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Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
#1

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
Many sufficiently conservative Christians and especially Muslims advocate for strict female modesty, and when challenged on it, the argument I tend to hear is that it protects women from would-be rapists and similar threats.  Depending on the believer's particular beliefs, that may in fact be the genuine intention behind these rules.  But even this fairly well-meaning justification is problematic for three reasons.

1)   It's at least somewhat condescending, implying that women are inherently less able to take care of themselves than men.
2)   It's unequal.  While there may be a few provisions for male modesty in Abrahamic scripture (I don't know for sure), it is not given nearly the same focus as female modesty.
3)   It makes women at least partially responsible for men's behavior.

While the first two, especially #1, are likely rather obvious, but I think it's worth giving that third problem a bit more attention.  Once again, taking a portion of men's responsibility for their own behavior and thrusting it onto women's shoulders may not be the underlying intent, but that is, I believe, the inevitable effect of strict female modesty standards (at least in the absence of comparable dictates regarding male modesty).  Much or all of the victim-blaming that still takes place with regards to sexual assaults is most likely rooted in the notion that it is somehow incumbent upon women to make it easier for men to control themselves.  This idea often inculcates even those who are otherwise not particularly devout.

On the flip side, arguments against traditional modesty often seem to focus on women's freedom to dress comfortably and expressively.  While comfort and self-expression almost certainly do play a part, I think it's naive and/or disingenuous to insinuate that these are the only reasons for showing plenty of skin.  Sometimes, women really are just trying to attract potential romantic/sexual partners, and while no real relationship should be founded on looks alone, there's nothing wrong with physical sex appeal serving as the initial attention-grabber.  Here's the point that I think needs to be made more often: just because someone deliberately dresses in a way to catch the eye of potential mates does not mean that they've suddenly forfeited any of their prerogative to be selective.  In fact, when has anyone ever sought any erotic companionship without having at least some personal criteria that potential takers have to meet, whether they were advertising or not?

The advertising metaphor is useful, I think.  Do we have laws against shopkeepers putting their best products in the store window just to avoid tempting robbers?  Do such proud displays automatically imply that the shopkeeper is offering anything for free?  If this hypothetical store is in fact robbed, is it really appropriate for people to say, "Well, I'm sorry it happened, but really, what did you expect with your merchandise on such blatant display in your window?"

So to any women who still feel beholden to traditional modesty standards, I say this. We're big boys. Most of us can control ourselves just fine, and those that can't aren't worth your time anyway. So dress how you like, and if a man won't treat you with the respect that you still deserve, that's entirely his problem, not yours. And of course, much of what I just said applies to both sexes and all orientations.
The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths. - Carl Sagan
Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν τῇ φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστὶν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις. - Κᾱ́ρολος Σήγανος


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#2

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
I agree with all or almost all or much of what you said. Only that you aren't realizing other potential factors and reasons. I will present those later.
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#3

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
Judaism also advocates for modesty in women’s dress, but doesn’t advocate specifically for modesty in men’s attire.
In Judaism, a man has a responsibility to avoid interacting and looking at women who distract him to a point where he might feel so inclined as to touch. Each party has their own kind of responsibility to prevent unwanted advances.

A woman's seuxalty is in how she carries herself, what her body language is saying, and the eye-contact she makes. Women can dress modestly and also expressively; the choice is hers. Some women want to convey, “I’m religious, this is my culture, follow the rules of my culture… but while you’re at it, go ahead and check out my ass.” Other women are saying, “I’m not here as eye-candy, I’m here for business only.”

These women are all dressed modestly by Jewish standards. I don't think raising the skirt line or shortening the sleeve length by a few inches was going to make a huge difference.

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#4

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
(12-07-2018, 06:29 PM)Aliza Wrote: A woman's sexualty is in how she carries herself, what her body language is saying, and the eye-contact she makes. Women can dress modestly and also expressively; the choice is hers. Some women want to convey, “I’m religious, this is my culture, follow the rules of my culture… but while you’re at it, go ahead and check out my ass.” Other women are saying, “I’m not here as eye-candy, I’m here for business only.”

