Modesty Objectifies Me

modesty

Her body is all about sex.

You’re not going out dressed like that!

With those words, parents seek to protect their daughters from objectification: being seen as one-dimensional “things” that exist to titillate men.

But the attitude could help to create objectification.

A conservative Christian who calls herself Sierra says that a preoccupation with modesty had once objectified her. 

Objectified her, weakened her, and made her do strange things:

Constantly concerned that she might unwittingly fall into tempting men, Sierra became more concerned with modesty than anything else. A bee flew down her blouse and all she could think about was keeping covered, not getting a dangerous creature out of her clothing.

Or, outdoor activity and strength-training might bend her body into “suggestive shapes,” so best to avoid those things. And, the easiest way to keep men from staring at her breasts and butt was to have neither. So she starved herself. The lack of food and exercise kept her weak.

And she was all about “How I look.” Nothing else:

Modesty defined my relationship with my body in terms of appearance. Not action. Not gratitude. Not the joy of movement. Just appearance.

Modesty taught her that she was a decoration, always on display:

Modesty made me objectify myself. I was so aware of my own potential desirability at all times that I lost all other ways of defining myself.

Egyptian blogger, Aliaa Mahdy, reached the same conclusion and posed nude to fight back. Modesty-obsession helps create,

A society where women are nothing but sex objects harassed on a daily basis by men who know nothing about sex or the importance of a woman.

Their bodies aren't all about sex.

Their bodies aren’t all about sex.

And where the Taliban require a woman to coverup, head to toe, every part of her body becomes sexualized.

Compare that with tribal societies where women walk around nearly nude and no one notices. These women are not sex objects.

Against all expectations — and “common sense” — modesty can objectify.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on April 15, 2015, in body image, feminism, objectification, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 52 Comments.

  1. It isn’t just modesty, the expression, “You’re not going out like that,” is used generally to control children on a number of levels. From modesty (obvious) to acceptable levels of well-appointedness, to standards of beauty, the message is the same. You are not good enough as you are and you cannot be trusted to dress yourself. I remember both sides to those messages–though as I was not afflicted with a fashion sense, more often, I received the flip side of modesty, the message that I wasn’t attractive enough. Both are controlling. The degree of modesty in a society is a measurement of the degree to which we fail to trust either sex to conform to social mores. And, in so doing, we pre-release them (especially the males) from personal responsibility–though not from paying for the consequences (at least for the girls.) But what about that other pressure? The one that says you can’t run to the store before first applying your make-up mask? The one that says that fashion sense is a more important attribute than the kindness afforded your neighbors? These too are ways to control women and girls. It’s a tangled web we weave. On the one hand–don’t ask for trouble by being too sexual and on the other, don’t diminish yourself by not being adequately attractive.

  2. Great visual, by the way. Especially for those of us who remember kneeling on the floor, for hem measurement, if there was suspicion at school that we were showing too much thigh.

  3. Well, my family are not as conservatives, however, we had some limits and I remember my dad would ask me to change my shorts (sometimes when he noticed lol) and I also remember I wasn’t allowed to wear cut shirts. I know there would be more rules to that if I had “girly” body or I was interested in any of the body attention I could get from guys around me.In addition to that, even now my brothers when they wear very shorts shorts, my dad would ask them to change because its inappropriate to dress like that even at the beach. However, I was told by my aunt that its about how naked what we dress that grabs attention, instead, its how applicable. And she told me that because I wear carton-ized shirts, which she thought that they would grab everyone’s attention because its very different. Indeed, at the beginning who would say no to be unique? but then she argued that its bad for my reputation and she would rather have dress like my (girls) peers.

    And as for Alia Almahdy, I heard her story and she is quiet famous for she is doing. Indeed, the pictures she takes are extreme and she is getting so many negative reactions from Egyptians in general and open minded people in particular. Its not that they are against freedom of speech, its just a matter of how she expresses her self. I don’t even know if what she is doing is changing anything in Egypt?

  4. Generally speaking, I think almost anything taken to extremes is suspect. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as rounding up the usual suspects.

