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Continuation of Modesty Discussion

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Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by Dave on Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:54 am

MCem222 wrote:If this conversation goes on maybe we should just make a separate thread about it

Agreed, here is the new thread. Normally I would put something like this in "Deep Thoughts", but it was started in General, so here it stays.

musems wrote:Dave:
There's modesty but then there's personal responsibility too. I can be broke, but not steal. That's a choice. A person can be aroused and frustrated, but not rape or assault.

Modesty itself is a responsibility as much as not walking around with hundred dollar bills hanging out of pockets is, for obvious pragmatic reasons, and of course my framework of belief attaches moral responsibility to it as well. Of course modesty is not only about how one looks, but about how one acts as well, i.e. with self respect.


musems wrote:... it doesn't give a person license

This is not in dispute. But reality is that there are all too many people who WILL take an unjustified action when presented with temptation. There are also those who require no external temptation at all, but these predators who are actively looking for a target should not be given any extra incentive to choose such and such a person.


musems wrote:I'm actually a big proponent of discretion and modesty during ones formative years if for no other reason than to build a sense of self beyond how much someone else likes your breasts or biceps. As an adult, I'm not wearing dresses to the ankles though!

I realize you didn't explicitly say adults should be immodest, but I'd still like to say that I see no reason a man or woman with a well grounded sense of self should not be modest.


Mcem222 wrote:
Dave.cyco wrote:
Modesty is practically a lost virtue and society's plunge down the toilet is not altogether disassociated from its loss.

In my mind, modesty is all relative. In a society where everyone wheres short shorts during summer, then seeing a bare leg becomes an ordinary event. Go to the middle east and suddenly you're dressing in a most unmodest way.

There is a degree of relativity involved, this is true, but think about this: It's undeniable that the basic unit of society is the family. You say that you feel it's okay for standards for modesty to change, but you cannot deny that standards for male/female relationships have, do and will continue to change with the changing standards of modesty. They are intrinsically linked, these two elements, and there is also no denying that the family, at least insofar as most of western society is concerned, has become drastically weakened and devalued over the last century. Devalued and weakened modesty has run parallel to this - even preceded it.

In past ages when greater modesty was observed and expected men and women got married, raised their children to 18 before sending them well formed into the world as productive members of society.

This is why modesty is not only important for individuals, but for society as well. But as the years have gone on since industrialization modesty has been dying a slow death and so has true monogamy and the family along with them.

When the family falls, the rest of society is not far behind.
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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by Josh T. on Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:40 am

I fully agree that the family plays a huge role in the development of modesty,character, and morality in a child, and to extend it further, in society, however:

In past ages when greater modesty was observed and expected men and women got married, raised their children to 18 before sending them well formed into the world as productive members of society.

Focusing on past traditions, instead of learning to adapt to the present, is misguided, in my opinion. Sure, we can learn from the past, but the past is fundamentally different in almost every conceivable way from where we are at as a society now.

Also, I think that quote is a little bit idealistic. Don't pretend that there wasn't any major family problems back in whichever time period you're referring to there - the problems may have been slightly different, and different values may have been taught, but there were problems nonetheless. The child would've had to make the ultimate choice as to whether or not he or she would/should/wanted to be modest.

Also, 'modesty' is not the ultimate deciding factor when it comes to someone being a "productive member of society" either. How do you even define that? Your definition could be completely different from mine or anyone else's.
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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by itlives on Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:28 am

Dave is completely correct about the family unit being the basic building block of society.
It has been the desire certain people to destroy this "cornerstone".
Take away the foundation and what's left is shaky at best.
We see the degradation of the moral society in so many ways it would be easier to count the good things than the bad. Just go down your tv channels and search for something worthwhile to watch. I mean what the heck does "Honey BooBoo " have to offer the world.
We (specifically, NOT most of us) spend our lives doing absolutely nothing good. We waste time. You can't get a single second back. Why waste this precious doing nothing when we can and should be doing something.
And the clock's still ticking.
I've been in enough "group" talks to know most of that is a waste of time. We know what's right. We know what's wrong. For the most part, it's innate. Those that want to argue what's right and wrong just want to make their lives "right" in their own eyes.

Josh, I would disagree with you on the past being fundamentally different from the present. Society today is still held together by the stable people. It's the family unit that is the glue. Modesty is determined by the society in which we live. The "child" should never make it's own rules.
The clock's still ticking, what are we going to contribute? Talk, talk, talk, blah, blah ,blah. Nothing gets done.
Stick to the basics, respect your fellow man, do good. Treat others as you would have them treat you and it's all good.
Rant over.
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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by Dave on Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:05 pm

Mike, very well said.

Josh T. wrote:Focusing on past traditions, instead of learning to adapt to the present, is misguided, in my opinion.

Josh, this may be so - abstractly and in certain matters - but let's put some scrutiny to the statement. Exactly what are we supposed to adapt to? I am talking about the stability of the traditional family, that is to say children raised by a productive, stable and loving mother and father.

If the substance of the family veers away from this it is a trend to be resisted and fought, not adapted to, because no good can come from the destruction of the family's natural order.

Should we adapt, for example, if children are to be raised by state run institutions and never have contact with biological parents? Sure, if we want to lose our humanity. And that is my issue: the more we lose of the family, the more we lose of our humanity.

Sure, we can learn from the past, but the past is fundamentally different in almost every conceivable way from where we are at as a society now.

Mike's reply is very good. Human being are still human beings. They still enter the world by procreation, still need to be raised and formed by good parents.

