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bsjkki

Modesty issues...again

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26 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

I think the University of Colorado would think casual exercise clothes for 8-12 year olds was a perfectly sufficient descriptor.

And yet it might not be.

26 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

You know, the appropriate clothing for the appropriate activity is usually a good way to choose your clothes.

"The appropriate clothing for the appropriate activity."

Quite a bit of ambiguity in that.  Huge amounts, in fact.

Thanks,

-Smac

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9 minutes ago, bluebell said:

In my experience, most girls will self-regulate on those occasions.  Our YWs focuses on teaching them correct principles and then letting them (and their parents) govern themselves.  

My friend told about talking her daughter and her friends to the temple to do baptisms for the dead a few months ago, and one of the girls wore a dress that was kind of short (mid-thigh).  She was visibly uncomfortable surrounded by girls in longer dresses and skirts and while no one said a thing to her about it, she spent the drive trying to pull the skirt down so it would be longer, and eventually mentioned to one of the other girls that she wasn't going to wear the dress again because it was too short.

I've never see a girl wear something truly inappropriate to a church activity, but when we do get girls who wear shorts that are way too short or shirts that show some cleavage or whatever, we don't say a thing.  We would rather the girl was there than not, regardless of her clothing.  

You said it Bluebell, perfectly! 

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I think it is part of our culture that, as far as clothing options go, there are far more "modesty" concerns for girls/women than for boys/men.  As a male attorney, it is understood and required that I wear a suit to court.  Women, however, have all sorts of options available to them, some of which are potentially inappropriate.  I'm not sure that's "sexism."  It's just that women have more sartorial options than men, some of which can be inappropriately "revealing."

So it is, I think, with women in general.  Although "modesty" in clothing choices is not exclusively a female problem, it sure seems to be a predominantly female problem.

I can't remember the time I had to consider "modesty" when buying clothing for myself.  My wife and teenage daughter, however, have to factor that in all the time.  Low-cut jeans.  A blouse a bit too open in the chest area.  A formal dress that shows "too much" back or is too short at the hemline.  A dress that is too form-fitting.  

And so it goes.  The broader spectrum of options for female clothing will understandably include options that risk veering toward nebulous notions of "immodesty."  Men and boys run into that problem, too, but not as often.

My thoughts exactly.  I would have to go out of my way to dress inappropriately for work, church, or play.  My daughters have no such luxury. 

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46 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I'll just mention here I'm watching this thread to see how long it will be before Gui's Law is borne out.

I hope note.  I find it rather ironic that reasonable guidelines encouraging modesty are being disparaged as "part of the problem with sex and young girls."  That just seems really weird to me.

So what would be said about someone encouraging young girls to be immodest in their clothing?  Is that okay?  Is up now down?  Is black now white?

Is encouraging modesty perverted, and encouraging immodesty "normal"?

What a weird world.

-Smac

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17 minutes ago, bluebell said:

In my experience, most girls will self-regulate on those occasions.  Our YWs focuses on teaching them correct principles and then letting them (and their parents) govern themselves.  

My friend told about talking her daughter and her friends to the temple to do baptisms for the dead a few months ago, and one of the girls wore a dress that was kind of short (mid-thigh).  She was visibly uncomfortable surrounded by girls in longer dresses and skirts and while no one said a thing to her about it, she spent the drive trying to pull the skirt down so it would be longer, and eventually mentioned to one of the other girls that she wasn't going to wear the dress again because it was too short.

I've never see a girl wear something truly inappropriate to a church activity, but when we do get girls who wear shorts that are way too short or shirts that show some cleavage or whatever, we don't say a thing.  We would rather the girl was there than not, regardless of her clothing.  

I generally agree with self governing and I agree that it works most of the time, but I think we have all met limit testers that can have negative influence. If we teach self-regulation, what can a leader do in a situation like that if there are no expectations and no lines drawn?

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9 minutes ago, smac97 said:

And yet it might not be.

"The appropriate clothing for the appropriate activity."

Quite a bit of ambiguity in that.  Huge amounts, in fact.

