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.

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§ 18 Responses to I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition

  • ::hugs:: I think you worded your reply to her very well and very maturely.

  • lijuun says:

    I read a few of the responses on that community until I got sick. So are they angry because the site does too much (it’s repressing girls! Her back is to the camera!) or because it does too little (what about the boys? They’re just ignoring the boys!)? How can it be both?
    And it seems to me they are tolerant – as long as it isn’t anything that resembles Christianity. The mission statement of Moms for Modesty clearly expresses that, while the creator is Christian, this isn’t just for Christians. Seems to me that the sentiments say that modesty isn’t just a Christian thing, but they are offended that a Christian would dare say anything about how little girls are dressed. So modesty is a good thing, unless a Christian is pushing it? Wow. How very tolerant of them.
    I am not a mom, but I am often shocked at the way little girls are dressed and allowed to behave. There is one particular little girl at hockey games who wears tight pants and midriff-bearing tops and every time a Britney Spears or some such song comes on the loudspeakers, she stands up and dances provocatively. She turns to face the camera bay above her and wriggles her hips and rubs her hands all over her body and generally makes a fool of herself trying to get on the big screen. She sits in the front row, so she’s impossible to ignore. And she’s only about eight years old. It’s disgusting. And her parents just sit there. I am usually in my seat at an angle where I can’t see the spectacle, but every once in a while I witness it while coming back to my seat and I don’t know if I want to shake her and tell her to behave or smack her parents and tell them to be careful with their precious little girl. Kids grow up so fast, and she’s growing up even faster.
    Is it wrong of me to approve of a website that is working to try and change this? I do believe parents should crack down on the boys, too, but should I criticize Moms for Modesty because they focus on girls? No. That would be like saying a local food bank is bad because they don’t feed every hungry person in the world. Like if you can’t solve all problems, you shouldn’t even try to solve one.
    Rubbish.

  • DT says:

    I agree totally. I’m for anyone who wants to keep our children (boys and girls) from becoming sex objects, whether I agree with their total philosophy or not. You should see the firestorm I created by cross-posting this to .
    I’ve been accused of being a drama-whore by some (my words, not theirs) and disingenuous by others (their words, not mine) due to the inflammatory language I apparently used in my personal posts.
    Cannot win. But they are the minority, as I knew was the case, and overwhelmingly the women seem to feel the mod was out of line.

  • ladyfaith3 says:

    I just wanted to tell you that I saw the link and didn’t post at all but I added you to my friends list BECAUSE I agree with you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am no good at for seeing how others will respond and I am sorry you were met with hostility. There are a lot of feminists and varrious religions and reasons for being in the community. I only post about something when I have a personal question, that pertains to me, not others or religion.

  • bojojoti says:

    Geez! You posted a link, for heaven’s sake. Most adults can look at a link, especially if it pertains to the community, and figure out if it is beneficial to them personally without going postal.

  • is full of people who don’t need modest dress, because they never leave the house. Don’t worry about it.

  • spiritofjoy says:

    Hi there, can we be friends? I’m not very popular in certain modesty communities either. =)

  • DT says:

    Why certainly!
    I tend to make myself unpopular just about everywhere I go. It’s an unfortunate trait.

  • DT says:

    BTW, I must say you have some of the most interesting interests I have ever seen on LJ.
    You should be proud! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • singersdd says:

    “What the heck?” is what I say. I haven’t looked at the site you linked to, but I’m sure if you discount some of the philosophies she spouts, ya might find some patterns and advice you can use. Sheesh. What’s wrong with some of those people over there? If you ask me, they’re proving all the negative stereotypes so-called Christians have been accumulating of late.
    Wanna borrow my rolling pin, just in case?

  • Hi, can I add you? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m totally on your side with all this drama. *hugs*

  • DT says:

    Absolutely!

  • spiritofjoy says:

    Part of the problem over there is that a lot of the members get really aggressive if anyone talks about anything specifically Christian.

  • audhubillah says:

    Hi there
    I didn’t see anything wrong with your link. The view that modesty is more important for females than males isn’t sexist, it’s just realistic IMO.
    Anyway, I thought the “what about the boys?” criticism at was particularly hypocritical, considering the group is clearly for discussing women’s modesty only, judging by the community info.

  • frodo_esque says:

    Umm.. I saw nothing wrong with what you posted at all. One visit to a Britney Spears concert shows us that little girls are unfairly targeted by the clothing market when it comes to clothing that is highly sexualized, these folks were just looking for a reason to jump. I really enjoyed what bojo had to say, real adults don’t need to jump at something if they don’t agree with it.

  • Part of the problem over there is that a lot of the members get really aggressive if anyone talks about anything specifically Christian.

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