Monday, July 08, 2013

Female Empowerment via Classy Modesty

Whether you agree or disagree with the premise and/or solution, one has to admire a young, female MBA who sees a problem and provides a solution. Jessica Rey is known among many for her role on television as one of the White Power Rangers. Her new book, Decent Exposure, is causing a stir in the culture. Jessica's video is nine minutes long and well worth your time to watch.


Victorious said...

So what's the incentive for women to abandon the bikini and choose to cover up 6-8 more inches of her body?

The fact is, it really doesn't matter what she wears. Men will always imagine what's underneath. I heard that first-hand from a Christian man.

While on the surface, it may seem that modesty is the answer (to avoid the male brain from shutting down:) we know clothing solves nothing.

Victorious said...

Of the 1,100 women who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and were surveyed by Street’s team, 48.6 percent admitted to being sexually harassed and 22.8 percent admitted to being sexually assaulted – and in some cases raped – while serving in a war zone.

“Women in the armed forced are now more likely to be assaulted by a fellow soldier than killed in combat,” Newsweek’s Jesse Ellison wrote last year.

No bikinis in the military. Modesty no help apparently. :(

Anonymous said...

Women can't worry about what men are thinking about when we walk down the street. Women should dress like they wanted to be treated. I grew up being modest and will probably die that way. Women have changed in the last 100 years and it seems to be true that they wear less and less clothes but fashion does temp these young girls. I hope they will see some day that you get more respect from dressing more modernity then half naked. Also, I was in Iraq for 2 years straight and it is unfortunate that some soldiers and civilians on the bases would take advantage of a women because she is a war zone. I know that our father will take care of those men who rape women trying to do there jobs just like anyone else. It's not the clothes it's the situation.

R.A. said...

I think it's important to dress modestly simply out of self respect,


I also believe we live in a rape-culture that blames women for how men treat them. My personal experience with this is that as a young (12-13), pubescent, homeschool girl who wore super baggy t-shirts and baggy jeans, more men leered at me than as a confident, 31-year-old woman who dresses in a flattering manner. The more "modestly" I dressed, the more I was hit on and stared at by men well over my father's age. Which just confirms the age-old adage that men rape for power, not for sex. When I was young and dressing like it, I was naive. Bad men wanted to take advantage of that; they wanted something to control. Now that I am an adult and dress confidently, without shame about my body, I get about 75% less unwanted male attention.

This is what is wrong with our culture: men who feel like women are there to be manipulated and controlled. Not women wearing bikinins.

(Though as stated above, I do believe dressing decently - for men or women - is an issue of self-respect.)

Rex Ray said... we’re in the battle of the sexes. How do women like this thinking?

‘Spring—the time young men start thinking what women have all year.’

One experience I had with bathing suits.

I’d gotten serious about triathlons (I’ve won two in my age group) and told my kids I was going to wear a ‘Speedo’. They laughed their heads off.

My plan was sort of like the ladies having a wagon to take them to the water. I was going to wear coveralls to the water and after the swim put shorts over the Speedo for the bike and run, but these two women said: “We have to mark your number on your arms.”

I tied the arms around my waist, and they put my number on.

“We have to mark your calves.”

I bent over and pulled the legs over my knees but they don’t move. They had a worried look like I was going skinny-dipping.

“We have to mark your thighs.”

It was worse than having to cough for a medical exam.

I stood their like a statute while these women giggle so much they take forever.

Rex Ray said...

Another bathing suit story.

On the west cost of Mexico, my wife, sister, and her husband were under a shade umbrella a couple of hours while I was spear fishing. They anticipated my return surprise because two older Mexican women were in waist deep water—topless.

I had an air float on a 20 foot rope that I kept fish. These women didn’t know about the rope and brought it to me while I was still face down in the water. I forgot what the video said about my brain, but when I stood up, there five feet away, were the fattest old guys I ever saw in my life.

Rex Ray said...

There was much laughter from the beach.

Rex Ray said...

I have a bone to pick with you about, “Men will always imagine what’s underneath. I heard that first-hand from a Christian man.”


Sure, all men sin, but we don’t always have the same sin. A preacher told his congregation he watched so much pornography it almost caused a divorce. Now, I’d suspect he may undress women with his eyes, but not all men watch pornography. I don’t go around asking guys, but I know I don’t.

