Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sex and modesty and why you had better never tell my daughter to cover her shoulders.

First, a video that is well worth your time:

"We raise our little boys to view their bodies as tools to master their environments; we raise out little girls to view their bodies as projects to constantly be improved. What if women started to view their bodies as tools to master their environment?"

I would argue that an obsession with modesty is another side of the same coin. When we emphasize the overbearing importance of modesty for girls we are teaching them that their value is tied to their bodies and the way they display them.

When you teach a young girl to dress not to please herself but to please the men around her (either by being sexy or by not being sexy), you are telling her that men are the most important piece of that puzzle while she is a secondary part—an object to be acted upon. That she is not the master of her own destiny, but walking pornography. Within the paradigm of modesty she learns that her role is to be just sexually attractive enough without crossing whatever arbitrary line the men in her world have drawn. That is her purpose in this world: to present herself the way that will most please those around her.

Friends, we can do better than this.

And heaven help us, we had better. Because not too long from now my own little precious girl will be born into this world which is filled to the brim with messages telling her she is an object, a thing. That she must look a certain way to attract men. And I will not have her buying that message. I will not see her basing her worth on her butt or her hair or how covered her knees are. I want her to feel good about every part of herself, but most of all I want her to know she is not a tool but the master of her environment.

I take these daily shots and vomit all my food up and give up any semblance of physical comfort for nine months to nourish and grow her little body not because I want her to be beautiful but because I want her to be strong. Her little soul needs a body to navigate this world as she changes it for the better, so I lend her my own to get started. And if there ever is any value attached to my physical body, this is it. In this moment when I am stretched out and bulbus and roughly as graceful as a duck, my body, as it helps create her body, is more powerful than it has ever been.  

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