Just in cause you thought otherwise, I didn't mean to suggest that modesty and expressiveness were necessarily mutually exclusive.  Also, are you describing your own perspective on female sexuality and modesty or a common Jewish perspective (or both)?  It's a bit unclear here.
The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths. - Carl Sagan
Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν τῇ φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστὶν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις. - Κᾱ́ρολος Σήγανος


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#5

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
So this whole modesty thing is something that has always gotten on my nerves lol. Maybe it's because I'm originally from Brazil or something, but I have no problem with the human body and with showing the human body in a respectable way. I'm not saying people should go out in thongs or anything, obviously, but I see nothing wrong with wearing short shorts and tank tops on a hot day, wearing a small bikini to the beach/pool, or wearing a sexy (but classy) little dress to a bar.

I believe in the virtue of purity and chastity, but I feel like all this fuss about covering up the human body actually does the opposite - it paints the picture that human beings (particularly women) are sexual objects and occasions of sin that must be covered up. It is dehumanizing in the same way as the opposite extreme (pornography) is - making people out to be mere sexual objects. Aren't BOTH of these extremes the opposite of innocence? Of purity? That's why I have an issue with this overly fixation on "modesty".

I also feel the same way about people now a days fussing about children being naked or even little girls showing their bare chest. When I was a toddler my parents took me to the beach naked, and there was nothing to be thought of it. I was an innocent baby/child, and being naked was a completely innocent thing. My body wasn't anything sexual. But now a days, people make a huge fuss about babies being seen naked or little baby girls being topless. It's like the innocence of it is being taken away.

As the biblical saying goes, "to those who are pure, everything is pure. To those who are impure, everything is impure."
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#6

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
(12-07-2018, 04:41 PM)Glossophile Wrote: So to any women who still feel beholden to traditional modesty standards, I say this.  We're big boys.  Most of us can control ourselves just fine, and those that can't aren't worth your time anyway.  So dress how you like, and if a man won't treat you with the respect that you still deserve, that's entirely his problem, not yours.  And of course, much of what I just said applies to both sexes and all orientations.

AMEN to this!! And thank you. My husband feels the same way.
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#7

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
My grandfather from my mom side, said, if people stayed as intended (Adam and Eve didn't eat of the tree), we can all even sit near each other without clothes and it would be no problem. I believe he was right in that regard.

And I would even add on top of that, if it wasn't for Gog and Magog, there would be perhaps be no need of it. But this is to protect family in summary, when, I swear by God, if we turn on our backs, it's not only the case great chaotic oppression will happen, and not it's only the case Churches Synagogues, etc, will all be destroyed by Gog and Magog, but it's the case, that they will even break blood ties and family structure for a very long time, and things will get really bad.


Hijaab is but a weapon immunization from God to their plans. I will get into this.

I will soon try articulate factors and prove it by the context of where veiling and covering the hair is talked about (the Two Surahs). But I have to talk about these two Surahs and their place in Quran and some of the key verses in them.

I can tell you my own ideas or I can try to show what Quran says are the reasons. I find the latter is helpful, while the former no one is required to take seriously.
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#8

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
I don't think this is about individuals and their level of modesty dressing but what the A. religions (not all currently) have taught and enforced regarding women dressing modestly. If you think they're not doing it, think again. 

And I'm concerned with the Titus definition of "pure".
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#9

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
The word Hijaab in Quran is used with respect to the light and never with respect to the word that is used for anything that starts from covering the head, that is suppose to cover everything except what is apparent which is the face hands, and feet.  In this case, it doesn't have to be a single piece of clothing, but can refer to the attire. The word there is a different word that is not ambiguous as veil, but literally means "what covers the hair on the head". I have no doubt if Quran used the word "veil" it would be disputed to this day on whether or not, we are required to cover the hair. 

Brief account of the two Surahs:

The light (the Noor)
The Ahzab


Some observations about these two Surahs:

1] The most controversial teachings of Quran are found in there.
2] The right of the Prophet and the issue of people doubting him or treating him like a normal human as opposed to highly exalting him and revering him, is discussed like no other.
3] Both remind about all past Prophets but don't discuss a particular thing about Prophetic lives, except Moses being attributed evil by his people near the end of Suratal Ahzab, but that was more to not to do the same.