Would you agree with a preacher that got his money back from Wallmart after his watch went through a washing machine; and stated: “You all do it”?

I mean—he’s a Christian—right?

BTW, did you think my Monday July 1 6:40 AM comment asked Wade to marry me? I though I’d get a response even if something was said in fun.

Victorious said...

Hello Rex Ray,

I think his point was exactly the same as mine is...that women's clothing isn't really the issue.

Jesus recognized that sin originates in one's thoughts when He equated lust with adultery. Matt. 5:28

and.... "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, slanders. Matt. 15:19

And those words were spoken in a day when both men and women dressed very modestly and Paul's idea of modesty and discretion was the absence of gold, braided hair and expensive clothing.

There is a growing hostility toward women that is erroneously based on the premise that covering them, keeping them out of visual range, etc. is protection for them. In reality, it's based on hatred and resentment of the power they are attributing to them as the cause of sin and their own inability to control their thoughts. In other words, “out of sight; out of mind” just doesn't work.

We're trying to hold the wrong gender accountable in my opinion. Feel free to disagree... :)

Kristen said...

The issue is not whether men "think about what women have," in the spring or any other time of year. The question is how they think about it. Noticing that a woman is attractive is not lust. Noticing that she has a female body, or even appreciating the beauty of her body, is not lust. Jesus said (and the Greek text makes this clear) "Whoever looks on a woman in order to lust on her" was the one committing sin. Not the woman who was looked at, and not merely a man who happened to look-- but a man who looked with intent to lust (to think of her in terms of gratification of his sexual desire).

When a man decides to think of a woman in terms of gratification of his own sexual desire, she becomes merely an object, not a person. And when he does this, it really doesn't matter what she's wearing. The real problem is his view of her only in terms of himself and his desires.

Kristen said...

To clarify-- if I look on a male athlete and appreciate his beauty, I don't see that as lust, any more than if I appreciate the beauty of a sunset, or a Thoroughbred racehorse. But as a woman, I too have to guard against lust-- against deciding to look at a male athlete in terms of gratifying sexual desire. The idea that men and women are so very different in this area is, I believe, part of the problem. If a man believes a woman is something fundamentally other than himself, he's more likely not to see her as a real human being, which in my opinion is the best inoculation against lust.

Christiane said...

I think women should dress with a thought for human dignity. Particularly in a world where their own human dignity is under attack from ALL sides: the CBMW-types are perhaps not as destructive against the dignity of women as is the porn industry, but they too are on the wagon of not giving women their full dignity and worth as human beings made in the image of God.

I remember the nuns telling us to shape up when we rolled the waistbands of our skirts up to mini-skirt length at the bus stop. :)
Boy, that little caper could get us the full lecture in the Sister Superior's office, and a phone call to our parents. I was guilty too in those days. We all were. But the nuns had a point:
a woman's dignity resides in her possession of a God-given soul, and that she is made in the image of God, as are all of mankind.

Modesty is a beautiful thing, when it is gracefully done with dignity and class.

I really like this post, WADE.
Thanks for sharing that video. :)

Victorious said...

Hello Christiane,

Having spent 12 yrs. of my life being taught by nuns, I can honestly say that no one had more of an unnatural, warped perception of womanhood than they did. Having their bodies covered from head to toe gives a pretty good reason why they thought showing one's knees was immoral. Although that was usually couched in something more acceptable like "unlady-like."

Two of my aunts were nuns so I'm familiar with their out-of-touch living conditions as well.

That's not to say that there are nuns and there are nuns... :) so I can't speak for all of them. But forbidding young women to wear patent leather shoes because they would reflect their underwear does not reflect a healthy sense of dignity in my opinion.

If you had better experiences, I'm happy for you but frankly, I'm amazed that some of my sisters and I managed to turn out fairly normal.

Christiane said...

You can't spend all those years with the nuns and not respect them. There are 'some' who are 'difficult', but those are the very ones who made us think about what we were doing and why, and gave us direction and a sense of purpose as Christian young people.

I have seen comments like yours, and I always wonder about the 'stereotype' comments (patent-leather shoes) and if, in fact, the person is genuinely being truthful. It's the cliches that give people away.