  5. You see this?
    http://news.yahoo.com/third-arrest-made-videotaped-rape-florida-spring-break-190754592.html

    This disturbs and pisses me off for a couple reasons. The first is actions from the savages raping this girl. A gang rape happened in florida during spring break. A woman passed out and highly intoxicated was gang raped. What’s even as upsetting is this was infront of hundreds of people in broadday light. yet nonone did shit.

    There’s a clip that shows people right next to it happening and them posing and smiling. yes girls there could careless too apparently of what was happening. Seriously a dude is taping things happening and yet, it;s more important for him to record spring break and everything instead of helping the girl. It’s scary for college girls with alcohol and party college students, where they should be safe infront of a bunch of people and seen, yet nobody did shit. It makes me upset for society and how sex crimes still happen, but also this generation. People too absorbed and caring only about themselves to even think of helping another person. Yep, the “me generation” at it’s finest.

  6. You know Georgia, When I started reading this post, I somewhere remembered, how I was not allowed to wear (or I would say still not allowed!) the clothes I desire, due to the men’s around! I am taught that I could be seen as an object by a man and that pity( yes, still he counted to be”innocent”) man won’t be able to control his urge! I am still taught to be same and ordered to wear a right set of clothes to cover myself and my SPECIAL body parts that could make me fall in a pit if a man gets a look at it!
    PS: As if they won’t stare at me, if I am fully clothed!

    • Right. A lot of us have been through it. Thanks for sharing.

    • I feel that these sorts of remarks (implying that as innate animals, men cannot control themselves) are also very insulting to most decent and considerate men. I know a lot of men who are very offended by these sorts of sweeping generalisations about male behaviour and it enforces old fashioned stereotypes about male and female behaviour. Society contradicts itself: on one hand, women are portrayed as vulnerable and in need of (male) protection. We’re taught to be careful and not go out alone at night so as not to risk falling victim to a male predator. At the same time, the female body is sexualised to the hilt in the media as if it is an object of temptation to all men. Our society needs to sort itself out, see people as people and not be so gender obsessed.

  7. Spot on, Georgia!

    But getting down to the science of core predispositions, in human communities accustomed to public nakedness, what is normally the trigger for the mating urge, or is there only one natural trigger?

    • A natural trigger is suggested by the fact that men in tribal societies aren’t visual, and the fact that women in pretty much no societies are visual. And when they are, it’s directed at the wrong sex — many straight women seem to learn the breast fetish, too, although it seems to be experienced a bit differently for them than for men. https://broadblogs.com/2010/11/29/women-learn-the-breast-fetish-too/

      People are taught to be visual by the selective hiding and revealing of the body, “because it is sexual,” which creates an obsessive tension.

  8. I think the problem lies with our society. Instead of viewing womens bodies as functioning human bodies, they are viewed sexually, being that their primary purpose is to have sex and our society is still quite paternalistic. I think this is the problem. As you pointed out, this view of the female body isn’t universally mirrorred across all societies. We are constantly told men are “visual” and I feel this argument is used to continually justify the objectification of the female body in the media. Yet, men don’t seem so “visual” in the tribal societies where people walk around naked and semi naked all the time. You don’t see this objectification with men – well, not nearly as much anyway, even though there might be more focus nowadays in the media of the male body in a more sexualised manner (Fifty Shades of Grey for example).

  9. Just goes to show that so much is intention- the intention in the wearing and the intention in the gaze. There’s a difference between admiring someone’s beauty and objectifying them for how they look. It’s not about modesty or baring but why we do either.

  10. Im actually studying about this in my sociology class. Everyday women are objectified and seen as sex objects rather than women! Its just not right. Why should I have to walk out of the house feeling conscious about what I wear. Why should i always get looked at in the wrong way. Why cant we be seen as people instead of some piece of meat. Its just appalling really. Day by day it only gets worse. I think the media plays a huge part as to why our society is like this. We see ads about jeans and such portrayed in a sexual way when really what does jeans have to do with sex? Media uses women as an object of sexualisation, a way to catch peoples attention rather than respecting us as a human. Why will men never go through this like we do? No matter what they argue they really dont undergo the pressures we do. Why am i defined by how i choose to dress? Why that does make me a slut or provactive or asking for attention? Why cant someone consider that maybe thats just my style and i shouldnt be judged for it.