Among the controversial things in light is the lashing punishment - which seems very harsh. And something to note about Suratal Ahzaab is the degree God went out of his way to say that adopted sons are not like normal sons to the extent he commanded his Prophet to marry a person that the Prophet didn't want to marry only due to fear of the propaganda that can ensue from the people and feared God in that regard, but when he commanded his Prophet, as Prophet only fears for the sake of God and his fear all stems to please God, he did as what is commanded despite the propaganda that would ensue in people's eyes and doubts created in people's eyes.

It's in the two Surahs that also the Prophet is emphasized to be a light more heavily and are linked by two parables of being lantern of light and somewhere else in Quran, it's emphasized there is a HIJAB between those who don't believe in the next world and Prophet when Quran is recited.

In Suratal Ahzaab it said the purpose of the Hijaab is to distinguish between a slave and a free women. This means if one is free from the darkness of Iblis, it's like putting a badge and showing that we are free from his influence.


This is to distinguish, so that believers, easily can know, hey this person has defeated their dark desires and is free from being enslaved to Satanic desires as far as this issue goes.


The word Jahiliya also occurs in this Surah, Suratal Ahzab, and so there is a part of the most established Du'a munajatal Shabaniya "whoever follows you (o God) is other then enslaved"


It maybe a woman wearing a hijab has dark desires and a woman who doesn't, does not, but this would be akin to one wearing a false badge and one wearing a true badge.


The men and women in the light Surah (suratal noor) are told to also caste down their eyes.



At the end, trusting the wisdom of the Prophet and not doubting the Prophet, and the distinction of those who treat him like a normal human to those who revere him as a light from God where God's name is remembered, is emphasized in these two surahs



It seems like one of the many things Hijaab is suppose to do, is be a way of claiming, "I am free from Satan's influence as far as sexual desires go".


The two Surahs also talked about the evil of attributing believers evil they didn't do or have no proof for, and so this one purpose.  To remove all doubts surrounding the believers.


These Surahs also contrast the time of ignorance of the light where as the light was acknowledge but all sorts of ugly behaviours sexually were allowed, to now, when these actions would not be accepted.


The Hijaab then is a display that one reveres the Prophet and trusts him. 

It's not meant to be a rule that non-Muslims see, and say, well, Hijaab obviously makes sense, let me clothe myself with that.  

With the subject of light, it's also a symbolic perpetual ritual just as eating halal is perpetual ritual that shows we rely on only God's names as leaders, the same women were suppose to carry this perpetual display of God's veiling from others, and that we have to earn closeness and intimacy to God.


In this regard, that is exactly why it was called Hijaab and Imams (as) emphasizing "God loves to be veiled, and loves the (females) who veil themselves".

In this regard, they take on a majestic display of God's way and emphasize a trait of God with respect to his servants. 

The symbolic nature would annoy people only if they can't stand women covering their bodies. As such, God also made it a way to distinguish between the free from Satanic sexual desires and believers.

And it would annoy them so much - that they will try to their downfall - make society leave it. And by doing so they would go the opposite end, and make sexual deviant behaviour acceptable and have no fear to God in this regard.

In contrast, believers would trust God's command, and obey the Prophet and believe in wisdom.

Halal food doesn't have any meaning outside of the paradigm of holy books. It's the same with Hijaab and God's veil. It's symbolically linked but also in a way, that will force a division and will make in a divide that God will distinguish between that as he seals the revelations and ends Prophethood, the free and enslaved.


It's no wonder - France and Quebec ban it.  Sexual deviance there is ultra high.
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#10

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
(12-07-2018, 04:41 PM)Glossophile Wrote: Many sufficiently conservative Christians and especially Muslims advocate for strict female modesty, and when challenged on it, the argument I tend to hear is that it protects women from would-be rapists and similar threats.  Depending on the believer's particular beliefs, that may in fact be the genuine intention behind these rules.  But even this fairly well-meaning justification is problematic for three reasons.