I worked in Catholic schools, and I know of no better examples of devotion to Our Lord than the nuns who taught there and monitored me when I first started teaching.

Strange how our viewpoints differ. And yes, there always was a 'Sister Ruth' or a 'Sister Patricia' who drove me crazy, but I loved them for their devotion and their energy and how it was that they NEVER let us get away with being anything less than we could be . . . that kind of training stays with you,
that's why I understand your comment in the way that I do, and I hope you take it for what it's worth.

Victorious said...

Hi again Christianne,

Trust me, I was being genuinely truthful about the patent-leather comment but that was just one of many I could post.

I didn't come away with a sense of dignity as you evidently did. You see, my family also had close relationships with several priests. My dad gave one of them $10,000 to build a shrine to the Blessed Mother in our yard. That priest drove a very expensive car and took annual vacations. But what became obvious at an early age was the vast difference in the rules governing priests and those governing nuns. Nuns were required to take a vow of poverty and when my mom gave her sisters even $10, it had to be turned over to the "mother superior." No such vow was required of priests.

So what I learned early in life was there was far more dignity and appreciation for priests than for nuns. Priests had far more freedom; i.e. clothing, sports, vehicles, vacations, etc., while the nuns were far more confined and restricted.

Those things (and many others) did little to help my perception of myself with dignity as a female. But I have since learned (thank God) that my value and dignity are not based on a one or two-piece bathing suit or any other standard someone may try to set for me, but only for who I am since I met Jesus.

I love my catholic sisters and brothers, but am not afraid to say that there are some problems within that belief system that may not lend to a healthy outlook on life. This is true of other churches as well but I'm only familiar with this one as my background.

And yes, of course, you are correct in saying that there are some very dedicated women teaching and some fine values instilled as well.

Christiane said...

Can you give me specifics, as in actual names and places? If you cannot, I may not be able to believe your story.

Your claims are too far removed from any experiences that I am aware of in my faith. Your story is frankly bizarre to say the least.

Kristen said...

I went and looked up an article on the original study cited by the woman in the video, and I think a few things need to be noted. Here's the article:

Princeton Study

Note the size and homogeneity of the study sample: it was 21 male Princeton undergraduates. In other words, a small group composed entirely of young, privileged men. The article said that what the results showed was that " the results indicated that some men may objectify or dehumanize partially clothed women, though further research is needed to confirm these findings."

The article also points out another aspect of the research:

"Study participants were also asked to fill out a survey designed to measure how sexist they are. The researchers found that when the men whose surveys indicated that they were the most sexist saw the pictures of women in bikinis, they were least likely to activate a part of the brain associated with thinking about people’s minds and thoughts."

In other words, men already accustomed to view women as lesser, were the most likely to objectify women. This indicates that the results could not have been that every male in the study objectified the women to the same extent.

I am very appreciative of a female MBA who starts her own company and designs really lovely swimsuits. But the way she presented the results of this study wasn't actually all that accurate. She made it sound as if the study had conclusively proven "all men everywhere, seeing a woman in a bikini, will think of her as an object."

Here is what one of the psychologists who actually conducted the study thought was going on: “'I think [the study] does relate to the effects of having pornography and sexualized images of women around and in the media because they spill over into how people treat women in general,' Fiske said, adding that these images may dehumanize women and encourage men to see them as objects."

Another psychologist conducting the study had this to say about it:

"Cikara said she agreed that the reactions observed in the study might be a consequence of society’s emphasis on sexualized female imagery. 'This research can certainly help to further our understanding of the effect of sexualized women, whether in advertising or in the office,' Cikara said, adding that 'men can totally override this response.'

This sounds a lot more like what Jesus actually said: that men are accountable for looking at women "in order to" lust after them-- lust isn't an uncontrollable or universal response of men to seeing women in a certain mode of dress. It's true that women didn't wear bikinis back then, but the attitudes towards women that a man starts with have a lot to do with how he responds to them, regardless of what they're wearing.

Victorious said...

Whoa Christiane! That's one of the least bizarre things I might convey. I do understand your refusal to believe as some things are just too painful for us to accept so denial is far more comfortable.

But this post is not about me, but about rather bikinis and empowerment or lack of....