Thanks,

-Smac

Modesty standards in the church are ambiguous. For The Strength if Youth is highly subjective...so then you get local leaders trying to define it and end up in  a mess. What is “short skirt” or “short shorts.” What is “tight and revealing.” 

https://www.timesandseasons.org/harchive/2014/02/men-women-and-modesty/

“I take 100 pictures of the same woman, showing her in a spectrum of clothing ranging from picture #1, extremely modest, to picture #100, extremely immodest. I show this set of photos to 1,000 stake presidents and I ask them to tell me which pictures show a modestly-dressed woman and which show an immodestly-dressed woman. We’d get 100% agreement on picture #1 and picture #100, but pictures #30-70 would get a mixture of responses. We next ask the stake presidents which of the pictures would be the of the type that the righteous single men of their stake would consider dating. Righteous men would not date immodest women, but some would draw the line at #95 and others at #55 or #45. But some on the other end of the spectrum would not be considered datable material either: from #1 to some number between #10 and #40, depending on the respondent, would be considered too frumpy and unappealing. What this means is that an LDS woman told to dress modestly but attractively–to wear clothing that, like a good talk, is “long enough to cover the subject but short enough to be interesting,” as at least one authority has put it–are put in an impossible position.”

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18 hours ago, smac97 said:

You seem to be suggesting that "modesty" does not exist.  But if that's so, then why do we have the word?  And why is the word defined in the dictionary?  And why does it have an antonym?

Thanks,

-Smac

Hi :).

I would venture that words are not a good indication that something "exists" (exhibit A: unicorn).  (Not to mention that modesty is an English word with an etymology and developing historical context that we probably cannot break open here; not to mention that other cultures and languages do not use the word modesty and perhaps a lot could be said about how they DO actually say and think about it--but it's not exactly the same view as the Latter-Day Saints for example.  But this is all complicated.  I'll keep it simple.)

Modesty exists in the sense that it IS an element of the worldview that some, perhaps many, operate from.  Kind of like race, which isn't a thing (biologically), except it is (sociologically), because we (some of us) insist on it and live it.

I don't think modesty is actually a principle or a part of the integral fabric of the universe, and to the degree that it is related to anything in that fabric, there would be better words to describe with less side effects and damage and that would lead us to greater reality than 'modesty' ever could.

I am always deconstructing worldviews, because I don't like very many that we have on this planet, as they result in damage to the eternal beings that we are.  It is our worldviews that maintain our 'kingdom' and modesty has been a failure and kept us in the 'telestial kingdom'--or hell--for a long time.  In my opinion.  And modesty and female purity ideas are some of those captivities we are maintaining.

I begin with the foundation that the body is sacred.  I also begin with the foundation that the body simply is a body--no freak out needed on any level.  I fuse those two foundations into a lovely paradox.  And I find it of no import to either cover the body (such as in artistic expression) or to uncover the body--neither use of fabric would in actuality change the foundation.  And the use of more fabric, as we are fond of, is no way that it really and actually could increase sacredness, and our thought that it could is our weakness/sin, NOT our obedience/righteousness.  God sends babies into the world naked--their most sacred state.  And then we mock God by putting clothes on it.

A case may be made that what is sacred is to be protected by covering (such as the temple), but at what point do we continue to agree with the world that it is not yet a temple, instead of hoping for and working for and speaking the language of and having the worldview of the idea, that we all can be safe with each other, we are all in the temple together--that the 'covering' is and always has been in our minds and hearts, no fabric required.

Or why if we need to solve practically for the fact that the world is not safe (for females) and is not yet a temple where their body is safe in any condition of clothing (which is not a real thing--clothing does not protect from 'uncovered minds and hearts')--WHY is THIS the SOLUTION?  To cover the females?  Why aren't men (or all adults) given a blindfold at age 12 or so, and told that they cannot leave the house without a female guide (or any gender guide who is able to see without being affected negatively by full bodies) and their blindfold on?  A blindfold is also fabric.  Why can't this be the practical solution?  Well, because it is by historical development, and we always think that the thing that has come to be is the way it really is and should be.  If fabric (clothing) is involved, why does it have to be on females?  (I know that men in the Church are also instructed in modesty, but on a world and church level, it is a different and greater challenge for women.)  I'm saying that adding fabric to females is not modesty and removing fabric is not immodesty--it is neither, it is simply us talking and thinking and behaving through our history; and the use of the word modesty in any other context ('it's an attitude'), why do we need that either?  What the heck does it mean?  Why can't we just say--be kind, have integrity.  Period.  No other additional words needed.

Anyway, this is where I'm coming from.  Thanks for asking. :)

 

18 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Grandma did not live in a world like that. I think the last time we got along without sexualizing others was Eden.

I agree.  That's what I mean, ha ha.  I'M the Grandma and in some ideal future they have no idea that they have to judge themselves or others by how much fabric they have over their body and in what condition.   I am definitely an idealist.

