didn't stop everyone from having all sorts of sexual affairs...

The Happy Feminist

OK, I just started a new thread (see next post) on the topic of complimenting a woman's appearance. The comments on this topic don't seem quite on point with the topic of the post, so I am in the process of moving all comments regarding compliments, wolf-whistles etc. to the next post!

If you want to talk about old-fashioned religious views regarding modesty, stay here. If you want to talk about compliments, go to the next post.

The Happy Feminist


I split your comment in two and put the first half under the next post. Hope that's ok!


Thanks for moving it. I read both posts in a row and I think they just sorta ran together in my mind!



I wonder if maybe when you see this behavior expressed in other kinds of ways, it doesn't feel like the same kind of behavior?

For instance, I was working at a local high school for a few summers in college as the perennial school uniform debates were going on. Girls were being instructed that they couldn't wear anything sleeveless -- or actually, I think they were going "without a collar" -- without wearing a sweater too.

When I asked someone why, inevitably the response I got was, "Because the boys get distracted."

Aren't the boys responsible for themselves?

As a corrolary, if a teenage girl claimed she couldn't focus on her work because of 'all the provocative guys'" can you imagine anyone taking her seriously? They'd laugh and tell her to stop being silly.


Thanks for this post, Happy. (And for the comments, everyone else.) I consider myself very firmly feminist, and also very firmly Christian. This is one of those places where I go back and forth on what *my* place in this debate should be and how to reconcile any number of ideas about community, body, pornography, and feminism.

I think I may link to this post from my own blog and see what my readers (mostly serious Christians and politically moderate to liberal) have to say about it. Again, thanks for the thoughts.


As a pentecostal woman I have had much exposure to the modesty movement. My In laws grew up in the UPCI and adheared to the standards. They left when my mother in law realized that the girls were being just as sexy with the close cuts and big hair dues as the girls who wore short skirts ever where.

As far as modesty in general- I do not believe it gives women any sort of power to dress sexily. All it does is degrade them and make them into some sort of sexpot for men to lust over and use. Women should be proud of who they are and not feel the need to flaunt their bodies. I know many disagree with me on this issue, but I honestly think it is far more powerful for a woman to dress modestly and behave accordingly than for her to be out in a miniskirt and tank top jutting around.

I believe it is far more degrading for a woman to be put out as a sexual image than for her to retain her dignaty. In this time of "sexual revolution" I believe we have lost sight of the fact that not every moral cast aside is helpful to feminist causes.


Among the Mormons, it has become part and parcel of the Old Guys Speeches to conflate pornography with immodesty. Blaming young women for young men's lusts because the young women expose their shoulders or thighs is just another way this proudly patriarchal religion strives to keep women in their place. I can almost not think about it without swearing, which is also not a good Mormon thing to do.

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