  11. I found this article extremely relevant to my own experiences. Society has conditioned us to view womens’ and girls’ bodies as inherently sexual. Whenever I get dressed to leave the house, I find myself worrying that I will garner negative attention for wearing the clothes that I like. Even in middle school, my mom would tell me to be sure to “cover up” which led me to feel embarrassed and shameful of my body. I’ve found that even in cases where I (and other women) dress “modestly”, our bodies still exist as targets for unavoidable sexualization. It’s so sad and especially disturbing when young girls’ bodies are sexualized and they are told that they shouldn’t wear something that is too tight or low-cut because they shouldn’t want to be viewed as “slutty”. Girls are taught to cover up and to be shameful of their own bodies before they even fully understand what sex is.

  12. I really found this post interesting because it illustrates the double standard posed for women. If a woman covers up in order to escape the idea that revealing clothes causes objectification. However, even when a women covers up she is confirming the idea that women are sex objects, because she is trying to escape the misconception. This furthers society’s notion that women’s bodies are all about sex and our mere sex objects. The fact that she is covering up confirms that a woman must cover up in order to seem professional or worth something. This also reminded me of a this documentary called “Free The Nipple” which illustrates how it is completely ridiculous that men can walk around topless and women can’t even though it is the exact same anatomy. It is just because women’s bodies are so sexualized in society.

  13. I agree with what this piece is ultimately conveying. I think that it is the mindset that we raise our children with that will create a culture of objectification or not. The blog piece gave a perfect example of how more tribal cultures do not see a woman’s body as anything else than another human body. Which I believe is important to remember. I also think that the American culture does need to remember biology, and that needs to be better implemented into our culture. There isn’t anything we can do with the fact the were born with the genitals we have and the genetics to hold more fat in some places than the opposite sex. I’ve discussed this many times with friends, and in classes of mine, that the only mindset we really need to change is the one that we give to our boys; woman should never be objectified and always respected, and that the same goes for all sexes. With that in mind, it doesn’t matter how one chooses to express themselves, everyone will simply be able to do it easily and freely. This objection doesn’t hurt just women, but men who also want to dress and act in another way, but are forced to stay in the restraints of societal views. I have several gay friends who are too scared to dress up and wear makeup in public, even though that’s when they feel their strongest. This is a cultural view that we need to change so that all sexes can feel liberated to do as they feel.

  14. First of all, I think this picture was too judgmental. In my own experience
    for me when I was in school, I will ensure my skirt is long enough to “protect” myself. But when I wear a dress, someone will ask me why was so covered. I no matter what a woman do others would have their own opinions. Moreover, most of the families in China are very conservative. Especially the people who born in the 50th of the last century. Today, many male think if a female wear a top with narrow straps or hot pants are slutty. General Chinese men believe that if a woman was raped it was because she was wearing too exposed.

    • Yeah, the picture was created as a critique of the judgments women receive. But it’s pretty crazy that a lot of people still think that Women bring rape on themselves by how they dress. Women cover up pretty much head to toe in Egypt and rape and sexual harassment are a huge problem over there. It’s worse now than in the past, when women wore less clothing.

  15. I find this article definitely hit home with me. At my work (a grocery store), women are not allowed to wear pants that are “too tight” or wear yoga pants. The worst part of this is that we’re forced to be standing for up to 8 hours at a time, bend and squat in uncomfortable positions, but our comfort is ignored to cater to the male agenda. What’s more uncomfortable is when I would wear comfortable, form fitting clothes to work, I could feel eyes on me and would have inappropriate comments made to me! I’m just trying to do my job, and yet, I couldn’t escape the harassment. We should be teaching men to control their urges and to respect our bodies instead of teaching women that we should cover ourselves to avoid any inappropriate gestures that stem from having a womanly figure. Again, not all men are like this and won’t all seize an opportunity to objectify a woman, but based on personal experience, being out in public with some makeup on or a little bit of cleavage will cause staring and will (at times) provoke harassing comments. Overall, modesty does objectify…and in the worst way! We’re teaching our children and ourselves to hide parts of ourselves that make us who we are! It’s like suppressing creative talent or forcing boys to play a sport they’re not interested in.