Christiane said...

without details and backup, I might suspect you are not a 'former Catholic'. . . just an anti-Catholic

and it WAS the 'patent-leather' shoes comment that gave you away :)

Don't use that one with a real Catholic, is my advice

Victorious said...

...not that I feel a need to "prove" the truth of my statements to you, but rather to show that I am a former Catholic who is not anti-Catholic, I provide you with your requested "details and backup" in hopes you perhaps you will learn to be less cynical and more trusting of your sisters in Christ.

A former catholic who attended Nativity grammar school in Wash. D.C. where the Bishop used to turn the heat off in the gym when the girls played basketball because he didn't think girls should play sports. I was on the basketball team.

and Sacred Heart grammar school and the Sacred Heart Cathedral on Flower City Pkwy. in Rochester, NY. High school at Nazareth Academy on Lake Ave. in Rochester, NY: Vice-Principal at the time was Sr. Annunciata. Can't remember the principal's name.

Priest who built the shrine in our yard on Seneca Pkway. was Father Zimmer (of Sacred Heart Cathedral)...he smoked a stogie cigar.

Following business school at the Rochester Business Institute, I served as a lay missionary at a Mexican migrant camp in Hereford, Texas. Where I taught 60 students in the 3rd grade. The school was not accredited and I was not a qualified teacher, but since they were migrants, it served it's purpose.

Attended prayer meetings at Mercy High School led by Fr. John Bertolucci and Fr. Tammini.

Again....not an anti-Catholic but certainly "former."

Christiane said...

I am Catholic to the backbone. And in our Family we have had two priests and three nuns all in Canada . . . one of the nuns was the sister of my grandfather, Sr. St. Gabriel, who was cloistered.

I do realize that there are some in the Church who as individuals have behaved poorly, and I can give you stories myself about Sr. Patricia that would curl YOUR hair, but when I got to know her and understood her better, I learned a lot from her, and it made me a stronger person, which I needed to become.

But I haven't used the poor examples to turn away from my Church, which is 'imperfect' because it is a 'hospital for sinners', filled with imperfect people. Instead, I look at all the good and I know where it comes from, a deep faith in Jesus Christ.

If you want to see the good AND the bad in Catholicism, take a look at this, and see how the good triumphs in the end, as the good always will:

Rex Ray said...

Hello yourself Victorious,

Sorry for the delay. And I feel free to disagree…as always. :)

You quoted Jesus: "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, slanders.”

I believe this scripture was to prove the validity of the man saying: “Men will always imagine what’s underneath.”

I think his “Men” implied ‘ALL men’ which is baloney; since ALL men don’t commit murder etc. that Jesus talked about.

Hey! You didn’t answer ALL my questions. :)

Victorious said...

Hi again Rex,

I can't really know whether the gentleman meant "all men," "some men," or whether he was projecting his own thoughts onto others. I dislike generalities and stereotypes so my purpose in posting his remark was not to emphasize the "all" men part but rather pointing to the heart or imagination as the source of lust. That was supported by Jesus' words that confirmed the heart/mind/imagination as the source of sin.

And all of that was to refute the idea that a woman's clothing/hair/ankles/etc. is the cause of a male's lust.

I didn't answer your question about marrying Wade because I didn't understand it. Sorry, but I have a problem reading between the lines... always have. If it's subtle humor, it sometimes goes right over my head.

I like the new picture you posted of yourself.

Rex Ray said...


Very good—I’m glad we’re on the same page again.

I thought the “The Cross and the Switchblade” was an amazing book.

In a few hours, our church will be on a mission trip to Mexico. While the rest are witnessing, I’m to weld a 60 foot safety rail on top of a two story building of the Baptists Seminary.

This brings to mind a paper my grandson wrote for his college class referring to me as “My hero”. He wrote my greatest weakness was “gravity”. He went down a 40 foot high slide I built for ten grandkids 23 times in one day.

Now about the “subtle humor”—it WASN’T Wade I was asking. :)

Victorious said...


I don't normally toot my own horn, but one characteristic of mine that I can boast about is my ability to laugh at myself when I say or do absurd things.

I'm laughing so hard right now it's difficult to see the keys on the board.

I wondered why Wade didn't comment on your proposal.... lol lol lol!