Not to you, but just to this subject, but I'm even more upset that I am supposed to judge and assess other women by what they are wearing.  My anecdote for this was when I was attending a western university, there were many girls wearing sundresses and spaghetti straps in the August weather.  I heard myself say, "She's immodest."  It wasn't that I hated her for it or would ever have confronted her or mistreated her or brought it up to her.  Not that kind of judgment.  I HATED that it was in my mind AT ALL--that I had to shape her that way at all, clutter my mind with the thoughts, when it was very obvious that the outfit was cute, and appropriate for the weather, and whatever you want to say--she was wearing clothes, why do I have to make so many reasonings even in explaining to y'all? Ha ha.  That's what modesty does to me and my mind. THAT kind of judgment. What other women or other people are wearing shouldn't be a thing in my mind at all.  Who has that much room?   And, yes, I want to wear a spaghetti strap sundress--but I never will.  Not because I am afraid of what men will think and do, I know the general American man wouldn't care that much, and LDS men would also maintain respect.  But because I am afraid of what women and my neighbors think and I'm not strong enough to challenge it in reality--just in words like here.  (I really hate clothes, period, they are uncomfortable for me.)

Clothes for women are about what they look like and not about her comfort or their function.  Not good, in my opinion.

Also I do wear the garments and I don't particularly want them to show, but that's a practical issue, not a modesty one.

18 hours ago, smac97 said:

And there seems to be a middle road here.  The Church isn't mandating this level of "modesty":

what-are-the-differences-between-the-bur

Or this:

90a8c88d7801292346bc37b581b5007a.jpg

I acknowledge that reasonable minds can disagree about what "common sense and decency" means in terms of modesty.  But the Church's general guidelines, and the ones you cited, do not seem extreme or ridiculous.

Thanks,

-Smac

I don't disagree with a 'middle road' in most subjects.  However, if I wish to be obedient to modesty, if I felt that was of God, I would want to be MOST exact and most obedient, and if a little bit of fabric makes you more righteous, then doesn't more fabric make you more righteous?  Even if the church allows fabric to the knee, wouldn't it be better if we went ahead to burka if the issue was ACTUALLY if a man sees a part of our body, then we are in danger?  This is like when a person reads the Word of Wisdom--the church mandates so much--but wouldn't it be better to live the whole law?  The church has a policy of tithing--but wouldn't it be better to live from the law of consecration to the degree I am able?

I am not asking these things simply to be 'academically' argumentative, but because I really was and am the kind of person who wants to live the HIGHEST law--not what we're ALLOWED RIGHT NOW.  So back when I felt (because I had been told and hadn't thought through it) that modesty was a principle of virtue, I became distressed because I realized that I needed to head toward the burka in order to live the celestial law.  There was no reason to show ANY of my body, if covering was celestial.

Until I realized it was the other way around--the celestial law is when we are at peace and integrity with our own and others' bodies regardless of the amount of fabric.  None required, and certainly not the amount that even the church is mainstreaming now, or seems to be, maybe it's still (local) culture.

Edited by Maidservant
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1 minute ago, pogi said:

I generally agree with self governing and I agree that it works most of the time, but I think we have all met limit testers.  But if we teach self-regulation, what can a leader do in a situation like that if there are no lines drawn?   

When I was a student at BYU our student ward bishop took us boating.  The plan was to go swimming, water-skiing, that sort of thing.  The bishop was pretty laissez faire about it.  He didn't give out any guidelines or requests that people dress "appropriately."  He just gave us directions on where to go.  I think he assumed that since we were all BYU students, we would all be "self-governing."

We had a pretty good time.  We did, however, have a young woman who showed up in a swimsuit that made Baywatch swimsuits look modest by comparison.  Honestly, it was embarrassing.  It was uncomfortable.  

And it was at an activity sponsored by our ward.

So . . . yeah.  Limit testers can be a problem.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

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2 minutes ago, bsjkki said:
Quote

And yet it might not be.

"The appropriate clothing for the appropriate activity."

Quite a bit of ambiguity in that.  Huge amounts, in fact.

Thanks,

-Smac

Modesty standards in the church are ambiguous.

I know.  But simply because the boundaries are difficult to define doesn't mean that there are not boundaries at all.

2 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

For The Strength if Youth is highly subjective...so then you get local leaders trying to define it and end up in  a mess.

With respect, I think you are blowing this out of proportion.

2 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

What is “short skirt” or “short shorts.” What is “tight and revealing.” 

I don't know.  Hence the ambiguity.  Hence the request that modesty be kept in mind.