  16. Definitely an interesting perspective that I hadn’t thought about before. I never really thought of modesty as hurting women, but I can see how one might interpret it that way. I have always found it fascinating to consider the obsession many Americans have with women’s breasts. Why are they considered sexual body parts? Obviously they don’t have to be–considering that in many tribal societies women walk around topless all the time, and nothing is thought of it. Furthermore, it seems unfortunate that women’s breasts are so sexualized to the point where their biological purpose (to feed babies), is not even honored in American society. In some states, breastfeeding in public is illegal, and women who do so can be arrested.

  17. I can relate to this in a way. Being brought in a fairly relaxed family, I was once told off by my dad to not wear a low cut top because it is “promiscuous” and will attract the stares of “old lecherous men”. It occurred when I was 15 years old, I was into fashion and all I really wanted was to follow the trend and trying to figure out my personal style. I never wore that low cut top ever and it really sank into me till now. I doubt I am ever going to be wear those U-cut sleeveless top without ever wondering if I am being slutty in the eyes of the public. But now as I grew older, even though I have never really been very bold with my clothing choice, I am making my own choice. For me, if a man could look at a teenager and objectified them as a sex symbol then the society has screwed up. It should not matter how I dress or what my actions could be interpreted as, I believed in being confident and loving my body as it is. But I am hoping that the perception of what nudity and attraction would gradually change to improve because when it is my time to breastfeed, it would be appalling that men would see it as an opportunity to have a boner.

  18. I can relate to this post significantly. I came from highly conservative Indian home before I moved to the US where girls are taught to be the “a symbol of pride”. They must dress a certain way, look a certain way, and speak a certain way in order to represent the upbringing of their parents. I remember always being the only woman in my family to always question these social constructed ideals in a Indian home which I was often ridiculed for. However, moving to the US I can say that yes even though we do objectify women as sexual objects, and we quickly judge them when they are exposing themselves to the public in ways which most people would assume is inappropriate, but at least they are not shunned from the community like conservative countries. Personally it sucks that we are still not able to “be sexy” because we fear we might be frowned upon or judged as a “slut” but hopefully one day we are able to be open with our true desires, and not be judged based on how we look/present ourselves to be.

  19. i think modesty is an important trait a woman should have. I had a cousin who had lived with us for many years, and each time she went out, my mother always told her to dress appropriately. The reason being is because society has conditioned us to view women as sexual objects. My mother always told my cousin this, and she says that dressing appropriately and being modest will show, creeps that you are not one of those ” hoes” who like to expose themselves. I believe every mother should explain why their daughters should dress appropriately and be modest. It just shows men that they should respect women and treat them like a lady, not a B****. if i were to ever have a daughter the first thing i would teach her, is modesty. Dressing inappropriately attracts the wrong type of crowd, while being modest attracts the right type. That is why modesty should be taught to women everywhere.

  20. Zoe Von Dollen

    I believe that parents are scared to raise daughters in a world so obsessed with appearances and sexuality. All women know what it’s like to be judged simply on their bodies, and with that comes the shame of feeling inadequate. It’s expected that mothers would try to protect their girls from these feelings, and they feel that the best way to do that is to make sure their daughters aren’t seen as sexual at all. But this doesn’t stop the way women are viewed in our society. Girls are constantly surrounded by sexual objectification, and their mother’s one opinion isn’t enough to change that. It’s better to teach our girls how to be women in this world, rather than try to shelter them from the inevitable.

