Modesty: Whole vs. Parts

"It's my body. I can do what I want with it. It's a man's fault if he doesn't have the control in his mind to respect me, regardless of what I wear." These are some of the statements many women give in response to the question of modesty. Addressing the importance of modesty, especially to young women, can ease the storm of today's sex-crazed culture in which many people find themselves drowning. Katie Hartfiel addresses this issue in herĀ article, "Modesty: What's the point?"

Hartfiel begins by addressing the correlation and today's discrepancy between the respect that women desire and how they present and carry themselves (their modesty). She states, "While we deserve respect, we might not always get it. In fact, we might even do things that don't ask for respect, but rather invite others to treat us disrespectfully." What is essential in enabling women to understand the incredible impact of modesty is to understand how vastly different the male brain functions. Hartfiel addresses studies that analyze male psychology: "Brain scans have shown that when men see provocative pictures of women they relate the images with action words that are connected to function and use." Thus, men are led to objectifying women they see in this way. When shown pictures of fully clothed women, however, male test subjects referred to verbs implying respect, and Hartfiel concludes, "They more easily viewed them as a person," rather than mere parts of a whole.

Hartfiel continues, "The irony of these feminist times is that the culture claims to want women to be respected, equal and strong, yet so often the world portrays women in a way that serves lust and use." Women have within them a beautiful dignity, which they nearly eradicate when they think they need to present themselves in a scandalous, "sexy" way in order to be loved. By presenting an inner-confidence and self-respect rather than parts of their body, women and men can call each other into relationships based on true respect, dignity and love.