2 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

https://www.timesandseasons.org/harchive/2014/02/men-women-and-modesty/

“I take 100 pictures of the same woman, showing her in a spectrum of clothing ranging from picture #1, extremely modest, to picture #100, extremely immodest. I show this set of photos to 1,000 stake presidents and I ask them to tell me which pictures show a modestly-dressed woman and which show an immodestly-dressed woman. We’d get 100% agreement on picture #1 and picture #100, but pictures #30-70 would get a mixture of responses.

This seems like a variation on Sorites paradox:

Quote

The sorites paradox (/soʊˈraɪtiːz/;[1] sometimes known as the paradox of the heap) is a paradox that arises from vague predicates.[2] A typical formulation involves a heap of sand, from which grains are individually removed. Under the assumption that removing a single grain does not turn a heap into a non-heap, the paradox is to consider what happens when the process is repeated enough times: is a single remaining grain still a heap? If not, when did it change from a heap to a non-heap?

...

The word "sorites" derives from the Greek word for heap.[4] The paradox is so named because of its original characterization, attributed to Eubulides of Miletus.[5] The paradox goes as follows: consider a heap of sand from which grains are individually removed. One might construct the argument, using premises, as follows:[3]

1,000,000 grains of sand is a heap of sand (Premise 1)
A heap of sand minus one grain is still a heap. (Premise 2)
Repeated applications of Premise 2 (each time starting with one fewer grain) eventually forces one to accept the conclusion that a heap may be composed of just one grain of sand.[6]). Read (1995) observes that "the argument is itself a heap, or sorites, of steps of modus ponens":[7]

1,000,000 grains is a heap.
If 1,000,000 grains is a heap then 999,999 grains is a heap.
So 999,999 grains is a heap.
If 999,999 grains is a heap then 999,998 grains is a heap.
So 999,998 grains is a heap.
If ...
... So 1 grain is a heap.

...

This paradox can be reconstructed for a variety of predicates, for example, with "tall", "rich", "old", "blue", "bald", and so on. 

This paradox can also be reconstructed using "modesty" as a predicate.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Just now, katherine the great said:
Quote

I hope note.  I find it rather ironic that reasonable guidelines encouraging modesty are being disparaged as "part of the problem with sex and young girls."  That just seems really weird to me.

So what would be said about someone encouraging young girls to be immodest in their clothing?  Is that okay?  Is up now down?  Is black now white?

Is encouraging modesty perverted, and encouraging immodesty "normal"?

What a weird world.

-Smac

You're not listening.

Yes, I am.

I am listening.  I am just not subordinating my opinion to yours.  I am not capitulating.

Thanks,

-Smac

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7 minutes ago, Maidservant said:

Hi :).

I would venture that words are not a good indication that something "exists" (exhibit A: unicorn). 

But unicorns, as a concept, do exist.  So do dragons.  And Darth Vader.  

7 minutes ago, Maidservant said:

(Not to mention that modesty is an English word with an etymology and developing historical context that we probably cannot break open here; not to mention that other cultures and languages do not use the word modesty and perhaps a lot could be said about how they DO actually say and think about it--but it's not exactly the same view as the Latter-Day Saints for example.  But this is all complicated.  I'll keep it simple.)

"Modesty" is a concept.  It is an idea.  It has a definition.  It has synonyms and antonyms.

Thanks,

-Smac

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15 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I hope note.  I find it rather ironic that reasonable guidelines encouraging modesty are being disparaged as "part of the problem with sex and young girls."  That just seems really weird to me.

So what would be said about someone encouraging young girls to be immodest in their clothing?  Is that okay?  Is up now down?  Is black now white?

Is encouraging modesty perverted, and encouraging immodesty "normal"?

What a weird world.

-Smac

This quote in bjki's post is a perfect example of why 'reasonable guidelines encouraging modesty' like those in the OP are problematic.  

“I take 100 pictures of the same woman, showing her in a spectrum of clothing ranging from picture #1, extremely modest, to picture #100, extremely immodest. I show this set of photos to 1,000 stake presidents and I ask them to tell me which pictures show a modestly-dressed woman and which show an immodestly-dressed woman. We’d get 100% agreement on picture #1 and picture #100, but pictures #30-70 would get a mixture of responses. We next ask the stake presidents which of the pictures would be the of the type that the righteous single men of their stake would consider dating. Righteous men would not date immodest women, but some would draw the line at #95 and others at #55 or #45. But some on the other end of the spectrum would not be considered datable material either: from #1 to some number between #10 and #40, depending on the respondent, would be considered too frumpy and unappealing. What this means is that an LDS woman told to dress modestly but attractively–to wear clothing that, like a good talk, is “long enough to cover the subject but short enough to be interesting,” as at least one authority has put it–are put in an impossible position.”