Thanks for a very pleasant exchange as well as the compliment!


Anonymous said...

Oh good grief. Even back in the dark ages when I took home ec we were taught men can imagine us as much more beautiful than we can ever be, so help them along by leaving something to the imagination.

Fast forward to today and that becomes "objectification of women." Really? I'm female and much prefer to see a guy in a tux, a business suit, or wranglers and and western shirt and boots over some half naked guy. Is that objectifying since the clothed guy is actually more attractive to me?

My pastor is also a dr and deals with human reproduction, often on mission trips around the world. Her experience has been (not a scientific study) that what counts as modesty varies around the world. What shocks in some parts of Nigeria is old hat in Enid. What shocks in Enid may be old hat in Haiti, etc.

HOWEVER, the one consistent is that whenever the women in a culture decide en masse to flaunt whatever their culture says should be covered, the need for those little blue pills or those pills that apparently lead people to watch the sunset from bathtubs rises dramatically.

Yeah, men can shut down their responses but at what price?


Nicholas said...


If you're defending the wearing of bikinis, then you're wrong.

Nicholas said...


Women should not serve in the military. At all.

"O ye subverters of all decency, who use men, as if they were women, and lead out women to war, as if they were men! This is the work of the devil, to subvert and confound all things, to overleap the boundaries that have been appointed from the beginning, and remove those which God has set to nature. For God assigned to woman the care of the house only, to man the conduct of public affairs. But you reduce the head to the feet, and raise the feet to the head. You suffer women to bear arms, and are not ashamed." —John Chrysostom (AD 344-407), Homily on Titus.

Victorious said...


If you're defending the wearing of bikinis, then you're wrong.

Women (and men) can and will wear whatever they choose.

Victorious said...


Women should not serve in the military. At all

They can and will if they wish. It's a voluntary military after all.

Christiane said...

I am so very proud of my neice who is a Navy nurse . . . she 'bears arms' rather well, and is an excellent markswoman as I understand it, better than her brother who is a Navy doctor.

She has served in Iraq for a year, in Haiti (aboard the hospital ship COMFORT), and served in Afhanistan.

Her first mission in Iraq? She went out aboard a helicopter to intubate a young soldier who had been hurt by an explosion and had a part of his face blown off . . . he had trouble breathing and she saved his life. Baptism of blood it was, for her, and her assignments didn't get any easier, especially in Afghanistan where she once wrote:
'please pray for the injured, there are no words to describe this'

Is she 'immodest' ? No way. Not my neice. She is lovely Christian girl who BTW has been gifted with a talent for piano . . . very accomplished young woman, honored by her university for its ten-year alumni nursing award.

When I hear women 'shouldn't be' in the military, I think of my neice, and all like her who serve in harm's way, and how some curse them for being there . . . but I tell you when those curses come from our own people, it is more a judgment on them rather than these brave young women. End of rant.

Victorious said...

My granddaughter also served in the Air Force and sent to Iraq. I was pretty proud of her!

Anonymous said...

Christian Science Monitor January 19,2012 article: “The rate of violent sexual crime has increased 64 percent since 2006 according to the US Army report, which noted that “rape, sexual assault, and forcible sodomy were the most frequent violent sex crimes committed in 2011. ...While women comprise 14 percent of the Army ranks, they account for 95 percent of all sex crime victims.”

July 19, 2013 Huff Post Business article: “The fallout from military sexual assaults cost the U.S. $3.6 billion last year, according to a recent report from the RAND Corporation, an international research organization. The estimate is based on a calculation of the cost of medical and mental health services victims are likely to seek after an incident, as well as other intangible costs. ...The same report estimated that as many as 26,000 members of the military were sexually assaulted last year.”

Today’s American logic: Integrate the sexes by co-habiting the military and then sound the alarm when the obvious happens. The political correct solution? Force change in the system to accommodate the impractical.

Just saying. But then again, I imagine that most male military members would prefer co-habiting with women than homosexual men.

Victorious said...


Rape, sexual assault, and forcible sodomy should never be the "obvious" any time, any where, under any circumstances. Ever!

These are crimes with the intent of humiliating and controlling by the powerful over the more vulnerable.

