Friday, May 13, 2011

Inside a Man's Mind: Modesty, Part I

(sigh. I already wrote this post and then blogger killed it, so, you know.) A man's view of modesty:

I wanted to rehearse for you how I first became acquainted with the principle of modesty, how it radically altered my perspective concerning women in general, and how it has continued to shape my interaction with them.


To be brief, my first exposure to modesty (not sure those two words are comfortable in the same sentence)


was upon seeing my future wife and her sister sitting across the room at a scripture study at college. I was 20 years old and I believe I can honestly say that the issue of modesty had never crossed my mind - ever. I hadn't, up to that moment, paused to consider if there was a right and a wrong when it came to dress, much less the behavior which endues our appearance with a particular spirit.

Really? You never considered if there were a right and a wrong when it came to dress? Not ever? So you felt perfectly free to wear saran wrap to a wedding, huh? C'mon now.

So, there they were, meekly

Get used to that word, "meek(ly)". He likes it. A lot.

seated across the room from me, completely separate in their attire from every other young lady in the room, very nearly glowing in their probity, and I had the thought come to me, "Those girls are just plain WEIRD."

". . . glowing in their probity"? You know, I have a permanent crick in my neck from looking sideways at this sort of writing, as if it might help to view them from a 45 degree angle. It doesn't.

Perhaps not the epiphany you were expecting. Something significant, though, had happened to me, something which set the stage for the cluster of revelations which were to come regarding this issue - I had actually seen modesty, and everything it implies, with my own eyes.

Dude, it's a woman in a jumper, not the Ark of the Covenant. Calm down.

Strange as it was to my carnal mind at the time, it was undeniable in its distinctiveness - that is, there were definite, purposeful motivations driving the young ladies to dress as they did, and in the nearly abandoned, certainly neglected center of my heart, I knew it.

Or they have no sense of style. Pick one.

It would take me another year or so to acknowledge this and summon the courage to ask at least one of the young ladies - WHY?


If I shared all of what transpired on this little journey of my mine, it would make for lengthy reading.

Considering the length of the two posts he wrote on the subject, I can only imagine what he considers length- long. Long is a fine word. I never met an adverb I didn't like and you're pissing me off.

Suffice it to say that only God could have arranged matters in such a way that a year later, I found myself the head of a small group study with a certain young lady assigned as one of my "students."

Yes, because in a small city with a limited number of people meeting your definition of Christianity it is absurd that you would run into her again. The odds were like, what, 95% that you would? Had to be god. Also, the sarcastiquotes around student make me uncomfortable. "Oh, yeah, she was quite a student, yes she was."

I expect it is rare when a teacher learns more from his student than she from him, but such was my experience over the course of the next few months.

No, this is a fairly common sentiment among teachers.

I am not ashamed to admit this, but I sat at my future wife's feet that semester and was schooled in the ways purity.

Is there any part of this story that isn't going to sound like poorly written BDSM erotica?

She never would have done this had I not been so inquisitive. By this time, the thought in my heart concerning her appearance had greatly matured from "strange" to "I absolutely must know why this lovely young lady dresses, no, more than dresses, IS the way she is! What scriptural exegetic is she tapping that drives her to live thus?!" I was transfixed by her "way of life" and I absolutely had to get to the "why" and "what for" behind it. Her answer came with a gentle and quiet confidence, "It's really quite simple..."

And it is, and always will be.

Look, I'm not going to question what attracts one person to another. You may look at a square-jawed, clean shaven GQ sort with neatly cut hair and think "Hot!" while I'm salivating over the guy with the stubble and the unkempt hair and the dirty jeans and that's okay. There's no right or wrong to it.

So I don't care that jumpers turn this guy on. More power to you, buddy. What does bother me, among other things, is this apparent assertion that his turn on is a commandment from god we should all be following.

You see, as I scheduled a curious number of group "discussions" that semester,

Was it 7? I've always thought that 7 was a particularly curious number.

I took the opportunity to probe Caroline


concerning the decisions she had made concerning her walk with God. Nearly all of her decisions could be viewed as accessory to her decision for modesty.

So I guess she wasn't helping the poor or comforting the sick, huh?

In other words, her decision for modesty governed her decisions in many other areas of Christian import. Having said that, modesty itself is an appendage to femininity and femininity to godliness.

Hee! I'm so feminine, I'm lucky I haven't transmogrified into Barbie and I'm an immodest atheist. But thanks for the diesel dyke reference there.

Caroline never came right out and said this, (would never have even thought it) but what I kept hearing throughout our discussions was, "I am a woman, made in the image of God, and if you were a true man of God, you would treat me, with all dignity and honor, according to the rights and privileges afforded to me by my Creator."

