Modesty: The Insidious Objectification


‘I’m going to go even further than that and say that the principle of modesty is the foundation of rape culture and objectification. The assumption that women need to cover their bodies in order to get respect from others or to have self-respect for themselves is what makes people think it’s okay to say that a woman’s dress contributed to her rape or sexual assault. It’s the assumption that women’s bodies are always sexual when exposed that makes people think that exposing _____ amount of skin means she’s there to be looked at or used for sex or that she wants to have sex. And further, it’s that assumption that an exposed body is a sexualized body that makes people think it’s okay to degrade and objectify women who have exposed their body, without regard to the reason for the exposure.

Modesty isn’t just another way of reducing a girl to her body parts. It is the way of reducing a girl to her body parts. The obsession of covering or uncovering a woman’s body is the same obsession. And it comes from the same mindset—that women are there for men, either as temptresses or toys. Either way, her body isn’t there for her. It’s all about how it looks to someone else—specifically some other man. Her body loses its function as the vehicle through which she lives and instead becomes the measure of how others determine her virtue.’


I am posting again a bit early, but I’m too riled to wait until next week. I haven’t thought about the topic of modesty in a pretty long time. Since leaving fundamentalism, it hasn’t intruded into my decision making process when I look through my closet in the morning, and I no longer run in the circles where it comes up as a casual or formal topic of discussion. And it’s been nice!

But I think it’s time to visit the topic, even though it doesn’t play a major role in my life right now, because some asshat made the mistake of commenting in a conversation with me that it’s “easier to see a woman as a whole person when she dresses modestly.” That man should be thanking his lucky stars that knees can’t reach groins through the Internet.

Hang on tight, because I’m pissed and I’m going to blow this shit out…

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Made in America: the brand of ‘feminism’ that recognises and respects difference, as long as you’re not ‘white’

What kind of ‘feminism’ seeks to encourage and respect difference yet at the same homogenises and lumps together ‘white women’ as if they were NOT a diverse, multi-cultural and intersectional group of human beings? On the one hand it claims to empower women but on the other, divides and generalises about a whole group and their experience, culture and history of ideas based on skin colour alone.

As Rebecca Reilly-Cooper (University of Warwick) eloquently writes:

‘I think the problem lies not with the idea of intersectionality itself, but with the identity politics that some of its proponents believe follows from it. We are told that if we accept intersectionality – which we ought to – then we also ought to accept a radical form of identity politics that says we can never generalize from people’s particular experiences, can never legitimately speak for any one other than ourselves, and where personal narrative and testimony are elevated to such a degree that there can be no objective standpoint from which to examine their veracity. This is an unattractive – indeed, an incoherent – picture of what politics should be like, which followed through to its logical conclusions is entirely self-defeating. And as we are sold this vision of politics as part of the intersectionality package, if we can’t accept it we are told that we must reject the intersecting oppressions story too. But this is a mistake…..

Some intersectionality advocates seem to jump from the reasonable and probably true premise that people are best placed to recognize their own oppression to the unreasonable and clearly false premise that people can never be mistaken about their own oppression. It may well be true that women are best placed to define and recognize sexism, and that non-white people are best placed to identify racism. What is clearly not true is that women can never be mistaken about whether a particular phrase or action is sexist or not, or that whenever a non-white person thinks she has been the victim of racism, then she has. I may be accused here of erecting a strawman argument, that no intersectionalist actually thinks this. And yet in practice, I see this assumption at work all time, when men who question whether something is sexist are dismissed as ‘mansplainers’, or when accusations of racism are believed without evidence because it is a person of colour making the accusation. The danger with this line of thinking is that it really does lead to an Oppression Top Trumps, where we have to preface all our arguments with extensive details of our identities and past experiences to prove our oppression credentials before we are entitled to an opinion, and where personal feelings and experience trump abstract arguments and general principles.’

The irony of this kind of ‘feminism’ is that it grew out of the experience of black women in the USA. Yet, despite the specific origin and culture of this thinking, many feminists happily quote it in a context outside the USA. As if merely by the fact it was written by women of colour means that it applies to all women of colour. This is also contradictory to it’s central premise of difference, identity and intersectionality. Oh, the irony.

‘Post-colonial, ‘intersectional’ feminism, made in the USA, let’s hope it stays there…..

Duke University censors and slanders Muslim woman for criticising Islam

Sounds familiar? Not just white women but any woman criticising Islam is not safe from the dogma and fascism of politically correct, US-based, post-colonial feminists.

‘Nomani said that a Duke professor “smeared” her two years ago in an email, charging her with having an “alliance” with Islamophobes.

Nomani said the Muslim Students Association “resurrected that dig” and urged people not to attend her speech.

“And so we all know what that does effectively, it scared everyone,” she said.

The sponsoring organization and Duke then rescinded her speaking invitation. When Nomani asked for evidence against herself, the school decided to invite her to speak once again.’

Vegetarian, Feminist Tibetan Monk Taking the US Ivy Leagues By Storm

‘In terms of vegetarianism, he is one of the most vocal on this issue after abandoning meat himself a few years ago. Tibetans have a cultural tradition of eating meat, which has continued even in exile, sometimes leading to tension with Hindus and western Buddhists. In January 2007, at the annual Kagyu Prayer Festival in Bodh Gaya, India, I was present when the Karmapa gave a strong teaching advocating vegetarianism and forbidding monks and nuns eating meat by banning consumption of it in his exile monasteries. Citing Buddhist scripture and logic, he argued that eating meat was contradictory to compassion and not killing. Many meat-eating Tibetans and westerners came away ‘shocked’ by the clarity and strength of his teaching on it.

Again at Harvard, this week, the Karmapa spoke of his horror as a child witnessing Tibetan nomads suffocating animals slowly to death. Going on to describe how mass technology and farming methods have led to a situation where many people have completely lost touch with what meat is and how it comes to be in its packaged form in the supermarkets; how that innate, ‘uneducated’ form of compassion we feel as children is often lost as adults.’

Conflict at US-Tibetan Exile Event Symptom of Widening Rift

”Although, at one level, such conflict might be seen as political, at another level, it is symptomatic of an underlying tension between the exile ‘educated’ youth and an older generation of Tibetans. Particularly those who have settled in North America. Scholar, Tsering Shakya recently wrote about this generation gap in ‘Twice Removed’ .

In addition, for the last thirty years or so, much of American academia, in order to address gross racial inequalities, has fallen at the mercy of a politically correct, Left-wing ideology that divides people in the name of post-colonialism and cultural relativism. As a result, the US-based Tibet movement now number among them advocates of a particular pseudo-intellectual, Occidentalist, hyper-nationalist brand of identity politics. Often claiming to understand and speak on behalf of Tibetans in Tibet (even if they have never been there) and indirectly suggesting that Tibetans in Tibet disagree with the Middle Way policy of the Dalai Lama and their elected leaders. It is ironic that some of the Tibetan activists shouting loudest about human eights and freedom of expression have deleted comments on social media or responded with sexism and outright abuse when people disagreed with them. So much for freedom of speech……..

Disagreement neither justifies censoring anyone’s freedom of speech nor defamation and slander. But it is also freedom of speech to express one’s wish not to be associated with people who have a different ideology. Just as a woman of colour cannot claim to speak on behalf of all women of colour, not all black people agreed with or supported Malcolm X, and it was their human right to distance themselves from those who did. For the majority of Tibetan exiles, there is no doubt that the Dalai Lama’s view on this issue is the wisest one, far more so than that of any well-meaning US college student or aspiring intellectual.”