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Modesty Equals Respect?

January 13, 2013

Modesty Source

What the fuck is this shit?

The Modesty Movement wants women to understand that they can be beautiful, mysterious, and sexy without showing a lot of skin. Reclaim The Power of YOUR Femeninity! [sic] Shine For Who You Are, Not How Much Skin You Show Source

Except if you show your skin you are both powerless and unfeminine?

I have a dream for my generation. I dream that young girls will be innocent, protected, and cherished. I dream that young boys will be strengthened and challenged to uprightness. I dream that we will find love — the love for which each of our young hearts long. Source

OMG it just keeps getting worse!

Eradicating sexual promiscuity through one simple action: changing the way we dress. Source

I feel another rage coma coming on.

The Modesty Movement is overt misogyny wrapped in a bit of fluff. It’s a spoonful of sort of sugar in order to help the bullshit medicine go down. It’s the same set of messages that women have been dealing with forever spiced with a touch of what might sort of sound a little bit like feminism if every feminist you’ve ever known was punking you.

How about respect equals respect? Why is that not even a possibility? Oh right, we live in the world.

The modesty movement is based entirely on slut-shaming. It’s that specific kind of religious slut shaming that I was lucky enough to grow up without great exposure to. Grace over at Are Women Human touches on it and I’m sure will be doing so more often in the future. (Great blog, btw. She’s an outstanding writer.) It makes clear to women and, more insidiously, young girls, that it is their clothing and not their person that garners respect. Of course, by extension, if her clothing is not worthy of respect, neither is she.

It’s like the concept of females as autonomous beings worthy of respect does not exist for them.

Here’s the really disturbing thing about this tread, I mean other than some tragic outfits. It’s being marketed to young girls. It the same religiously based, insidious assertion which makes it clear that misogyny is not just the norm but the right of males, that females who are judged immodest are sluts and it is acceptable to shame them. You girls are suffering from the same message

Yes I know I just sent you to a site that is “under construction.” What you are not currently seeing is a site wherein people would upload pictures of women and most often young girls, so that members, a not small number of which are adult men, could perv over and judge the subjects.

That construction you’re actually seeing? It’s quite sudden. Within the past three days that site went from vibrant and thriving to randomly inaccessible. Why? Because when feminist Internetlandia found out about this place we spread the information far and wide and the backlash was more than the site owners/providers were willing to deal with.

Hey, remember the last time I talked about rape culture? That point I was making, about our ability to shut this bullshit down is proved in the current status of that site.

We did that. We stepped up for the people being harmed directly by that site and for the people being harmed by larger rape culture. Well done. I’m really proud of us today.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Emma permalink
    January 13, 2014 4:21 PM

    I just found your blog today, but I am so thankful for it. Your articles are refreshing, since there’s so much misogyny and fake feminism out on the internet. Anyway, I’ve been looking for this article for forever, and you eloquently stated exactly what I think about this issue – people need to understand that self-respect comes from ONESELF, not other people who judge one by their clothes. Too many young girls are influenced by so many of these factors – rape culture, religion, general slut-shaming. Parents say keep covered so you don’t get assaulted. Religion says no sex before marriage (and various other things) and girls can be called such toxic things by their peers, which then gives them a bad reputation. It’s horrible, but I’m proud of everyone who managed to stop that site.

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