The right to wear ugly clothes and the privilege to be submissive to men.

This was completely new to me. I just thought that, well, I'm not sure what I thought about women. With a few notable exceptions (my mother, grandmother, precious few church women) seeing women aspire to and attain unto every role men traditionally displaced was all that I had ever known.

Fucking bitches, thinking they can be doctors and lawyers and mow the lawn and fix the leaky toilet! How dare they? I have a penis, damnit, and I should get to be superior to half the population just by an accident of birth. Why should I have try at things and earn people's respect and praise? Whores!

Even most of the dwindling number of housewives in my experience looked and acted like feminine men with slightly longer hair.

Given that men and women are both human, what exactly is the difference other than that, really? I mean, what do you want? Oh, right, jumpers. Submission. Meek.

Yet here I was was talking with a woman who hadn't the slightest desire to look, act, or compete with, me. And bless God, it affected her appearance (for the better I might say ; ).

Hur! Ugly feminist lesbos, hur!

Side note: remove "or compete" and what he said was "look or act with me". Okay then. I can see why you wouldn't want me in the game with you. I'd trounce you in the first five seconds and spend the rest of the time making fun of your shirt.

That's really what it is, what all this boils down to, isn't it? He knows he's not the smartest person around, not the most accomplished, probably a bit lazy, and it just grates on him, all those women outshining him effortlessly. Don't they know he's better than they are? Don't they know that having a penis is supposed to be an automatic win? Sluts.

Now, hear me, I have no desire to disparage any of the other young ladies that I attended the scripture study with for I believed, and still believe them to be sincere in their devotion to Christ and they blessed me in many ways.

But they are ugly and probably lesbians.

When I think of my wife, however, in chastity, virtue, and yes, modesty, my heart can only borrow the words of King Lemuel's mother, "...but thou excellest them all." It was on account of these undeniable qualities which my eventual wife exhibited that completely captivated my heart, and I, with much trembling, resolved to win her.

It proved only to be the beginning.

Read that last line in movie guy voice. It's awesome.

Wait until I snift? no. fist? no. oh, fisk, that's right. Part two. Most of it is a bizarrely ignorant rant about Muslims and the Amish. Yes, the Amish.

*Sorry, I'm eating falafel in a pita as I type this, which apparently makes me a bit shouty. OM NOM NOM NOM.


  1. "I am a woman, made in the image of God, and if you were a true man of God, you would treat me, with all dignity and honor, according to the rights and privileges afforded to me by my Creator."

    And he doesn't get that message from women in miniskirts?

    Oh wait, around those women, he can't hear that message over the din of his own raging hormones, right?

  2. "What scriptural exegetic is she tapping that drives her to live thus?"

    Translation: "I'd like to tap her exegetic! Hur-hur!"

    Okay, that's probably not fair, but seriously: who talks that way?

  3. Here's the thing I will say for the Amish: the males dress in a mostly analogous fashion to the females. As opposed to the serious fundagelicals, whose men and boys you couldn't pick out of a crowd at a basketball game, yet whose women and girls just get SUCH the short end of the stick.

  4. hey, if a man can't [or won't] compete with me, he's NOT worth my time. and i've refused, my entire life, to "dumb myself down" or otherwise make myself appear to be "less than" to "get a man". because any man for whom i have to such a thing in order to "get" him is TOTALLY not worth my time!

    that was a bit redundant, but still...

  5. Hey I can relate to the whole Jumper thing... can you say Smokin' I also dig on schoolgirl uniforms and pigtails. Does that make me a virtuous husband. I like to think so.

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  7. I love you for writing this... so fucking much.

    My husband and I started dating because we competed... physically... on the Army Physical Fitness Test - as many pushups you can do in 2 minutes, as many sit ups you can do in 2 minutes, and 2 miles in as fast a time as possible. We were neck and neck, the best in our unit!

    And then we started debating (As my blog says... I love a good debate!) and arguing our opinions and coming to better conclusions and values because of it. We compete on so much, and love each other so much because of it... why? Because it means that we are equals. So long as we are always neck-and-neck, we are equal. And I have to say... a man that's not emasculated just because a woman can stand tall right along side him is a true sign of not just masculinity, but security!

    See? A man that is always his best, and will accept nothing less from me? Now, that's a great relationship because, unlike this guy, it's not all about appearance and raging hormones.

  8. K. S. -

    yes, exactly! you sound like you have a great relationship! [aside from the fact that i'm physically incapable of competing physically, that's how my relationship is, to an extent - we challenge each other in different ways :) ] that's the BEAUTY of it - a realtionship is supposed to bring out the best in you, and make you grow as a person, to better yourself...