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11 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

Apples and oranges.

More like Braeburns and Fujis.  😀

11 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

There are times when a strict dress code is appropriate yes.

The OP doesn't speak of a "strict" dress code.  Just some guidelines that leave plenty of room for interpretation and reasonableness.

11 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

For instance, I don't object to the dress code of the temple or a courtroom or a formal dinner.  At other times, I do object to a specific dress code and imposing a specific, measured modesty standard at girls' camp is one of those times. By all means, enforce safety attire at camp, but the modesty thing annoys me.

I'm not sure why you object so strenuously.  You seem to be blowing this out of proportion.

11 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

And yes, when knee length shorts long shirts are required to meet the minimum standard of modesty-even in an all girl environment, an attitude of judgement will fester.

"An attitude of judgment will fester," you say.

🤨

Thanks,

-Smac

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20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

  I find it rather ironic that reasonable guidelines encouraging modesty are being disparaged as "part of the problem with sex and young girls." 

I think the debate is in part whether they are reasonable, to assume that is a given seems to be ignoring people's concerns.

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28 minutes ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

My thoughts exactly.  I would have to go out of my way to dress inappropriately for work, church, or play.  My daughters have no such luxury. 

Did you ever preendowment (covering garments automatically sets a certain length, I assume endowed men think about length at least for that reason) think about the length of shorts you were buying (assuming you bought your clothing and not a parent)?  Did you ever stop and think whether it was appropriate to go shirtless at a sporting activity?  Just curious, not criticizing, trying to see how different the experience of choosing clothes is.

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

So what would be said about someone encouraging young girls to be immodest in their clothing?  Is that okay?  Is up now down?  Is black now white?

Is encouraging modesty perverted, and encouraging immodesty "normal"?

The opposite of modesty is not immodesty (in the discussion that some are trying to have).  Meaning that those who object to modesty automatically must be approving of immodesty.  (As if either were real.)

Rather, the discussion some are trying to have (or maybe just me?):  The opposite of the modesty-immodesty spectrum as an axis of judgment is not having the modesty-immodesty spectrum or axis as one of the building blocks of our worldview, of how we look at each other as human beings (or as how we look at women, specifically).

Fabric on the body is for purposes of artistic expression, communication, shelter, safety, function, etc.  It's part of the joy of using any of the elements of the earth for creation and fun and purpose and of 'being our unique selves'. 

But it simply wouldn't occur to someone that fabric would be needed in order to be the safety barrier between your body (my body) and another human being (body) who might harm us (or themselves) due to our volume, placement, and shape of fabric.

Edited by Maidservant
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15 minutes ago, smac97 said:

But unicorns, as a concept, do exist.  So do dragons.  And Darth Vader.  

"Modesty" is a concept.  It is an idea.  It has a definition.  It has synonyms and antonyms.

Thanks,

-Smac

Yes.  As a concept, sure.  I don't disagree. 

I didn't know we were discussing concepts.  Anything exists as a concept as soon as we name it. 

I am discussing real living in real time--and admittedly an idealism that may not have arrived yet.  A real living that has to be lived by women and young women in the church and in the world--that damages.

I could also say that if unicorns don't exist yet, they will eventually.  Somebody will genetically manufacture them, ha ha.  It's just a matter of time.

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2 hours ago, bsjkki said:

It's getting old and I realized today, I'm not the only one in my ward who notices and finds it "ridiculous." 

The short answer is the female body is sexualized in our broader American culture, and Mormons are very sensitive to sexuality and avoiding any appearance of it.  FTSoY phamplet amplifies this is issue as do temple garments because of misperceptions about the length of those garments being a guide of some kind that communicates modesty.  It’s kind of a mess. 

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1 hour ago, bsjkki said:

I think the University of Colorado would think casual exercise clothes for 8-12 year olds was a perfectly sufficient descriptor. You know, the appropriate clothing for the appropriate activity is usually a good way to choose your clothes.

I wish humans could be given simple, concise instructions and then everyone would be confident that there will be no problems. However, have you gone to a mall lately or to a large, public event? Do you see what the girls wear? I can understand why some girls leaders feel the need to clarify what is and what is not modesty....without the clarification you will girls not only pushing the boundaries but going way over the edge. If humans used common sense in all situations there would be no need for these types of instructions.

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