Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Speaking of Female Modesty

With this year's heat wave still going strong, the subject of female modesty (and the need for women to cover up, lest the already-sizzling minds of men explode) has been making the rounds again, with a rather offensive facebook meme, for starters. Well, Zelophehad's Daughters has responded by discussing how we should consider both the implicit and explicit meanings of said meme.

Meanwhile, Patheos has an article on "The Modesty Doctrine," which the author identifies as a belief, specifically within Evangelical Christianity, "that women need to cover their bodies to prevent men from being attracted to them, because sexual attraction leads to sin and death for both." In the past, she has written about how this belief hurts women, but in this article she details how the belief hurts men too and suggests an alternative approach: teaching all youth that it's not wrong to feel attracted to other people and that the key is to control their actions.

We have a good number of LDS readers, so I'd like to point out that while, on a doctrinal level, the LDS Church seems to fall in line with her advice, on a cultural level I fear we too often veer toward what she refers to as "The Modesty Doctrine," leaving some young men under the peculiar belief that they are incapable of being spiritual if they so much as glimpse a woman in a bikini.


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