  9. I was 20 years old and I believe I can honestly say that the issue of modesty had never crossed my mind - ever.

    You wha'?

    As someone who freaks out about the very concept of public changing rooms... how the hell is this even possible?

    I think what he means to say was "I believe I can honestly say that the issue of [men like myself authorising what clothes are appropriate for women to wear] had never crossed my mind - ever". In which case: I'm sorry you became an asshole at 20.

    "Get used to that word, "meek(ly)". He likes it. A lot."

    I wish 'meekly' didn't have so many connotations with 'weak' and 'submissive', 'cause I like the word too. It's a good synonym for 'shy' or 'passive': for dealing with others without pushing against them, and it can be quite an endearing quality.

    "It would take me another year or so to acknowledge this and summon the courage to ask at least one of the young ladies - WHY?"

    Oh god, that caps lock "WHY". The mental image. It's... it's... beautiful.

    Girl is walking down street: notices guy approaching at her. Remembers him: she saw him at a party a while back. He seemed nice, a bit weird: he'd kept staring at her sweater, but he still seemed okay. Guy reaches her, and she open her mouth with a smile to say "hi" when he dramatically falls to his knees and spreads his arms like an opera singer, intoning loudly in a baritone that carrys across the street: "WWWWWWHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!?!?!?!?!?!?!?"

    " Also, the sarcastiquotes around student make me uncomfortable."

    So glad I'm not the only one. The "young lady" didn't help at all.

    "I am not ashamed to admit this, but I sat at my future wife's feet that semester and was schooled in the ways purity."
    "I was transfixed by her "way of life" and I absolutely had to get to the "why" and "what for" behind it."
    "You see, as I scheduled a curious number of group "discussions" that semester"
    "I took the opportunity to probe Caroline "

    Hey, he missed putting quotes around "schooled" and "probe". Possibly also "feet", but maybe he really meant feet when he said feet. Who am I to judge?

    With language like that, not to mention his strange ability to never think of modesty, he's got a future in the porn business if the fundamentalist christianity gig doesn't work out.

    "modesty itself is an appendage to femininity and femininity to godliness."

    Okay, it's clear he's going for 'poetic' rather than 'utilitarian' or 'communicative', but "appendage"? No. Just... no. Especially not after all the "probing" and "discussions". Seriously.

    If it's okay, I'm going to erase the first mental image of "appendage" and replace it with something more HP Lovecraftian, which is slightly less likely to drive me to gibbering insanity. Ah... there we go. Sweet platonic mind numbing horror, how I've missed you.

    Afterthought: I'm not going to deride modesty, if it's a decision one is allowed to make on their own. I'm modest by virtue of being terrified of anyone seeing more than the allowed 20% skin (well okay, it's a bit more if you include lower legs during summer). But I correlate modesty with a combination of "amount of anatomy successfully covered" and "formality applicable to situation". These people with their warped stereotypes would call a full suit-and-tie ensemble immodest if a women was wearing it, despite it covering everything but the face and being formal and properly proper.

  10. What I find disturbing is that the blog that originally posted that dribble has 559 followers.

  11. This post is so confusing to me (the original bits, not the fisking).

    First off, I'm desperately curious to know what kind of outfits the guy's future wife wore to get him so fired up.

    Where I live, you can go outside and see women with cleavage and/or leg on display and also women wearing high-necked shirts and pants (t-shirts and jeans or blouses and slacks, of various levels of tightness). Probably the shirt-and-pants combo is more common than the more racy stuff. So either the OP lives in a place where women typically stroll around in hot pants and pasties, or the local womenz look pretty much like they do here but his future wife outdid them all by wearing some sort of tent with fishing waders and opera-length gloves.

    Also, he seems so utterly and amusingly befuddled by the idea that a woman might dress modestly. What exactly is giving him the trouble, here? Is he confused that not all women have the exact same sense of style? Is he confounded by the idea that women should be allowed to choose their own clothes? I mean...he's fascinated to the point where he wants to ask a woman why she dresses the way she if the answer to that question is ever anything but "Because I like it" or "because it's my school/work/religious uniform."

    His post seriously does come off like bad erotica, though, so I think the crux of the matter is this: he assumes that women who wear sexy clothes are all doing it just for him and therefore an unsexily-dressed woman is playing an intriguing game of hard-to-get. She's covering up the goods just to tease him! She wants him to longingly imagine all the parts of her body he can't see! What a little temptress.

    The other thing that jumps out at me is that he simultaneously likes women to dress modestly but seems to have a terror of them "looking like men". So clearly it's not enough for a woman to be all covered up - it has to be a dress. A woman wearing pants and a button-up shirt is obviously trying to look like a man and that just don't fly in these parts.


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