Is this from the same "Deity" that couldn't manage a Commandment about not raping women?
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#11

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
(12-07-2018, 08:48 PM)MysticKnight Wrote: In Suratal Ahzaab it said the purpose of the Hijaab is to distinguish between a slave and a free women. This means if one is free from the darkness of Iblis, it's like putting a badge and showing that we are free from his influence.

This is to distinguish, so that believers, easily can know, hey this person has defeated their dark desires and is free from being enslaved to Satanic desires as far as this issue goes
[...]
It maybe a woman wearing a hijab has dark desires and a woman who doesn't, does not, but this would be akin to one wearing a false badge and one wearing a true badge.
[...]
It seems like one of the many things Hijaab is suppose to do, is be a way of claiming, "I am free from Satan's influence as far as sexual desires go".

Why are such desires necessarily "dark"?  And why aren't sexually virtuous men called upon to wear analogous "badges"?  Perhaps more importantly, whatever sinful desires may be found in a woman, would analogous desires in a man be considered equally sinful?  If not, then you fall pray to an insidious double standard.

(12-07-2018, 08:48 PM)MysticKnight Wrote: The Hijaab then is a display that one reveres the Prophet and trusts him.

The more you demand reverence, the less you deserve it.

(12-07-2018, 08:48 PM)MysticKnight Wrote: The symbolic nature would annoy people only if they can't stand women covering their bodies. As such, God also made it a way to distinguish between the free from Satanic sexual desires and believers.

And it would annoy them so much - that they will try to their downfall - make society leave it. And by doing so they would go the opposite end, and make sexual deviant behavior acceptable and have no fear to God in this regard.
[...]
It's no wonder - France and Quebec ban it.  Sexual deviance there is ultra high.

Again, why are sexual desires so readily associated with Satan?  Yes, sexuality can be mishandled, but there is nothing intrinsically sinister or decadent about it.  It's just part of being human, and I think we deny that at our peril.  I'm curious.  How would you define "sexual deviance"?  For me, healthy and ethical sexual behaviors are defined by five basic principles:

1)   Consent - All participants must engage voluntarily and without undue pressure. (Don't rape.)
2)   Age - All participants must be sufficiently mature as to give fully informed consent uninfluenced by any age-related power differentials (Don't exploit minors.)
3)   Non-Relatedness - No participants may be so closely related as to produce significant risk of inbreeding-induced defects if the act were to produce offspring. (No incest.)
4)   Responsibility - All participants should take precautions proportional to the anticipated risks and their potential effect on their lives. (Be safe.)
5)   Fidelity - The act must not violate any commitments between one or more participants and one or more non-participants. (Be faithful.)

I could add a sixth, more general principle of doing no harm, but as far as I'm concerned, that applies to everything and so would be redundant.  Notice the absence of many traditional factors.  At no point do I make reference to the number of people involved, their genders, or their orientations.  Even the Fidelity principle only applies insofar as exclusivity is expected by the relevant non-participants.  For instance, if you're married, but your spouse has made it clear that it's an "open" marriage, then an extramarital dalliance isn't cheating.
The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths. - Carl Sagan
Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν τῇ φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστὶν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις. - Κᾱ́ρολος Σήγανος


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#12

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
What keeps the family unit alive, has to be emphasized, for it's the parents who raise a family with genuine care, and it's already complicated as is with two trying to agree how to steer their family on course. As I made clear, all plans, are to cut off the sacred family bonds, and eradicate it.

Jealousy is a natural factor, a man wants a woman for himself and a woman wants a man for himself. In the past, sometimes, due to a lot of orphans and the need to take care of them, it was allowed with knowledge women outnumbered men, due to men dying in battles, to take more then one wife.

It's not ok in all almost all situations to take more then one wife. It's devastating to the woman, who has to share her husband, and it's act of injustice if her permission is not sought in all that and so if there is any fear of breaching justice - it should not be acted upon.

The emphasis of parents, and what parents are, is foundational.

While Muta which is a form of an oath which gives right to a woman and a woman a right to a man, is allowed, it's marriage that is preferred and it's emphasized if we are patient and do marriage, it's better, but situationally, these days, society is such that it's better most youths do muta then not.

Muta allows dating or a relationship but it adds responsibility if any kids ensue, really, that the child will be taken care of and be recognized for their true parents they have.

