I've been hearing about conservative Christian types who appoint themselves the modesty police for young women. This is nothing new, of course, except that now there is a venue for it on the internet, with all the advantages and disadvantages. Anyway, someone recently posted a blog post ostensibly addressed to the girls on her sons' Facebook feeds. I'm not going to post the link, but you can view the epic Jezebel smackdown here. Basically, she went on and on about how the girls were being horrible temptresses corrupting her boys by posting cute selfies on FB, but at the same time she posted lots of shirtless pictures of of her sons flexing their muscles. Uh, WTF?!?! Anyway, for some reason this really pissed me off, and judging by the amount of response it's gotten, I am not the only one.
I'm a cranky old biddy now and none of my selfies will make anyone get tempted, but there was a time about 30 years ago when I was one of those evil slutty teenage girls tempting the boys. It was the 80's and I spent lots of time wearing nothing more than short running shorts and running singlets which were mostly mesh with a nylon panel over the breasts. With no bra. The modesty police would hate that and certainly call me a slutty slut for that. Fortunately, there was no internet back then, and not very many conservatives out in Northern California. My mother had spent her adolescence getting lectured by the nuns about her clothing tempting the boys (the baggy cardigan story was the funniest - it was verboten simply because it was a sweater. Oh the horrors!!!) To her everlasting credit, she never said one word about either my fashion sense or the amount of skin I was showing, and let me make my own decisions about what I wore. She knew that I was wearing it because it was trendy and I liked it (and I did run a lot back then) and not because I was trying to tempt the guys. For the record, she did warn me about creepers and didn't let me run by myself and would follow me on her bike. But it was very clearly described as a matter of there being some bad older guys out there, not that I was luring everyone with my outfit or doing anything wrong. As a result, I came of age with the shocking opinion that people should wear what they want, and if other people didn't approve, it wasn't my problem. I still feel that way. All this slut shaming and puritanism is really making me cranky.
Now that I'm older, I do have my old biddy moments. Sometimes I catch myself disapproving of someone's outfits, but then I remember my itty bitty Dolfin shorts* and my mom not saying a word, and I STFU.
* There are pictures of me in my shorty shorts somewhere, but nothing is digital, so I will spare you the pictures of me as a dorky braless 14 year old.