Thursday, September 18, 2008

On modest dress

Don't worry, I'm not going to be Jansenistic here ( is that even a word?? ).

Neither am I going on a rant, nor off on a tangent about who should define modest dress, dress for Mass, what I wear as a woman.

Or on why statutes on modest dress are (nearly) always addressed to women and rarely to men. How it is assumed that men will have little or no self control. How revealing clothing is seen as a source of temptation for most men.

Now, I am not advocating wearing revealing clothing to Mass. But I am advocating teaching the virtue of self control - yes, self control in dress ( I have a couple of very short skirts that I wouldn't wear to Mass, for example - I wear my more temperate short skirts to church. lol!).

And teaching self control also in lust, in desires. It is not always the dress that is immodest, but sometimes the hearts of those who look upon it.

But this is not a diatribe, remember. Just a few words on modesty, since this issue has come up, again, on email lists.

The few words?

Well, I agree with ~ And Sometimes Tea ~

We'll just agree to say, "We should dress modestly," and leave the details up to the individual properly-formed conscience, the person's spiritual adviser, and the person's spouse/mother/other close friend who can be trusted to tell the person if he/she is venturing out dressed like a gigolo/tart.

Maybe. On that last bit.


Chris said...

I have been amazed at how aware my children are of immodesty. The ch'n and I have been out and I am simply unaware of someone who is showing a lot of skin in areas that are better kept a mystery but the children will nudge me and say things like "Mum, did you see that?" Their conscience seems to be intrinsic. I wonder as we get older do we become desensitized to immodesty/immorality?

Greg said...

It's an interesting point, too, that rules of modesty almost always are applied to women. If you see a guy walking around without a shirt and wearing only a pair of shorts you would say he was inappropriately dressed (and scungy, daggy, etc!), but if a girl wore a shorter skirt and midriff top, ie more clothing than the guy, she would be described as immodest.
Very unfair.

Beate said...

Thank you Greg - that definitely came through in the blog linked by Red Cardigan, which made me...well...see red! I heard a lot of commentary about the olympic volleyball players, but nary a whisper about Michael Phelp's pants...

Moreover, I've come to notice that men who look at women inappropriately tend to look at any woman inappropriately, no matter what she's wearing.

Leonie said...

Wow, very true, Beate.