  21. I love this, it is completely true for me. I have curves, its not my fault it’s in my genes, and because of the gross things men think they can say to me or about me, and because of the attention I get from them in general that I genuinely do not want, I tend to not wear the clothes I think I want too. I mean I’m not saying that I want to leave the house wearing belly shirts and heels every day, but I have some clothes I bought that I feel weird wearing because of “what people will say.” If it is too long then I am a prude, but if it is too short then I am a slut. Both words that I don’t use to describe women, but I digress. I think that since I have been sexually harassed so many times, even when “covered up,” that this topic really speaks to me. I want to be able to wear the clothes I want without comment, I want to be able to wear that skirt I was excited about buying without feeling guilty. I was about to say that I may be oversensitive about this subject but then I stopped myself, I feel how I feel. Young girls that get sent home at school because their clothes are revealing and it might distract the boys (which was always being said at my Middle School) are in a way being told that their education is not as important as boys. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the boys being distracted their own fault for the most part? I am open to discussion. I think that that telling girls they can’t wear what they want is part of our patriarchal society. I believe as a young women that wants to celebrate my womenhood that if I want to wear something that is considered sexy I should be allowed to and that I should not be considered a sex object because I am not doing it to be objectified I am doing it because hey, I look good in a dress. No one should be objectified. I don’t want to leave the house topless, but men are allowed to do it so why am I not allowed to do it? Bottom line, and I don’t know if I strayed too much from my point, is that I am a feminist and I want the same rights as men in every aspect, they are allowed to show more skin then women, and that isn’t fair.

  22. I think this is very sad, how women aren’t able to express themselves because they are afraid to be sexualized by men. In the media they have been a lot of controversy with this situation. In school some girls are are sent back home because what they are wearing causes too much attention, blaming the girl and not the ones that are seeing it as something that is too provocative. Why is it the females fault. Why are we criticized and viewed like we are asking for something. Why aren’t the men at fault, why is it okay for men to catcall women and aren’t criticized for their behavior. Shouldn’t it be the other way around instead of women being held accounted for the way they dress, shouldn’t men be the ones who getting in trouble for their actions. Women should be worried about modesty when it comes to what they wear, it shouldn’t be like that. Women should have the choice to wear whatever they want without being scared about being objectified.

  23. I felt very passionate about this post because It reminded me of an experience I went through. In 7th grade I was already pretty developed, far past all of my peers, I had curves and all that good stuff at a very young age, and it mortified me. I would wear loose fitting clothing so that I wouldn’t be seen in that light because I was a long ways away from wanting to be “sexually attractive” On one spirit day all of my friends decided to make shirts that were all matching. It was a tank top, small black shorts and tall black socks. Your average school spirit day outfit. When I tried mine on the night before I could tell it was a little on the revealing side, but I didn’t really think anything of it. When I got to school and saw all of the other girls I could tell mine looked a bit different. It was tighter cause it had to fit around my breast and hips, where the other girls still had a pretty boxy young girl body. At lunch I was stopped by a teacher and was told to go change my clothes, as I was standing with ten other girls wearing the same thing, He said mine was more revealing. So I had to wear my gross PE clothes the rest of the day, Just because I hit puberty faster. I wasn’t trying to show off my body, I just wanted to have school spirit with my friends. Its ridiculous that even as young as 11 or 12 women’s bodies are already seen in a sexual way even when they are far from being sexually active.

