So the Modesty Survey is starting to make its way around the internet, and for me this is a totally alien subculture. I mean, I was raised Catholic, but being raised Catholic in Toronto is not exactly the strictest form of Christian upbringing, to say the least; the only thing you’re guaranteed to have is a relatively worldly guilt complex and an appreciation of fish on Fridays. Compared to that, this is… really, really weird.
58 percent of them (and bear in mind the “Christian boys” range from 16 to 35, which is pushing it at the upper end, but whatevs) say that a skirt that falls above the knee is immodest! “That’s getting into dangerous territory, especially when they sit down, since it slides up even further.” DANGEROUS TERRITORY! Needless to say, 93 percent have a problem with miniskirts. 84 percent say that a bikini is immodest. “If you understood the purpose of publications like the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue…”1 62 percent aren’t even satisfied if girls wear a tankini instead; 55 percent can’t even handle a one-piece halter-top suit. A thirteen-year-old writes: “They tend to show cleavage and your back is too much of a distraction.”2
66 percent say that a shirt with a “lacy, lingerie look” is immodest. 62 percent worry about girls who wear a transparent shirt over a tank top. 76 percent say that “even an inch” of skin between pants and bottom of shirt is a “stumbling block.” 65 percent have a problem with girls who have to adjust a bra strap in public. 56 percent have a problem with halter-top bras, which is probably the same people who complained about halter-top swimsuits. “This sounds stupid, but I’ll be honest: The strings invite a tug.” You heard that guy, ladies! You shouldn’t wear a halter-top lest he be tempted to assault you!3
But hey, it’s not just clothes the Christian boys are concerned with. 75 percent say that “the way a girl walks” can be a stumbling block. 57 percent are worried about when girls stretch their arms because their chests stick out. 63 percent get tense when a girl bends over and exposes her lower back. 61 percent feel sinful when a girl bends over with her ass towards them, and 76 percent can’t handle breasts bobbling up and down when a girl walks or runs.
Really, I know one should feel contempt for the overt misogyny on display here, but really I can’t be bothered to feel anything other than pity. These “Christian boys”4 are just so goddamn pathetic, a scream in the night of “I am powerless over my dick”:
Sisters in Christ, you really have no concept of the struggles that guys face on a daily basis. Please, please, please take a higher standard in the ways you dress. True, we men are responsible for our thoughts and actions before the Lord, but it is such a blessing when we know that we can spend time with our sisters in Christ, enjoying their fellowship without having to constantly be on guard against ungodly thoughts brought about by the inappropriate ways they sometimes dress.
This sentiment is of course the prevailing one. Sometimes it gets justified in weird ways.
A girl has been given something for which she is responsible. That gift is a beautiful body and mystique which has power over a man, and so in being responsible with that gift, a girl must give thought to men. This is just like how men have been given bodies with a different power – physical strength. A man is responsible for that strength and must not abuse it or be careless with it – be that in the context of other men and children, or with women.
“See, men are big and strong, and we shouldn’t hit people. And women aren’t big and strong, but they are pretty, so they shouldn’t hit people metaphorically with their choice of clothing.”
In fairness, when asked what their responsibility is, most of the Christian boys say straight up that it’s first and foremost their job to treat women respectfully and not lust in their hearts and do all the things they believe God wants them to do. But that adult sentiment is choked off when you read their scorn for women who “flaunt their bodies”:
Yes, you can turn me on, but don’t expect me to respect you. Yes, I might find you attractive on the outside, but that won’t make me think of you as attractive on the inside. Sure you might get my attention, but it will be negative attention.
Given that we’ve established that a simple bikini or an inch of skin between shirt and pant gets “negative attention,” this guy needs his head adjusted. What really gets to me is that these dipshits put everything in their own context. A girl wearing revealing clothing doesn’t get respect because of how she makes the guy feel. These guys keep talking about how they want girls of substance and then demand that “substance” cannot wear sexy clothes; they complain about how hard it is for them not to sin and then request that girls self-police their clothing and behaviour as if the two required equivalent effort.
It’s just sad.
- Wait, do people actually still whack it to the Swimsuit Issue? I mean, seriously, porn is so easy to get now. What’s the point of the Swimsuit Issue? Or maybe we’re dealing with people here for whom the Swimsuit Issue is as close as they ever get to porn? Not that they don’t have access to porn, but that the Swimsuit Issue is the most they can conceive of porn actually being? Like, they look at the cover of a Vivid Video flick and think “I bet that sinful video has simply TONS of girls in swimsuits lounging around.” [↩]
- I suppose we should applaud that thirteen-year-old for being able to appreciate the beauty of a woman’s back at such a young age. When I was thirteen, I think I would have preferred it if girls were made entirely of tits. Like, foot-to-head. All tits. [↩]
- TUG TUG TUG! [↩]
- Up to age 35! Forever young! [↩]