Tag Archives: Attitude

Marketing’s Chump I am No Longer

‘Tis the Season to make consumers feel like they don’t have enough and wont be cool enough until they have it all. Can  modesty extend to our purchases and consumer habits?

Modesty(Dictionary.com)

–noun, plural -ties.

  1. the quality of being modest; freedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.
  2. regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress, etc.
  3. simplicity; moderation.

     

This holiday season, I’m aiming for #3. No over-buying, no over-spending. No useless chotchkie and doo-dads. And I don’t want them either. This Christmas I will embrace a season of simplicity and rebel against consumerism. Away goes the VISA or MasterCard. One well-chosen gift for the few who count.

But before that, I’m going to go and write some final exams.

Merry Christmas,

~CUC

Stay tuned for the post about my upcoming job interview.

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Aside

Ten minute video with three different muslim women. One is dressed in the secular fashion, one hijab and one niquab.

Mind Your Plate! Or Should You Mind His?

Mind Your Plate is an Ortho-ism referring to fasting that I first heard on the Our Life in Christ pod-cast. Fasting is part of pastoral discretion. There are guidelines that, in general, everyone will follow. Then there are those who, under the direction of their priest, wont follow all or any of the general rules.

The question: Who is responsible for a man’s wandering mind, you or him?

There are a couple of schools of thought when it comes to why we cover and who’s responsible for  lusty thoughts caused by various modes of dress. At the extreme ends of the spectrum the theories are:

  1. Men are entirely responsible for their own thoughts regardless of what a woman does not cover.
  2. Women are entirely responsible for instigating men’s inappropriate thoughts – so cover up.

My personal thoughts fall somewhere in the middle.

I think ultimately you cannot control or prevent men from being the visually motivated creatures they are.  Denying men are visual creatures is disingenuous. It is not a slight or insult to men. It is a simple fact. Nothing more and nothing less. Nor can you control or prevent any particular thought or thought process.

You cannot hold a woman entirely responsible for the thoughts or actions of a man regardless of her clothing. However, going out barely dressed will elicit certain reactions and she should be cognisant of that fact. It is not that she deserves cat-calls or that she should be assumed to be “easy” but that we must all take responsibility for how we interact with the world.

Two clichés come to mind: “Actions speak louder than words” and “We teach people how to treat us.” In the context of our clothing and men (though I suppose women really should be included for the sake of political correctness) this means our clothing shows the world what we think of ourselves and how we expect to interact with the people around us.

A scantily clad woman, perhaps unfairly, indicates that she has little to offer. She offers the world what little she believes she possesses. A woman who is more modestly attired demonstrates her pride in herself. She knows that she has much to offer the world; they can enjoy her company if they demonstrate their respect towards her.

There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they would mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking.  ~Virginia Woolf

I do not get dressed in the morning thinking about whether or not the men of the general public will be staring at me. I do think about if I’m going to flop out of my clothes or if I’m going to be comfortable with the amount of coverage. I do think about showing too much.

The way I dress, or any other woman dresses, cannot excuse the inappropriate behaviour of some men. We must all be responsible for ourselves. But I expect respect, and not to be treated as a “pretty girl.” I, therefore, dress the part.

It is a difficult issue. There is no “good answer.” I think as long as there are people we will run into these kinds of issues. I think that humans will continue to use their bodies and minds to manipulate and control in certain situations.

Modesty : It’s Shades of Grey

Interesting fact: When women started wearing the male-inspired doublet pictured on the left, many considered it immodest. The one pictured right was exclusively a female styled garment preserving the very definite gender differences. It didn’t matter that a very large portion of cleavage was showing. (Both portraits are of Elizabeth I at different points in her life.)

There are many different interpretations and definitions of modesty. Many books have been written. Debates have raged. Over time interpretations and definitions have changed and evolved.

As far as I’ve seen thoughts on modesty can fall into two basic categories: Coverage and Attitude. You can ascribe to either or both. Coverage, of course, is mostly concerned with clothing. To what degree should someone cover themselves? How tight or loose should a modest garment be? Attitude is a catch-all for everything that isn’t clothing.

Coverageis less simple than it may seem on the surface. It becomes more complicated when you are trying to develop a personal standard as opposed to following a community standard. For me coverage does mean avoiding clothing that is too tight or too tight for a certain situation. I wear skirts all the time. I don’t own pants. (Read my entry Put Some Pants On! to find out more.) I am covered to the knee, generally my elbows are covered and you won’t see my cleavage. I cover my hair in public, but bangs are seen fairly often. (I suppose this counts as cleavage, albeit, hair cleavage.) This is true for every time I step outside my house or there is an unrelated man in my house.

I am currently undecided about my swimwear situation. Before I started covering my hair I had a one-piece swimsuit that is commonly worn by fitness swimmers. I haven’t been swimming in three years or more. (I plan on a post lamenting the disappointing shopping trip.)

I decided on my personal standards after much research and experimentation. It was easy for me to decide to adopt something close to the Tzniut rules on dress. Being an Orthodox Christian, we commonly hear about our Jewish roots. There is respect for what came before. It is hard for me not to respect something that has been around for such a long time. The reason I don’t follow the Tzniut dress code exactly is not a fully formed decision. I think it is more a matter of ease and comfort. I cover my elbows because I feel more secure. I’m not sure why I feel more comfortable exposing my knee caps than my elbows. It just came to be that way. I don’t work to cover my collar-bone but the majority of my shirts nearly make it. My chest is fully covered, so I’m happy. Deeper necklines are easily filled with a scarf drapped overtop or a high-necked shirt beneath. I haven’t worn a turtle-neck in years. The one thing I am conscious about is bringing too much attention to my chest. (I’ve never been considered small) One thing that can make you look like you have a ski slope is a single coloured, turtle neck. No Thanks.

I have facial piercings and don’t feel these are immodest. I think people are just a tad confused. (post on piercings coming up!)

Attitude is an all together different matter. I swear, have been known to drink and am painfully blunt. These could be considered immodest. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree. Though I wouldn’t whole-heartedly agree either.

What I do attempt to avoid is talking about certain things in mixed company. Things like birth control, the female cycles (other women’s as well as mine), hygiene (such as waxing), etc. The basic rule of thumb is if it is gender specific or sexual in nature then it is not something to be discussed in mixed company. When it’s ladies only, all bets are off.

These are my personal guidelines. I tend to struggle more with the attitude more than coverage. Attitude is easier to slip up with than coverage by far. It’s all a process.

What are your thoughts?