  24. When I saw just a topic of the article, I already had an opinion.
    It is an interesting point of view on the modesty, that it’s objectifies women. Maybe for some women is true, and they feel that they are sexual objects for men and nothing else, but I think these women were raised in families, which scared young girls with horror stories about all horny men, which want only seize a girl. It is not right and probably it affected their psychology, attitude and faith to themselves, their confidence. Why women run to extremes when discussing this question? Do they think that a woman should be either modest and closed in herself or a “slut”, who live confident life enjoying all the pleasures she can have and don’t care about how society think of her? I think women should find a middle ground between those two. It begins from the young age, when a mother should help her daughter go on the right path. She shouldn’t scare her and just forbid her wearing specific clothes, but talk to her, instill confidence in herself and change her attitudes. Everything begins from you, from what you think and how you see a world. My mum explained me that I shouldn’t be “a grey mouse”, who is afraid to do something wrong and be always too concerned being modest. She told me that I should love myself, feel confident, know how to sell myself and compel respect for myself. She said that everything should be in moderation, should be certain limits beyond which you can not go. A mother should not only teach, but also show how to be a decent girl. Growing up a girl will understand that what you wear is important because appearance is important, it is a first thing what people see and judge. In Russia we have a proverb, which is verbatim means: people meet you by clothes, but see off by your intellect. This means that it is important how you look like, but its more important what do you have in your mind. In case of the girl in the article, I see that she has appropriate appearance and that’s in my opinion is great and every women should be like that, then men will be less open about sex and probably will respect women more. However, what is in her mind is totally messed up! Society and men scares her, it is like phobia. She doesn’t know how to be in some situations, because she is not confident, she doesn’t think about herself, she thinks too much about society’s opinion, what people will think. She objectifies herself by herself. Her thoughts and lack of confidence do that, not only modesty. In my opinion, modesty don’t create these problems by itself. Lack of understanding of the word “modesty”, lack of borders and the golden mean, lack of confidence, of desire to be respected and wrong perception of the world around women like that create these problems. They are all psychological and based ob what a woman think and is happening in her brain. As I say: “Give a smile to the world, and the world will smile to you,” what mens change your opinion and views of the world and everything will be better.

    • Somewhere in between makes a lot of sense. That said, modesty does objectify. Because whatever is covered up is considered sexual. In tribal societies women wear pretty much nothing, And their bodies are not objectified at all. Under the Taliban Women are expected to be covered head to toe, And everything that is covered is sexualized/Objectified — her arms, her feet, Her hair, Her eyes…

  25. Like so many others who have commented, this made me reflect on what I was or was not allowed to wear. I grew up in a very conservative, Indian environment and I was not allowed to wear shorts. This causes each part of your body to be noticed more in my opinion. Just like in the west ,we have breast fetish , I feel in India we have a navel fetish and leg fetish. I remember I was watching a Indian dating show and so many guys commented upon the girls wearing shorts and said it was a wonderful view. The navel in Bollywood is so sexualized. In the west , we have shots of a girl’s boobs or legs. In Bollywood, there are close shots of a woman’s stomach and it is presented the way you would see boobs in the west. I think in this way we sexualize every single part of a woman’s body. There is more freedom in tribal socities as women are nearly nude. There is also less pressure to look a certain way. I feel body images exist less in socities where bodies are not sexualized. By sexualizing ourselves we feel the need to fit a certain image and then we start criticizing our body. I also think that modesty is like communism, it is an idea that will only work in theory. Originally in areas of the Middle East, modesty was made to prevent rapes. Many people don’t know this but that was the origin of the burqa , it was made to prevent rapes and sexual assault on women. However this backfired as it only ended up sexualizing every part of a woman.

  26. I can relate to “Sierra Says” on a certain level, because I too received statements from my parents like “You’re not going out dressed like that.” Comments like those, and growing up in a Catholic and conservative house really made me aware of how I should dress my body. I learned that I should cover up my body, otherwise I would be seen as solely a sexual being. I can see how modesty can objectify us. We are basically confined to this way of dressing because if we do venture out and wear revealing necklines or short dresses, we are called scandalous and seen as women who are looking to have sex. Miley Cyrus, who is known for being “wild”, was photographed topless at the beach with her boyfriend Patrick Schwarzenegger. She received love and hate mail. She argued that it’s unfair that men can be topless and not women. I have to agree with her point of view, it’s time that women stop being told to cover up because “it sends the wrong message.”

  27. After reading this I felt that women are really in a lose-lose situation. I had never really thought about how modesty objectifies women in the same way that acting/dressing in ways that are considered overtly sexy does. Basically, being a woman is ‘your fault’ and you should try to your hardest to not attract attention *unless* you are looking to attract a mate. It further proves the fact that women are considered the subordinate sex and should try to live with the fact that they aren’t men.

