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I am certainly not saying that a woman's goodness can be reduced to her chastity, as there are many other virtues that a woman (and a man) should strive for. That said, the impact that chastity (that is, rightly ordered sexual desire) has on other virtues is an interesting question--perhaps a topic for another day. For instance, if we are using our bodies to seek pleasure from every man in in our path, is it likely that we will be excel in other virtues such as justice, patience, charity, and wisdom? Perhaps there is a chicken or egg issue here. But the main point in my post is not that I am fixating on virginity, but that the marketers and handlers of young pop stars ARE, every time they cynically attempt to exploit and commodify their clients' sexual innocence. They are the ones who cash in on a young girl's maidenhood when she has it, and they are the ones who cash in when she loses it. It is curious that no other virtue is more exploited by such marketers. No one, for instance, seemed to care much about whether Britney Spears was just or unjust, compassionate or unfeeling, wise or foolish. They reduced her to one variable and then won no matter which way she turned. Thanks for the comment.
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2011 on When Virtue Becomes a Commodity at Modestly Yours
Dori, I am very thankful for your comment as I was uncomfortable with the way the blog came off. (In fact, I wasn't quite finished with it, but it got posted before I did my final draft). I am aware that it sounds like what I am saying is that these rules and modes of decorum are somehow arbitrary and that it doesn't really matter what they point to, as long as there is something for kids to push against. This is not my view. Personally, it is my faith that has led to my interest in modesty, as modesty is still a virtue that is honored and upheld in the Catholic faith (even if it isn't always apparent these days!). I believe that it is important to understand one's faith tradition and what it has to say about virtues like modesty since it is from religion that we have these values in our society to begin with. And further, I believe that it is BECAUSE we haven't understood the intellectual and spiritual reasons behind the virtues that we have lost so much. (to be continued) My blog was more to point out that people like Mary Kate and Sean probably didn't understand entirely the reason for the often strange-seeming rules for courtship that their culture upheld. But there was a reason and it was based on the Church's law and natural law and if they sought an answer to why all these rules, they knew where to inquire. So to buck a little against them was acceptable because there were so many layers of rules that surrounded or protected the one major principle: Don't have sex before marriage. It's these layers of rules that I miss in our culture (not being alone together, being announced by the matchmaker, the reading of the banns -- which incidentally my husband and I had at our church but had never really heard of before that). And it's those layers I hope to resurrect for my children. They will know the one big rule and the reasons why premarital sex is a bad idea, but I think there is a way that those other layered (and less dire) rules can provide a buffer of enjoyment in what can otherwise seem like a hard rule to follow. Again, I apologize for a post that came off rather more flippant that was either my intention or my belief. Thanks, Dori.
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2011 on Rebellious Courting at Modestly Yours
Thanks, Melissa. You are so right. And thanks especially for pointing out the article to me. It's all so sad. I also realize I need to give props to my 15 year-old niece who was the first one to make the point to me (yes, she is 25 years my junior!) that all these Hollywood stars are having their virtue commodified and that the whole industry is a racket. It's nice to see that some of the youth aren't being duped by this corruption.
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2011 on When Virtue Becomes a Commodity at Modestly Yours
I didn't read the other comments so forgive me if this is redundant, but the importance of societal norms can't be overlooked. People should act virtuously from internal motives, BUT the culture can and should go a long way in enforcing the "good." I am reminded of the book Age of Innocence in which the protagonist doesn't leave his wife because of the pressure of society to see a marriage survive. Many will disagree, but I read this as both a good thing, and something that Wharton saw was quickly eroding with the dawn of the "jazz age."
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2011 on Voluntary Modesty at Modestly Yours
This helps confirm my belief that those who flaunt a sex, sex, sex lifestyle don't usually enjoy good sex. Thanks, Hugh for the insight.
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2011 on Not All that Glitters.... at Modestly Yours
I too am happy to see that many sponsors are pulling out. I believe this is (sadly) the only thing that networks will react to - $$$. I am curious if anyone knows how to lend one's own weight to the cause. How can we contact sponsors (or find out who the sponsors are) and express our disapproval? If anyone knows, I'd be happy to sign on!
