I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition
July 3, 2009 § 18 Comments
So, I posted a link on modest_style to a blog called “Moms for Modesty” thinking that other moms in the community would be appreciative of seeing other parents out there who were offended by the lack of decency in small children’s clothing. Boy was I wrong.
I decided to let it go, and not address each and every dissenting voice, because I didn’t want to argue over something so small. Better to just let it slide, and be much more careful about what I post in that forum. I did however post in my personal journal my dissatisfaction over the results of my posting.
Today, I found that the argument followed me to my own journal, apparently from one of the mods of the community. She posted the following reply in my personal journal:
If this is the way you feel perhaps you would be happier in another community.
The women who post at [info]modest_style dress the way they do because they respect themselves and other people, but we generally do not believe that women have an unequal responsibility in this area or that human beings of either gender do not know how not to look at things that they shouldn’t look at.
We also think that there are problems with the way some boys dress, particularly those who walk around with their underwear showing out of their pants, wear violent slogans on their clothing, proclaim themselves to be “pimps” and “porn stars”, go around in clothing that shouldn’t be seen off the beach in public and the like, and we are confused as to why “Moms for Modesty” wouldn’t feel that they have a responsibility to deal with this issue.
We are an egalitarian interdenominational interfaith community, not an evangelical Christian community. (The language that is being used seems evangelical Christian to me.) In general Jewish women (like me) who cover believe that we do it to preserve the intimacy of our personal relationships and ensure that people look at us first as human beings with a human intellect and spirit and soul. Muslim modesty laws also require that men cover their bodies as well as women. There is nothing wrong with you posting any link to the community, but expecting everyone to agree with it and not to criticise it may be a bit much, we like lively conversations.
Also, many of us are modest because we are feminists–we don’t appreciate social norms that offer the expectation we should be on display and constantly judged as much for our looks as our brains, when this isn’t the way men are treated. One way to do that is not to wear the short skirts and low necklines and wear clothing that covers as much of our bodies as a man’s equivalent clothing would–that is, long skirts and blouses in the office.
I replied with the following:
It’s interesting to me that unlike most of the other ladies, who simply ripped apart the link I posted, you have brought the fight to my door, on the post itself as well as here in my personal journal.
I chose not to argue the point there, since the overwhelming majority of sentiment seemed to be one that was anything but egalitarian, as so many pride themselves, and the forum claims.
It seems to me that the ability to “eat the meat and spit out the bones” is completely lost on many who have challenged the link I posted. It is not possible, seemingly, to say, “Yeah, the clothing choices available to our children are atrocious, I’m on board with anyone who opposes this,” and instead to pick apart the philosophies behind why they consider those things immodest.
I don’t care why you choose to dress modestly, many women all over the world dress in a modest manner for many many reasons, and just because they aren’t for the same “feminist” reasons you and many others claim doesn’t change the crux of the matter– that we all think it is better to cover.
The lack of tolerance and the indignation for the reasons why others feel it is important to cover is what disgusts me. It shows a complete lack of “tolerance”, “egalitarianism” “ecumenicism” and all those other wonderfully inclusive words you chose in your reply.
The hypocrisy, intolerance and cattiness of the replies is what offends me. And the fact that you have followed me to my own journal to tell me I don’t belong is truly offensive. I believe you do not speak for the rest of the group, as I have been a member of [info]modest_style for some time, and know that the women who are members of this community come from a wide array of backgrounds. I have never assumed that the women of the group are all “evangelical Christians” nor that we all choose modesty for the same reasons.
Thank you for inviting me to leave the group, and showing the true level of “tolerance” “egalitarianism” to which you truly prescribe. I will take your suggestion under advisement.
I am very angry, and offended over this whole turn of events.