Thankfully, Muta was discouraged in the past as a norm, so that the norm is marriage that children are born into and not just a sanctioned relationship that is recognized by God and society, but the wisdom of it can now make it a norm in these days, in these times, in which safe sex is possible.


As for going beyond these two: it's going unnecessarily into I want everyone and everything I Can touch.

The relationship and being a mirror to one another is important, and being reflection of one another is important.

You make it a free for all, and the family unit will eventually die off.

From open marriages, it will shift to multi-multi marriages, maybe where a group of 10 men and 10 women agree to regularly have sex with each other their whole lives... They might even all save up for a big mansion and raise whatever children come out...

Everything if let loose, you open up other gateways to other norms being broken, and desire being what is preferred over guidance when not condemned, and rules not enforced, it will eventually destroy the family unit.
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#13

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
I would consider "dark" when a desire doesn't accord to reason and the values it knows are better.
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#14

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
(12-08-2018, 01:30 AM)MysticKnight Wrote: It's not ok in all almost all situations to take more then one wife.  It's devastating to the woman, who has to share her husband, and it's act of injustice if her permission is not sought in all that and so if there is any fear of breaching justice - it should not be acted upon.

I see nothing really wrong with polygamy as long as two conditions are met.  First, it should be an option for both genders.  If men can have multiple wives if they so choose, then women should be allowed to have multiple husbands if they so choose.  Most historical examples of polygamous societies failed in precisely this regard, and that's what made it immoral, not the institution itself.  Second, all spouses must be aware of and consent to the arrangement.  Of course, most people (at least in the West) prefer exclusive, one-on-one relationships and marriages, which is why an expectation of mutual monogamy tends to be tacitly assumed in a romantic/sexual relationship unless otherwise agreed.  

(12-08-2018, 01:30 AM)MysticKnight Wrote: Thankfully, Muta was discouraged in the past as a norm,  so that the norm is marriage that children are born into and not just a sanctioned relationship that is recognized by God and society, but the wisdom of it can now make it a norm in these days, in these times, in which safe sex is possible.

And why does God have such arbitrary standards for what he will and will not sanction/recognize?

(12-08-2018, 01:30 AM)MysticKnight Wrote: You make it a free for all, and the family unit will eventually die off.

Objection.  Bald assertion not in evidence.  Citation(s) needed.

(12-08-2018, 01:30 AM)MysticKnight Wrote: From open marriages, it will shift to multi-multi marriages, maybe where a group of 10 men and 10 women agree to regularly have sex with each other their whole lives... They might even all save up for a big mansion and raise whatever children come out.

And that would automatically be bad because...?  The only real danger I would anticipate there would be that a youth raised in that environment might accidentally break a few partners' hearts due to naively assuming that any relationship he/she enters would be as open as the one(s) his/her unorthodox family has.  However, this is fairly easy to prevent.  When each kid reaches a certain age, the parents (and co-parents) need to make sure he/she knows how unusual their family is and that any partners they engage with are likely to expect exclusivity unless other terms are clearly and openly discussed.  Of course, this assumes that the kid wouldn't have long figured that out already, given that as soon as they step outside of their home, they're almost certainly immersed in a culture that takes monogamy for granted.  

(12-08-2018, 01:30 AM)MysticKnight Wrote: Everything if let loose,  you open up other gateways to other norms being broken, and desire being what is preferred over guidance when not condemned, and rules not enforced, it will eventually destroy the family unit.

Not if we agree on a universal, foundational moral axiom, which I would argue that all of humanity already does, even if only semi-consciously.  Those norms that promote and/or protect the well-being of sentient organisms will have nothing to fear.  Those that are shown to cause unnecessary suffering will rightfully be deprecated.  Neutral norms may or may not persist depending on the whims of history.  The trick is getting people to explicitly recognize that core moral goal and more objectively evaluate actions relative to it, and much progress has been made in that regard. In fact, it's arguably a key part of the secular humanist cause.

So sorry, but your tired, trite "slippery slope" argument won't work here.
The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths. - Carl Sagan
Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν τῇ φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστὶν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις. - Κᾱ́ρολος Σήγανος


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#15

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
I don't have time anymore. I can't debate all these issues. I have to establish my career and not spend anymore time till I do, debating on forums.