    The quotes used in this piece frightened me; it is disgusting that women are seen as provoking sexual advances and are blamed for acts of violence against them. Forcing women to cover themselves and constantly worry about how provocative they may look instills a deep-seated fear of men adding to an ever-widening gap between the genders. The power is clearly held in the hands of men now and forcing women to constantly be afraid of them and actively pursue ways to protect themselves from men only adds fuel to that fire.

  28. Peter Schmetz

    In my opinion women should wear the clothes they feel comfortable with. Clearly the woman in the blog post does not feel comfortable with her modest clothes. However the reason for that is not her clothes but the objectification she is facing every day in our sexualized society. Unfortunately this got into her head and therefore she will be uncomfortable with anything she is wearing outside. It is extremely sad that our society is often only focused on looks when it comes down to women. Men think they have the right to decide over women and to tell them what to wear and not to wear. It is almost like as if they are second class humans. It is everyone’s responsibility to stop this trend and to accept women as being 100% equal to men. A healthy society gives every individual the chance to live the way they want to live as long as no one else is harmed by that. We still have a long way to go..

  29. Hi there,
    Your blog touches on a significant issue women face everyday. Parent’s, in my opinion wanted their children to dress age appropriate and I would say I agree with that idea. However, to make your child so aware of their body, making them feel insecure and making them feel objectified every time a man looks at them should not be the goal! The ultimate goal should be allowing your child to feel comfortable in its own skin. For example, as early as seventh grade I was very into short shorts and at the time its because I wanted boys to notice me, however as I got older and became a runner on my high school cross country and track team, who wore a sports bra and spandex to practice, it was no longer about seeking attention but what I felt comfortable running in. Sierra felt violated when men looked at her even when dressed modestly and in my opinion she gave into the male species that see women as inanimate objects. When I was at practice in my sports bra and spandex I knew I was going to be looked at either with the connotation of “she’s a slut” or “I’d tap that” or anything along those lines because at the end of the day it wasn’t how people saw me, but how I saw and felt about myself; I was comfortable in my skin.
    This blog topic doesn’t just focus on modesty and how it can be unhealthy, but it also touches on self-confidence and parenting morals, which are topics that need to be, discussed more.

  30. This blog really connects with many women and i love how it explains how some of us feel and are treated. Their are many cultures that don’t let women dress the way they want to because of men. I have always felt that you should be allowed to dress whatever way you want. Some people do because they feel confident and don’t care what others think of them. I don’t have that much confidence but I’ve been wanting to dress the way i want to not caring what others think.

  31. This is something I feel I have been very aware of lately. There have been a lot of recent articles about schools suspending female students for their attire. The outfits themselves were not even that revealing, but the main response was that it was suggestive or too exposed. This is just an example of another excuse for me. They claim a girl “asked for it” because they couldn’t control themselves. Then the girl is taught that she can’t dress for herself or be comfortable because she has to analyze every item of clothing to make sure it doesn’t encourage a man. In the end, we are giving men the upper hand (again!) in allowing them to justify their innapropriate behavior and (again!) teaching girls that they are never safe to just be.

    The note about tribal societies was very eye opening and so true. Women walk around and do daily tasks without clothing and it is just common place. It goes to show that it is possible and it isn’t what women wear that is the problem, it is society trying to cater to men and make things easier for them instead of making them take responsibility for their actions.

  32. There is currently a social media campaign against Instagram so that they might allow women to post photos including their nipples. Instagram already allows for men to post photos including their nipples, but not women who’s nipples appear exactly the same. I guess the notion is that women’s nipples are filthy while men’s nipples are normal? I can see no way for forced modesty to do anything but teach women, and more frighteningly men, that women’s bodies are to be objectified. If a woman’s body is so inherently suggestive that it must be covered to keep everyone safe, that teaches everyone a very unhealthy conception of the female form.

    Forced modesty also teaches women and men that women’s bodies are not their own to control. Assuming you have a say in a woman’s body and feeling that a woman’s form is suggestive enough to be dangerous if left undisguised are some of the seeds that rape culture grows from.

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