Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Objectification thanks to ‘modesty culture’

Recently author Jefferson Bethke made a video "How Culture and Religion Both Objectify Women" during which he mentioned that even a focus on encouraging women to dress "modestly" still transforms them into objects. That actually makes sense to me.

You can perhaps understand a girl's embarrassment when she's asked to kneel to determine if a skirt she's wearing is "too short" -- that is, touching the floor or not. How much does that matter in an eternal sense? Really? Is that something we want to emphasize, their being judged on how they're dressed? Of course there's good "taste" -- which I think the Apostle Paul meant -- but to determine such things with hard-and-fast rules misses the point.

Rules, of course, often skirt over the heart of the matter, that we're not to treat each other as pieces of meat. It's very unfair to suggest that a woman hide her femininity for the sake of men who don't want to take responsibility for their actions or attitudes.

Two personal reflections: The early-to-mid-1970s "granny skirt" craze took place when I was a pre-teen, and since my female schoolmates were generally more mature than most girls I was drawn to that -- and them. Of course, the skirts went down to the ankles so very little skin showed, but to this day I find such lengths, including, and perhaps especially, evening gowns, incredibly attractive.

Then, a few years ago I found myself being "turned on" by a woman I met through a church singles ministry whom I've never seen wearing anything but casual, let alone in a dress. A couple of months later, when we were planning to go out on a date (the attraction turned out to be mutual), she told me that she had very little in dressy clothes.

So let's not focus on "externals."

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