Sorry Theists I have to bail on you. And Atheists, I'm sorry, I just don't have time anymore.
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#16

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty

In case anyone's interested, my original post has now formed the basis for the third video on my atheist YouTube channel.
The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths. - Carl Sagan
Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν τῇ φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστὶν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις. - Κᾱ́ρολος Σήγανος


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#17

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
4) The argument for modesty relies in part on the thought that men cannot control their urges.
Freedom isn't free.
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#18

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
(07-18-2020, 02:56 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: 4) The argument for modesty relies in part on the thought that men cannot control their urges.

It is a fine line.

Men absolutely CAN control their urges; the notion that they can't is learned helplessness.

On the other hand, there is the practical fact that many (most?) men take very little responsibility for their behavior toward women. My advice to my daughter was that in the interest of safety she needed to understand that revealing dress or flirtatious behavior is seen by many men as an open invitation / free pass and if she did not want to constantly manage unwanted advances she might want to keep it toned down. I think she ended up doing a pretty good job in that department. She dresses and acts in a pleasing and attractive yet modest way.

I also made the point that it's ultimately more alluring to leave some things a mystery. Let the men you are intimate with discover your body more gradually, it's more interesting that way.

I feel that modern pop culture has evolved in such a way that women are taught that there is no such thing as too-revealing clothing and that one's choice of clothing or style or carriage is 100% irrelevant to human interaction around sexuality. I don't think that's smart. But them I'm a guy that hails from the 1950s, so what do I know.
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#19

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
(07-19-2020, 03:04 AM)mordant Wrote:
(07-18-2020, 02:56 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: 4) The argument for modesty relies in part on the thought that men cannot control their urges.

It is a fine line.

Men absolutely CAN control their urges; the notion that they can't is learned helplessness.

On the other hand, there is the practical fact that many (most?) men take very little responsibility for their behavior toward women. My advice to my daughter was that in the interest of safety she needed to understand that revealing dress or flirtatious behavior is seen by many men as an open invitation / free pass and if she did not want to constantly manage unwanted advances she might want to keep it toned down. I think she ended up doing a pretty good job in that department. She dresses and acts in a pleasing and attractive yet modest way.

I also made the point that it's ultimately more alluring to leave some things a mystery. Let the men you are intimate with discover your body more gradually, it's more interesting that way.

I feel that modern pop culture has evolved in such a way that women are taught that there is no such thing as too-revealing clothing and that one's choice of clothing or style or carriage is 100% irrelevant to human interaction around sexuality. I don't think that's smart. But them I'm a guy that hails from the 1950s, so what do I know.

I'm saying that one of the reasons for repressing women is the assumption that men cannot control their drives. That assumption is not true, but it is still used precisely to keep women in their place, so to speak.

In a very real sense, it's punishing women for holding false assumptions about men, which strikes me as very patronizing, not to mention repressive.
Freedom isn't free.
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#20

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
(07-19-2020, 03:04 AM)mordant Wrote: My advice to my daughter was that in the interest of safety she needed to understand that revealing dress or flirtatious behavior is seen by many men as an open invitation / free pass and if she did not want to constantly manage unwanted advances she might want to keep it toned down.

It's good advice for staying safe within current societal mores, but at the same time, it does little if anything to solve the underlying problem, and as I point out in my video, it comes at the cost of creating a problem of its own (i.e. victim-blaming).  The problem is indeed that many men perceive flirtation and/or revealing attire as a kind of carte blanche, and that's a serious problem.  The question is where do we focus our efforts to fix it.  In my view, if we really want to strike at the heart of the issue rather than slapping a Band-Aid on it that comes with some unfortunate side effects, it is men's attitudes, not women's wardrobes, that need to change. Encouraging women to wear high-neckline tops is giving a man a fish. Encouraging the next generation of young men not to confuse cleavage with consent is teaching a man to fish.
The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths. - Carl Sagan
Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν τῇ φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστὶν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις. - Κᾱ́ρολος Σήγανος


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#21

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
(07-19-2020, 03:04 AM)mordant Wrote: I feel that modern pop culture has evolved in such a way that women are taught that there is no such thing as too-revealing clothing and that one's choice of clothing or style or carriage is 100% irrelevant to human interaction around sexuality.

