A few days ago I was featured on the website For Every Mom. I was truly flattered when they requested to share my piece “Are Breasts the New Shoulders“, but I was also nervous. When you have more of a platform you end up with more opposing views, which is fine. I was ready for some pushback to my post about cleavage. I even got a couple harsh responses when I wrote about my family living in a small space and was published on The Humbled Homemaker. That subject isn’t even controversial! So this time when the topic was modesty I knew I would have to put my big girl panties on and brave the negative comments. And by big girl panties I mean like 19th century knickers that go down to my knees, because that’s just how incredibly modest I am (read sarcastically).
Let me start by saying I HATE sexual crimes with every fiber of my being. I have been extremely outspoken about my stand against sex trafficking, pedophelia, the objectification of women, sexual abuse and rape. A long time ago a friend of mine used the word “rape” as a description casually in conversation. Not in the literal sense, but just like “Man this phone company is such a rip off. They are raping everybody with these charges”. My blood pressure rose and I had to speak out. We had a long talk about how wicked and atrocious rape is and why I don’t appreciate the word being tossed around lightly. I would be far less offended by a curse word than something so vulgar and disgusting as the concept of rape.
When a movie shows a rape scene I am completely repulsed by the movie itself and refuse to watch stuff with that kind of vulgarity. This is a non negotiable black and white issue for me. I don’t care if it’s a historical movie. I have said it before “When a story line includes a young child being molested that horrendous act can be implied without it having to be reenacted and displayed for all to see on the big screen and the same respect should be shown to women when it comes to rape”.
So you can see why I would get heated when people start throwing around the phrase “rape culture” anytime someone talks about modesty.
For example, I recently read an article about a girl who used to think wearing a one piece meant she had to be ashamed of her body, but she had a revelation of how veiling her beauty could be such a powerful freeing thing. I made a bet with myself about how many comments I would have to read before inevitably someone accuses the author of perpetuating a “rape culture”. Sure enough, I’m just a few comments down and BINGO they pull the rape culture card. There were several comments attacking this girls faith, opinions, and beliefs. People are telling her that because she believes that the way she dresses could possibly have an affect on a man’s thoughts, she is inadvertently stating that women are responsible for what men think/do and is condoning what rape is.
Sorry. But no. I refuse to accept that.
Not to sound like an old lady, but back in my day (like in the 90’s) you could choose to dress modestly/quote scripture and it might make you a nerd, or self righteous, or prudish… whatever. However it did not make you an advocate of rape! What is wrong with people!? The way a woman presents herself in no way means she deserves to be abused, ever. Say what you want about my beliefs, but DO NOT even think about accusing me of being a proponent of rape.
Modesty is about being whole spiritually. It’s about respect for yourself and for those around you. It’s about honor, value, and love. It is placing a HIGH value on sexuality, seeing it as a sacred thing to be cherished. In it’s purest form modesty is the OPPOSITE of rape. Okay? Because rape degrades people. It steals power. It rips the soul out of all that is lovely and good about sex. Rape is full of pride, lust, greed and is from the pit of Hell. That’s an understatement.
Have women ever been oppressed in the name of religion? Yes. Has modesty ever been used to shame someone and make them feel less valued? Yes. But on the other side of the spectrum I feel like these days the women that are choosing modesty are like the modern day Joan of Arc. Watch out because you are about to be burned at the stake. Okay that’s an exaggeration, but you can certainly be bullied and wrongfully accused. Which is why I have decided that this is a choice I will not apologize for.
This modesty thing is an extremely complicated multileveled issue. I am certainly not trying to throw stones or make it a bigger issue than it is, but if a woman feels convicted about wearing leggings that shouldn’t warrant an angry backlash, and if a woman wants to vocalize her PERSONAL beliefs about the type of swimsuit she wears or if a school has a dress code for crying out loud, it should not be thrown into a stigma of RAPE CULTURE. Sorry, if the all caps looks angry. I am a little bit angry, because I hate rape SO SO SO much.
I will continue to defend my belief in modesty all the while fighting for justice on behalf of the victims of hanious sexual crimes. I can do both simultaneously showing honor to God and women everywhere.
I have chosen to embrace the Biblical approach to sexuality in the way that I feel the Lord has led me even when the world rages against it, and for that I make no apologies.