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Our Stance

Our StanceWell it’s been a busy couple of days. We were featured on Jezebel.com in an article subtly titled “Modesty is Bullshit” (I’m honestly disappointed we didn’t make the cut for their “F–k You Week” line of articles, maybe next time). This brought us to the attention of a previously untapped audience—angry feminists, who’ve been visiting our blog and Facebook page in droves. So, in the wake of that I’d like to clarify a few things:

We are not out to dictate women’s clothes
Of our posts, only three have dealt with the issue of clothing. Two of those stressed that clothing is only a reflection of modesty, not the virtue itself.

We dictate nothing. We claim no authority
We’re just expressing our thoughts and appreciation of a virtue many people are  interested in pursuing and learning more about.

We just want to spread a new appreciation for modesty
Both Christian and secular circles focus the question too exclusively around clothing. We want to refocus the discussion on a broader understanding of modesty.

Modesty is positive and uplifting
Far from oppressing people, men or women, modesty gives the human person the respect it deserves. It’s not a long list of rules, but a fulfilling way of life.

But of course, this all presupposes that one thinks modesty is worth pursuing and the human person worth respecting. Our critics’ moral code seems to be that people can do whatever they want and respecting them means staying the heck out of the way. Now, our page assumes belief in a real system of morals, specifically, traditional Judeo-Christian ethics. If someone rejects all traditional virtue, discussion of one of those virtues in particular is an impossible and futile endeavor.

– GOM

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15 thoughts on “Our Stance

  1. I know…befuddling, isn’t it? I wrote simple book on elegance and the dignity of women and get far more violent responses then you’re experiencing. Ah, virtue…opens a can of worms doesn’t it? Keep on keeping on!

  2. Hi guys! I love what you are doing here, as mom to 3 precious girls and 4 young men who face a world that doesn’t show a lot of respect for personhood and the dignity of women. I am a recent convert to Catholicism also, and wanted to share a little of my background in hopes that it might give you a bit more context for where some of those ‘angry feminists’ might be coming from. Some of them undoubtedly experienced what I did in evangelicalism: the objectification of woman as a lesser spiritual being and ‘created to be his helpmeet’. Here’s a sample http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/12/contentment-v-ambition.html of what many conservative evangelicals are facing in their own subculture…women and girls who truly desire to please God are being given such a harmful and insidious message about their worth as compared to men. It’s no surprise that some of them throw their hands up and march in the other direction. My best wishes for your endeavor here! I like the middle ground you strike. Love the Great Divorce references (the rest of my family is not Catholic so it gives me some common ground to access).

  3. It is just a sign of the times whenever men recognize that modesty is appreciated and wanted and not vice verse, but what do we find….appreciation, no women on a rant….wow I’m kind of embarrassed because of them. Keep up the good work!

  4. Putting words in the mouths of your critics and dismissing your dissenters as “angry feminists” could have something to do with the anger in the responses. If you want your stance to be respected you need to also respect that not all people will agree with you.

  5. I want to say thank you for this blog. It is so refreshing, as a college-aged woman, to hear a guy’s perspective of modesty. Keep the posts rolling!

  6. You’re still passing judgment on what people, women in particular, wear, only now you’re extending that judgment to behavior. This blogs “promotes” modesty, but you neglect to actually define modesty and rightly so, as what is modest is determined culture by culture. You do say that “[modesty] is a type of personal life style that should start from a woman’s inner being.” In effect, you’re saying you are the authority of the definition of modesty and if people have differing opinions, they are wrong. And that doesn’t compute.

  7. Hi all, I am a young newlywed Christian AND feminist. I absolutely love almost every outfit you’ve pinned on Pinterest because I DO dress quite modestly and wear nearly every day a vintage or vintage-inspired dress or skirt. I love wearing feminine, classy clothing because it reflects the confidence and comfort I have in my own skin. To be clear, though, I do NOT dress this way *primarily* to “not cause my brothers to stumble” or to “show my dignity as a woman.” I dress this way because this is me; this is my style.

    As I mentioned, I am also a feminist. Perhaps you would call me an “angry feminist,” but I believe this kind of label positions you to dismiss critics too easily because somehow, being “angry” means having a less legitimate argument (especially if the feminist is a woman). Regardless, I have some reservations with and questions about this entire project:

    – How (subjectively) modest a woman is does not determine her dignity and worth. As a commenter mentioned above, modesty rules in many, many communities (especially in the church) have been more about power and control than the “beautiful dignity of woman.”

    – Even if your blog itself has a variety of discussions around modesty, you do not appear to have a consistent definition for it. If modesty should be a “way of living that women aspire to be,” then please define modesty in holistic terms, both on your blog and on Pinterest. Also, do you acknowledge the modesty is subjective based on culture, era, and community? The women you pinned would absolutely not be considered modest in other parts of the world, even if in Western culture they are seen as modest.

    – Why are literally 99% (I counted) of the women pinned on your Pinterest page white, very thin, and wearing relatively expensive clothing? If modesty is something that ALL women should aspire to, then it would help to communicate that visually through Pinterest since you’ve shown to be quite active there. Also note that what may be modest on a very thin, androgynous (slim hips and barely-there breasts) likely would not be modest on a curvier woman.

    You also have my email should you like to continue this conversation.

    Best,
    Danielle

  8. So I was going to write a long post, but this I think is the heart: What many of us as Christian women have never had is someone listening to us. Those of us who grew up in the church have had men telling us, all our lives, about modesty, about self-worth, even about our own dignity. What we have never had is someone willing to talk to us, to get our perspectives as women about our own dignity, about how we related to ourselves and to the men around us. Many of us have been called names or had our faith questioned if we tried to say that we didn’t feel loved or dignified in this setting.

    So here’s a practical challenge: Open up a conversation. Ask your sisters in Christ what they think. Ask us to tell our stories – you might be surprised. Ask what we think dignity is, and what we would like to see in guys. But for many of us, we’re not going to be convinced that Christian men believe in our dignity when we haven’t been welcomed to the discussion.

  9. Hahaha, this is quite amusing too!

    Remember the root of modesty stems from your heart for the Lord. If you truly love your God then you would keep His commandments. ‘You are my friends if you do what I command’ – John 15:14 (NIV) and what is His command in regards to modesty?

    Modesty covers a range of areas:
    – In the way we behave, talk, think and feel.
    – Men also needs to consider their dress code – Is it modest? Does it tempt women? Or cause us to lust (some women can be quite visual too)?
    – Why do we (men and women) dress the way you do? Is it for self glorification (the look-at-me attitude) or to bring God glory?

    For me, to dress modestly is to care for the men around me.
    – I care for the men’s spiritual walk with the Lord, I do not want to be a stumbling block and cause them to sin (Satan already does that).
    – I care for their relationship with their wife/girl-friend; I want their eyes to focus on their wife/girl-friend only.
    – I want to stand out amongst the non-Christian women around me; I want to be the light and the salt, in order to display God’s characteristics within me: To go against the current culture of immodest behaviour/dress/speech etc.
    – I want to set a Christ like example/role model for all other women.

  10. Pingback: Real Freedom Of Speech « Traditional Christianity

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