But in a debate that has focused largely on women, this fact is often overlooked: the majority of service members who are sexually assaulted each year are men.

In its latest report on sexual assault, the Pentagon estimated that 26,000 service members experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012, up from 19,000 in 2010. Of those cases, the Pentagon says, 53 percent involved attacks on men, mostly by other men.

Anonymous said...

Given that 14% of the military is women and 46% of the reported assaults are on women I take no comfort in hearing that more men are assaulted than women (14,000 men/12,000 women). It’s a disgusting reality in any respect and should require logical and objective reasoning to address it regardless of what gender is victimized. Hard questions need to be asked like “What are the dynamics of having a more openly homosexual military in this regard?” “What are the dynamics of having increased close-quarter living conditions between men and women in the military in this regard?” My fear and concern is that these questions were not the top priority when the decisions were made to implement both in the first place and that “political expediency” took precedence.

To imply that my saying that structuring a system that is “obviously” (to me at least) conducive to having increased sexual assault of women insinuates that I am saying that the assault of women is justified by it is ludicrous or that you’re not open to having a mature dialogue about possible causes of the problem. That was certainly not my intent and it’s a big leap to come to that conclusion from my statement but that’s why people are paranoid about challenging the “politically correct” on social issues. It’s a common bullying tactic taken by the social elite who rule American culture these days and will no doubt result in no real corrective action taking place.

We don’t disagree on the basic mindset or motives involved for those making the assaults as being control and empowerment rather than sexual. That is elementary and known by most people.

Victorious said...

Hello RRR,

I didn't insinuate that your statement justified the assault of women. If I misunderstood, please forgive me, but it did appear to see close-quarter living conditions as well as "co-habituating" resulting in "obvious" assaults; i.e. natural or expected dynamics.

That's where I disagreed. From the video about bikinis, statistics of assaults in the military, and sexual abuse in churches, we can know imo that the best solution is accountability on the part of the perpetrators and those who are in leadership positions.

The cause isn't bikinis, women's or men's clothing, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or any other excuse aimed at focusing the blame on the victim. It's holding the abusers accountable and punished according to the law for such crimes.

Long-term...we might investigate the underlying attitude of privilege, entitlement, and hostility that leads the powerful to assault the vulnerable.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


Assault upon anyone in any circumstance is a very serious issue for me as I know it is for you. I can’t stand to see people victimized by others who are using power over them. I certainly don't support our providing any excuse for those that do use their power to steal the dignity and rights from others.

While I don’t see “bikinis, women's or men's clothing, being in the wrong place at the wrong time” as being “the” cause for assault I’m not yet at the point of accepting that these conditions might not increase the likelihood of assault taking place. However, as you correctly point out, there’s nothing that justifies anyone from infringing on the person of another.

Like you, I also see the need for “holding the abusers accountable and punished according to the law for such crimes” but I do not believe that laws and attempted enforcement in itself will be the remedy either. Further measures can and should be taken to provide an environment more conducive to safety. I’m pretty sure you agree on that and perhaps have expressed that same point.

Although we may have some differences as to causes and remedies I know we both agree there is a crisis. We’ll just continue to advocate for protection and respect for all people and work to see positive change.

Victorious said...

By following a series of links, I found an interesting article that encourages men to train their eyes to avoid sexual temptation. I think that's a step in the right direction even though sexual assaults are about power and control rather than sex.

Since bikinis are not likely to disappear any time soon, at least men can learn to recognize and avoid areas of weakness. Here's the link to the article entitled, "Bounce Your Eyes."

I'd like to add that I actively do my part in the awareness of the problem of scantily clad women. Recently in line at the checkout at Publix grocery, I noticed the magazines with women who were clothed in nearly nothing. I mentioned this to the manager. She replied that it's nothing more than what you would see at the beach. To which I replied, "But I'm not at the beach...."

They immediately covered those magazines with a plastic cover which is probably the best I could expect. I also email producers of TV ads that are very sexual in nature and have been successful several times at having them altered.

If more Christians were actively involved in speaking out, at least some of the garbage might end up where it the dumpster.

It won't eliminate all the smut in the world so that's where we need to focus on training individuals on developing habits to reduce the negative, unfortunate results of succumbing to temptation.

Victorious said...

Ooops... forgot to include the link.