A couple of weeks ago the wonderful Christine Marietta shared this amazing article with me. It details all the ways the modesty doctrine negatively affected the author. From making her afraid to work out lest doing a squat cause an unwanted erection in a nearby male, to contributing to her eating disorder. It is a very interesting read regardless of where you fall on this issue.
The author also wrote another amazing article on how the modesty doctrine hurts men as well. I can't claim to know how men are affected by all of this, but I think she makes some excellent points.
As a teenager I completely believed in the modesty doctrine. I bought all of my clothes two sizes too big. When that didn't stop men from yelling about my ass from their cars, I began to dress like a man. I thought I was doing it all right because there was no possible way to discern a single curve in my over-sized In-and-Out t-shirt and basketball shorts. The truth is, this didn't stop the yelling either, no amount of, "modesty" was ever enough. Then I suffered from my own eating disorder. I watched as my curves slowly disappeared, thankful for a moment, and then quickly back to grabbing handfuls of, "fat" wishing it would disappear as well. Like the author says, the only acceptable body was a sexless one.
Then one day I decided to give up. I began to wear what I wanted, which is still on the conservative side of dressing. For the first time I felt that my body, my mind, my spirit, and the other aspects of me were attractive and enough. The judgment and opinions of others lost the power to define myself and my body.
I will leave you with this quote from the author, "The modesty doctrine is a game that no one ever wins. It perpetuates fear and contempt in men. It oppresses women. It needs to stop"