Women's Issues

Jesus Freak: Conservative Christian Modesty Is Damaging Young Women

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Jesus Freak: I am a Christian mom who was raised in a fundamental Christian home. I have questioned my beliefs and have come to love myself and God on my own terms. I’m raising my kids the same way.

Modesty is such a hot button topic in the Christian community. I know from personal experience how much modesty and purity are crammed down the throats of every churchgoer, starting from a young age. While this may seem like a platform that makes sense to prevent horrors like teen pregnancy and STDs, it doesn’t. Glossing over the realities of sex and blaming serious issues, like sexual assault, on women for the way that they dress is never the answer.

As always, the conservative Christian modesty doctrine may not ring true for every church, but it is something I have been taught. Most people who have attended youth group in the past are likely to agree with this Reddit comment:

I actually caught a lot of flack at church growing up for pointing out that in the girl’s youth group we learned all about how to say no and when to stop situations from getting to sexual and the boy’s youth group never had a lesson on the subject. Modesty is about holding women accountable for male sexuality, someone please tell me how this isn’t misogynistic.

It would only make sense that this doctrine is often conveniently supported by Christian men. After all, if women are blamed for the modesty issue, then Christian men get off the hook. Again, this does not apply to all Christian men.

However, some Christian men embrace the modesty doctrine fully, expressed in spiritually-laced sexist statements like this:

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You may be shocked to learn that the comments above were all posted by the same man. I personally am glad that he is not in my social circle as his “Christ-like” manipulation of women is almost too much to bear. In my personal opinion, it is one thing to want to control women through the way they dress; it is quite another to pretend that God has sanctioned it.

Even worse is the clear double standard in the above poster’s social media posts. From his limited point of view, all of the responsibility lies on the shoulders of his “Christian sisters” to keep their legs to themselves and find Godly motivation in the way they dress. I’m even more sickened when he asks if Christian women would feel comfortable standing in front of Jesus in their clothing. This is judgmental, patronizing, and demeaning. God couldn’t care less about the clothes on your body compared to what is in your heart.

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