Modesty

Modesty, Garments, & Nudity within Mormonism – Part 3

Rape Culture
Finally, I must address a final aspect of the modesty issue.  The way modesty is taught in the church is harmful, I believe; to the men, women, boys and girls of the church. I think it is flat wrong to teach the young women of the church that it is their responsibility to control the thoughts of the young men, by dressing in a way that would not be sexually appealing to them. It tells the girls that if they do get inappropriate attention, ogled, harassed, or raped, that somehow it is their fault. And IT’S NOT!
Some will say they’ve NEVER heard that taught in church…. for which I’m glad.  Explicit statements like this are disappearing, I believe.   But, the implied message remains, and is picked up on by both sexes.

 

The World teaches our girls that:
  • A) In order to have value, they must be desirable to men.
  • B) In order to be desirable to men, they must appear sexually available
  • C) Clothing is used to indicate sexual availability
  • D) Therefore, our girls should wear X (where X= revealing, tight-fitting, you-name-it) to indicate they are sexually available, therefore desirable, therefore valuable. (more…)

Modest, Garments, & Nudity within Mormonism – Part 2

Please see part 1 here
Modesty.
So, back to modesty. What is it really all about? I think it’s about avoiding pride. If we look at it this way, the admonition to be be modest in our dress has more to do with dressing so as not to intentionally draw undue attention to ourselves, being “free from conceit or vanity.” Wearing a swimsuit to church would be immodest, because it would serve to draw attention to myself. Going swimming in tuxedo would likely have the same result. It seems that it is all about our attitude in the clothing choices we make. The outcome we desire has an impact on the correctness of an action. If my desire is to wear clothing that is suited to the activity and location, that’s fine. If my desire is to lift myself up above others, there’s a problem. (Note, this is not dependent on other’s reactions, simply our intentions. This is a complex topic as desiring others notice us and our appearance are normal human desires, and I don’t believe they are sinful or wrong.)

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Modesty, Garments, & Nudity within Mormonism – Part 1

This is an old post from the old blog, with some new editing, links and streamlining.

Modesty:

So what exactly is modesty? It’s really interesting, considering the increasing emphasis in the current church, that I wasn’t really able to find anything in the scriptures on the subject. A quick search of the scriptures led to a single use of the word modest, in 1 Timothy, Ch 2. Here, the use seems to fall in line with the traditional definition of modesty, which has nothing to do with dress per say. It’s about being humble. About avoiding what the Book of Mormon calls fine twined linens and costly apparel. About not being prideful.
Looking through the scriptures, I find lots of negative comments about clothing generally, and some neutral ones like admonitions not to worry about it. When it’s not mentioned negatively, any positive views are often talked about only in reference to clothing the naked. Here, it seems, it’s more about providing something to someone who is poor, no different than providing housing to the homeless.

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