I am a raw milk lover and I happened upon your blog because I was searching for help with my yogurt. I often find when I make yogurt with raw milk that it doesn't set up. Have you ever had this problem? I wonder if it is because we don't heat it to 180 like you would with store bought milk to kill competing bacteria (which can cause the yogurt bacteria to not take it over and become yogurt -- which I think is what is happening with me.) But if you heat it, you lose all the raw milk benefits. Do you have any advice?? Does yours set up and become solid (ish)? Another thing (and I won't elaborate since I haven't had my breakfast), I have taken my children to the dairy where we get our raw milk and to a conventional dairy. The difference in the cleanliness of the two was remarkable. When you pasteurize the milk, you don't have to be so cleanly with the cows and the containers etc since you are going to boil the bacteria out anyway. The raw milk dairy was impeccable. It was about all I needed to make me a lifelong raw milk girl! Great blog!
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2010 on Homemade (Raw Milk) Yoghurt at Lemon Tart
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I have been told I am very comfortable with my body (from roommates and my husband) and yet I prefer modesty. I have noted this in other confident women I know as well. I think there is a closer correlation between immodesty and women who are uncomfortable with their bodies needing to show them off to the world in order to overcompensate for their feelings of inadequacy. Isn't that a "type" we see all the time in movies and tv? The incredibly beautiful yet scantily clad woman who obsesses about how (fill in the blank) she is?
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2010 on A Quick Note on Miley. . . at Modestly Yours
This is interesting. I spend an inordinate amount of time wondering just how a certain piece of clothing has made it's way to JC Penney (and I love that scene from The Devil Wears Prada where she describes how the "blue" sweater makes it onto Andy's back). I often wonder why someplace like Penneys doesn't employ a mom or two on their advisory board to find out if moms (and they are the ones who do most of the buying) will actually buy these clothes for their daughters!! Personally, I find about 83% of it totally unwearable for my girls. When it comes to fashion for children, I just do not understand producing clothes that are immodest, but also terribly unflattering and uncomfortable. But I guess that isn't just children's fashion that suffers from that!
Toggle Commented Apr 23, 2010 on Don't Blame Fashion at Modestly Yours
This is fascinating to me because it dovetails perfectly with an article I've been reading in first things ( The article basically answers this question for us. The author argues, using empirical and economic studies and terms, that artificial birth control is the cause of this situation and has caused women (and thereby children) to be in an inferior bargaining point when it comes to choosing and keeping a mate. Ironically, this is the opposite of what women understood to be the "good" of artificial birth control. He argues that when you separate what was the "mating market" into the "sex market" and the "marriage market" (which is what happens when, thanks to birth control, you are able to have lots of people having sex outside of marriage) women don't have to barter much to get goods from the "sex market" (i.e. if a woman wants sex, she can get it pretty easily) but when she wants to buy into the "marriage market" she has harder time because of the ease of a man being able to shop at the "sex market." He goes on to explain how divorce (the proliferation of it, the laws that support it and the lack of a stigma against it), also, weakens a marriage even before you've entered into it! It is a complicated argument but well worth reading. And I am not doing justice to it. But very interesting to think that a culture that promotes birth control has essentially killed romance.
Toggle Commented Apr 22, 2010 on In Our Nature? at Modestly Yours
Great post!
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2010 on Bringing Old-School Back at Modestly Yours
While I may "suck" at going to funerals, you, Talia, certainly do not "suck" at getting your point across! My point was not so much to criticize the particular girls and their dress, but a culture that doesn't hand down to its young people helpful and healthy ways of grieving. When my husband lost his father, he read up on grieving traditions and decided to wear a black tie to work for a period of time. During that time he felt consoled by this simple but dignified custom, and when it was over he felt a great catharsis. He was very thankful for this and a few other traditions during that difficult time. My fear for those girls is not that they are being tactless by dressing that way, but that not knowing how to dress appropriately at a funeral is an indication that they are not being guided through something as difficult as the grieving process. Our culture has all but lost a shared “language” of grieving, and we are the worse for it.
Toggle Commented Mar 2, 2010 on More Reason to Grieve at Modestly Yours
I remember finding this question annoying, lo those many years ago (12, to be exact). But I always assumed people were being kind and not nosy. I believe I usually responded "Wonderful" or something like that. But the truth was that it was hard. That first year of marriage can be very difficult. You are used to being your own person and now you are two in one flesh. It takes some adjustment, and grace. Perhaps if we all answered honestly ("Well it is hard sometimes") people would a) maybe stop asking the question and b)feel a little better if they too are struggling. I am not necessarily saying we should do this, just musing. Congratulations, Eve! Many happy years to you two.
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2010 on "How Is Married Life?" at Modestly Yours