The Perils of Excessive Modesty

Today I’m over at The Inside Blog, talking about a new take on modesty.  The blogging wife of a protestant minister at Musings of a Young Mom (don’t worry, her writing is much better than the title of her blog) argues that excessive modesty objectifies women (which reminds of me of gluttonous thin people).

And we’re off to the fair!  That’s not an expression – we really are off to the fair, and expect to be half-dead by early afternoon.


  1. I have to say I dug in your wise blog to find writings about modesty on purpose because my birthday present from my husband arrived in the mail today…and it is a very small item of swimwear. Mixed, strong feelings are brewing within and I need to find some perspective.

    I feel compelled to comment on the Mennonite/Amish, however, because I have had a lot of contact with them (at least the Central Ohio variety) over the past 4 years. First, I believe that the menfolk are probably just like other dads and big brothers accompanying toddlers at a park. Not sure why they were frowning, but my shaven-faced, Catholic husband will frown at the park, too, it’s not because he’s not criticizing other moms’ or kids’ clothing.

    I have many issues with the Amish/Mennonite double standards of shunning modernity, but with the whole fashion-thing, I kind of sympathize. Long skirts, high necklines and puffy sleeves come in and out of fashion (maybe not all “in” at once) but their decision to all wear the same clothes must be quite freeing, if you follow me. Each high school graduate has the choice to leave the community and live a “normal”, secular life, and many do! (Thier population isn’t growing…even though their birthrate is high).

    There may be objectification going on there, but it can’t be higher ammount than regular menfolk…especially because they are not exposed to media/commercialism!

    p.s. Can you work up a post on lingerie/teeny tiny yellow polka dot bikinis?

    • Hi, Rachel – happy birthday! I understand thepoint about the clothing being freeing — but I’m much more inclined to heed the perspective of someone who was compelled to actually dress that way, than someone who simply witnessed it, however closely. Her point wasn’t that men from ultra-modest cultures are WORSE than the general population of modern men – but just that it can be just as bad, in a more subtle way.

      I think there’s a huge difference between the appropriateness of a bikini on a public beach, and lingerie in a bedroom. That’s a good idea for a future post, though.

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