I don't think this is correct though it's based on a correct premise. I think we simply shifted the message a little bit. In traditional and very conservatice cultures, a young and beautiful woman is a sexual object and that's a bad thing because lust and sex is "bad"; she must dress conservatively to avoid the temptation and behave in such a way that nothing she does can possibly interpreted as alluring (yes this might be an impossible mission). In more modern culture, a young and beautiful woman is a sexual object and that's a good thing; she must show what she got and make it available to use in certain way. What has changed isn't what young and beautiful woman are or how they are perceived, but what they should do. Young and beautiful women are still relentlessly objectified, but in one she's a coveted treasure that must be hidden and in the other a valuable piece of merchandise that must shown around. It's just two different forms of sexism and objectification. The problem was never with the clothing or even the woman's demeanor, but with the complete lack of respect for women, especially young and beautiful women in that context, as equals.
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#22

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
Change of culture is slow work, but if anything is worth doing, it's that. 

I wonder how much of the behavior of certain men is taught and how much is an expression of anti-social issues. 
I told my sisters they didn't need to be worried about men, but beware the predators who hide in the crowd and see them for what they are. The damaged exceptions.
One of them had a stalker for a while, a boy with all the warning signs including an deeply problematic home-situation. She never had any problems with other boys/men, before or since. Just that one freakish exception.

I wonder what large scale difference we would see in how women are treated if mental healthcare was a higher priority. From the really damaged boys to the ones struggling with anger, depression, anxiety or propriety and have been told all their lives to simply "man up and ignore it". (everybody knows emotional problems go away if you ignore them and/or self-medicate with alcohol Facepalm  )

I talked with a few men a while back who were arguing that women should be more modest and abstinent. While also laying out their case that men should, and I quote; "tear up as many bitches as they can". Also, assert their dominance over other men through threats or violence. 
I'm not an expert but these did not seem like minds who could pass a standard mental health assessment. Their lack of ability to empathize was disturbing. 
Maybe I caught a particularly bad bunch... but I wonder. If you objectify other humans, any humans, are you mentally sound?
"The advantage of faith over reason, is that reason requires understanding. Which usually requires education; resources of time and money. 
Religion needs none of that. - It empowers the lowliest idiot to pretend that he is wiser than the wise, ignoring all the indications otherwise "
 - A. Ra
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#23

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
Hmm, in many western countries bare breasted women are common in everyday magazines and newspapers. Rape is less common there than here.
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#24

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
(07-19-2020, 02:43 PM)Dom Wrote: Hmm, in many western countries bare breasted women are common in everyday magazines and newspapers. Rape is less common there than here.

Interesting!  Do you have some peer-reviewed data supporting that?  I'm not doubting you personally, but it's a useful tidbit, and if I'm ever in a position to repeat it, I want to have something better than, "Some guy on the Internet said so" (no offense).

Also, I'm curious, are breasts as commonly fetishized in those countries as they are here?  If not, that might be informative as to what proportion of our erotic fascination with mammaries  (and I fully admit to being a "breast man" myself) is attributable to a simple "forbidden fruit" effect.
The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths. - Carl Sagan
Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν τῇ φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστὶν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις. - Κᾱ́ρολος Σήγανος


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#25

Articulating the Problems with Abrahamic Modesty
(07-19-2020, 03:37 PM)Glossophile Wrote:
(07-19-2020, 02:43 PM)Dom Wrote: Hmm, in many western countries bare breasted women are common in everyday magazines and newspapers. Rape is less common there than here.

Interesting!  Do you have some peer-reviewed data supporting that?  I'm not doubting you personally, but it's a useful tidbit, and if I'm ever in a position to repeat it, I want to have something better than, "Some guy on the Internet said so" (no offense).


Not looking for that on this sunny Sunday morning. But pictures of magazines with bare breasted women should be very easy to find, as well as rape statistics in various countries.

Constant, casual exposure lessens the excitement such pics may produce in less permissive societies.
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