A modesty cramp?

Someone posted the next video on Facebook and asked what the guys think…

So before I go further: I don’t know the US and its conservative culture, I only have encountered this modesty debate in fragments, and also: my grandfathers was a painter whose speciality were weird abstrad female nudes, which I never percieved as erotic.
(and anyway: I can speak only of one man, that man being me….)

My first reaction: I find this freaky! And I can’t connect to this at all!

My second reaction: This guy is in such a cramp! I don’t know what his definition of ‘lust’ is, and to me it seems like even experiencing the least of attraction is considered the worst kind of lust, which seems to create an impossibility to ever do right when seeing a woman. Seeing a beautiful woman does not at all mean that I want sex with her. It’s not because I feel attraction that my thoughts go ‘hey I need to betray my wife with that sexy body!’.

And yes, staring at an attractive person is wrong and could easily lead to wrong thoughts, and Jesus says that if you look at a woman to lust after her, you’ve committed adultery in your head. Which is not good at all, and is quite dangerous to the oneness of your relationship. But I don’t believe that every bit of attraction is ‘lusting’ in that way.

And I don’t think that this kind of lusting, and the way in which men react wrongly to seeing someone attractive is provoked by the woman anyway, it exists mainly in the mans reaction himself. And no matter what, a woman, or any person cannot avoid being found attractive to everyone. A man with the wrong mindset will lust after every woman anyway, no matter how she’s dressed and how much of her is visible.

(And saying ‘modest is hottest’ is just contradictory and plain nonsense, sorry)

I don’t think that the stereotyped sexiness is the only thing that’s provoke attraction in a man anyway. As a teenage boy I found girls with baggy sweaters quite cute, because I find pyjama-like clothes quite cuddly… Which did not mean I had sexual thought about them, but I definitely found it attractive! And frankly, I’m also quite an ‘eyes guy’. The most sexy there can be is beautiful eyes.. Should I make videos about how women should wear sunglasses and cover their eyes, and write letters to TV companies not to show beautiful eyes?

The problem is that we’re living in the world we’re living in. And if you’re not able to cope with how most women in this world are dressed, then you have a problem you should work on.

(If you’re conditioned to view women the way the media wants you to see them you have a problem already. Most ads want us to see images women as a sexual impulse to buy whatever crap they sell. Quite dehumanising for both sexes, as I’ve said many times, and we should not at all conform to such destructive nonsense)

The whole modesty debate makes me think that we should have a different mindset. And I mean this in the light of other cultures in which the human body and sexiness are perceived completely different. Some tribes in which people walk around almost naked don’t see breasts as erotic, while other cultures cover people up completely, so that even ankles are too sexy to cope with.

Makes one think about how this perception of sexiness is formed, and how we want to form in ourselves the perception of the opposite sex (for heterosexuanals that is). It is, after all a form of training, and following this modesty cramp will still be training us in the wrong way! I think as a Christian that training to look at every women as our sisters, mothers and daughters is just plain logical, isn’t it? Yes, I speak of ‘training’. This whole debate is clearly about nurture, not nature, and following Christ and loving our neigbor requires us to be transformed by the renewal of our mind!

(Also, why does this kind of modesty stuff always only focus on men as if men are all visual and women are all just objects to be seen. There are also women watching porn, so women can be quite visual too… So why do I never see such a thing about men being modest. (Maybe I should be glad that I’m not that attractive, hah!…))

What do you people think?



2 responses to “A modesty cramp?

  1. It’s like the old John Berger quote: “Men act. Women appear.”

    It’s something that’s been ingrained in our culture for centuries. That men gaze and women exist to be gazed upon. I’m not sure where this idea originated, but it’s been around forever and is so embedded in culture (all the female nudes in western art; all the movies from a male perspective that feature plenty of close-ups of female body parts) that people mistakenly think that’s just how things are. It’s really frustrating that Christian culture continues to promote this idea so strongly. But yeah, if I had to theorize why we never talk about men being modest, I’d say that’s why.

  2. The sad things is that I’ve heard this message preached from a pulpit before…and worse still at the time I agreed with the preacher. Yet now after years of following Jesus and reading the Book, I’ve realized that Jesus came not to control or to manage sin (which is what the video is talking about), but to destroy sin, evil, injustice and death itself. We are to live as if we have died and been raised again as a different person – which is what happens when we bow our knees and follow King Jesus. Let us forget about trying to manage sin by control the outside environment and let us live in Jesus.

    Furthermore, the battle the speaker talk about in the video isn’t limited to sexual urges – it is the Christian life. Period. We are a people living between two ages that are at war both within our beings and around us. Instead of trying to hide from this war, we should be engaging it and fighting through the power of the Spirit and the Name of Jesus. Yes, following of Jesus are to be different – but not because we force everyone to cover up their skin, but because we have been set FREE from the bonds of addictions and evil!!

    (on a side note, it’s interesting that the video speaker seems to think that “modesty” is a Biblical dictated thing when in reality “modesty” and “nudity” are both culturally defined and can mean anything. A man or women can be sexually wearing a bathing suit or a full length robe. Clothing and skin have nothing to do with it.)

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