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Slut Inc.

Browsing women’s lingerie is not my thing. But the Abercrombie & Fitch’s “eye candy” thong underwear eve_apple.jpgbrought me to a standstill. Why? Because it was sized for 10 year old girls.

In an age of ultra low-rise this and ultra skin-tight that, escalating STD’s and Girls Gone Wild, you’d think the Modesty Movement would be a welcome change. Right? Not on your life.

Websites like Modestly Yours, subtitled “A group blog by women who value modesty in its various forms,” continue to grow. There’s also Modesty Zone, and DressModestly.com. Macy’s carries Shade clothing, Nordstrom offers Modern and Modest, both created by a team of Mormon women, and then there’s ZBritney.com. And don’t forget the books. There’s Girls Gone Mild: Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect and Find It’s Not Bad to Be Good and, my personal favorite title, The Thrill of the Chaste.

So with all this talk of modesty, maybe we’re on the BathingSuit1920s.jpgright track. But while the Wall Street Journal calls it A Modest Rebellion, Ann K. Ream, a Chicago-based writer and founder of Girl360, calls it The False Modesty Movement. What’s false about this push for modesty?

. . .Scratch the surface, and what’s supposed to be good for girls reveals itself to be all about the boys: dressing in a way that doesn’t over-excite them, demurring so that their manhood remains intact and holding tight to our sexuality until we find a husband who is worthy of that ultimate “prize.”

What’s lost in this view of the world is the power of female desire: not just sexual and sartorial but professional and intellectual. There is something liberating about a girlhood (and womanhood) that is not lived solely in anticipation of, or in response to, a man. There’s something freeing about a world in which women have the right to take risks (and to get mad).

Is it just me, or do these debates always come back to the same feminist rebuttals:

  1. Men should mind their own damned business and keep their hands to themselves
  2. Women / Girls need not be told by over-excitable, power-hungry males what the hell to wear

What does modesty matter when it’s all about “the power of female desire.” Meanwhile, my manhood is still intact, the fashion industry has become Slut Inc., and our daughters, their eager supporters.

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • janet August 24, 2007, 12:18 PM

    Incredibly frustrating! What’s wrong with our girls feeling like they have some worth and dressing like it? Having some dignity? My daughter is 16 (and usually dressed funky and fully-covered). I’ve watched one of her best friends fall into this; going from Jesus-loving good girl in junior high to sexually active, immodestly dressing girl now in 11th grade. It breaks my heart. I love this girl and call tell that she thinks this is all she has to offer. She is indeed beautiful, but I want to shake her and tell her that’s not all she is (I think my Chelsey does some of that). Unfortunately, the whole world tells her just the opposite.

  • dayle August 24, 2007, 3:41 PM

    Everytime I go to Walmart or its psuedonyms, I am shocked at what children are wearing.

    The sixteen year olds are bad enough, but it’s the 11, 12, 13 year olds that are shocking me. Especially since they are standing next to their parents.

    I think in some sick way, some of these parents are living through their daughters. “I wasn’t much to look at, but look at my daughter. She’s an extension of me.”

    Unfortunately, the hunger for attention is very powerful. And if a girl’s self-esteem is low enough she will take the only attention that she feels capable of receiving: her sexuality. I would love to be able to convey to all young women that men will give that attention freely, but it doesn’t mean that they like, want, love, or respect you. In fact, it usually means the opposite.

    That’s why most men want to date the sluts, but not marry them. And, this breed of men do not care about the aftermath.

    Fathers are the first defense. Fathers must show daughters that they love them for who they are. That example becomes the foundation for how young girls view the attention of the circling wolf pack of boys.

    BTW, A & F have a history of this. Their risque ads have been forcefully pulled before.

  • Nicole August 24, 2007, 6:47 PM

    Feminists are the most unhappy group of women on the planet. They want to be equated with men so they carouse and cuss with the best of them, step over the corpses they leave in their paths to corporate deity, and then complain because God gave them an attractive body that they don’t want men to look at when they dress like they want them to. Go figure.

    I agree with Dayle about the role of fathers, maybe taking it one step farther in that they have to have an understanding of how much they’re treasured by their heavenly Father and need Jesus for protection with the Holy Spirit to direct them and guide them through the horrendous peer pressures.

  • dayle August 24, 2007, 7:53 PM

    Amen, Nicole.

    On your other point: Feminists would be well served to learn the fact that Jesus has done more for the advancement of the equality of women than anyone else in history.

    Nicole, your comments remind me of Chris Rock’s joke about Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. It’s only sexual harassment if he’s not attractive. Because if Clarence Thomas looked like Denzell Washington she would have been braggin and blushing. But he ugly — quick, call the police.

  • Nicole August 24, 2007, 8:41 PM

    LOL, Dayle.

    And I agree: Jesus redeemed women in every possible way.

  • Steve August 28, 2007, 9:17 PM

    Not sure I understand why a young woman cannot be shown it’s alright to strive to be “all that and more”. There are plenty of women in the world who have high moral standards as well as a wonderful and plainly evident sexuality. It’s not about the clothing, it’s about the person inside the clothing! Self-confidence, charm, grace, and bawdy – or even “slutty” – sexuality can coexist just fine. Thank God!

  • Ame September 24, 2007, 3:02 AM

    Apparently … I missed a lot here while I was moving!!!

    Love the new office digs, btw 🙂 Throwing paint on the wall is FUN!!!

    This modesty thing is one of my soapboxes. These prude, “Christian,” all involved in the church parents allow their daughters to wear stuff that bugs my eyes out!!!

    I just flat out tell my girls that what they wear is important to God … that it can make boys and men think and do things that would dishonor God … and they don’t want to be a part of that … and that it’s not the clothes that make THEM beautiful … it’s THEM that make their clothes beautiful!!!!!!!

    Thongs for ten year olds?!! God forgive us, please, forgive us.

    I knew a woman whose daughter was extremely modest … after a few years of her mother trying to make her sexy, she would wear anything. God help this woman when she faces Him someday. It is absolutely sick what mothers do to their daughters … and I watch it ALL the time.

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