Also, I think that quote is a little bit idealistic. Don't pretend that there wasn't any major family problems back in whichever time period you're referring to there

Sorry, but media driven moral abandon at its present scale is quite a new phenomenon to our world.

- the problems may have been slightly different, and different values may have been taught, but there were problems nonetheless. The child would've had to make the ultimate choice as to whether or not he or she would/should/wanted to be modest.

Fine, I agree, but anyone who looks even 130 years into the past can see that the amount and severity of the distractions away from sound morality in general has multiplied beyond belief - even in the last 30 years the media has become more brazenly subversive. It used to be a lot more rare to find mainstream movies, for one quick example, where the "pro"tagonist was some kind of criminal, now we have all kinds of movies about bank robbers, assassins, and all kinds of other "badass" characters who tread the wrong side of the law and are glorified for it.


Also, 'modesty' is not the ultimate deciding factor when it comes to someone being a "productive member of society" either. How do you even define that? Your definition could be completely different from mine or anyone else's.

Definition of what? Modesty or productive member of society?

Besides, any two people's definition of anything can be different to some degree - even if they agree on the broad details.

As I see it modesty is simply this: A way of acting and presenting oneself so as not to offer temptation to lust to those around them.

Productive member of society is anyone who gives something of value back to his community in some form, be it monetary, spiritual, social, professional, etc.

And yes I realize that both of these definitions are subjective and certainly not complete or exhaustive.

But my point is if you want a wholesome institution such as the family to thrive, give it a wholesome environment or it won't.
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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by Josh T. on Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:57 pm

I agree with most of what you're saying.

My problem is, you seem to be putting more of the blame on society, where in my eyes (spoiler: person opinion), the blame should be put on the individual who lets the woes of society pervade their lives, if that makes sense. All of us here on PhysCulture are productive, more moral (per se) members of society, are we not? The choice is ultimately up to the individual, again. Also, a family can thrive in an 'unwholesome' environment, if that family set it's foundation on a 'rock' so to speak; that is to say, they don't let society affect their values. Hope that makes sense.

Again, not many disagreements to speak of, and I recognize that it's not an either/or, dogmatic issue, that both society and family/individual values (or lack thereof) contribute to some degree; I just think there's too much blame on society and not enough on the individual here in this particular thread.
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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by Dave on Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:46 pm

I agree completely, of course, everything starts with the individual. My point is that when more and more individuals allow more and more moral compromises into their lives, it becomes more and more a society issue. Q.E.D.
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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by Glinda on Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:26 pm

Okay, I'm butting in here as a woman. Modesty discussions make me nervous because so often it can involve a discussion of women's bodies and apparel/accessory/hair choices and their alleged moral meaning. And let me tell you I don't know a single woman that hasn't had a man discussing their clothes or their body parts like it was the guy's business in the first place. Doesn't matter what they've been wearing either. That's why we have Slut Walks! :D

I myself have gotten criticized for wearing clothes too baggy (unprofessional), too low cut (it was the same uniform given to everyone, but I have large breasts) and I have had men in professional environments and complete strangers in the street, comment on my breasts and ass when wearing pants/jeans and a t-shirt. It doesn't matter what you wear.

Also,(and yes, this has been brought up I see) historically what has been considered modest has waxed and waned over the centuries. There have been many times where women wore a low cut dresses/gown/surplus that emphasized their breasts to show that they were unashamed, healthy and pure.
There were times where a woman covered her arms because a man commenting on her arms was often a euphemism for discussing her legs and what lay... in between. In fact, when I was much younger and worked in a greek restaurant, the owner took me aside and very seriously told me that if any of the older guys started complimenting my arms to tell him (the owner) and he would have a "word" with them.
Bloomers/underpants were a 19th century addition, previous to that, there really weren't "underpants" as we know them and one brisk wind or a tumble to expose you to the world in your skirts. Now, if a woman doesn't wear underpants we think its kind of racy.

All women are all told to look pretty and appealing by just about everyone in their life and they will dress in a way that makes them feel all of that plus confident. Or what is required by their job. Six of one/half a dozen of the other.

Modesty in men is often not so much a part of the discussion. Men outside of the office have a lot more flexibility in what they may expose. For a man to go topless at the beach or the pool is nothing - wearing a top or t-shirt usually provokes more comment. A man's body is not as sexualized or as much of a public commodity as a woman's often is. If a man dresses inappropriately, its more about looking unprofessional or slovenly, its not because he's immodest or immoral in his dress.

Modesty in the gym - lots of people wear tight clothing for a reason: it lets you see your line and form better than a loose t-shirt and baggy sweats. Is there a vanity thing going on? I think so. But we preen for ourselves in the mirror, not to expose ourselves to others. Sure I look at men stripped down to shorts and skimpy tanks and I like how much pride they have in the body they're working on. But they're not there to pick anyone up and no one accuses them of that. I have occasionally seen a few bits that were not intended for the public eye (junk can fall out), but it's my job to look away.

Just like a woman breast feeding in public, it happens and it's the non-breast feeding person's job to look elsewhere.

For the most part I trust people to clothe themselves and behave in a way that's appropriate to them and the situation. Bodies are human, most of us have one or the other set of bits and we all have to respect each other.

And that's my bit. Sorry I'm rambling, I'm tireder than I thought...

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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by Dave on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:33 am

I don't advocate men going topless in public, just to go on the record. And I suffer for it, as can be seen by my snow white upper arms. :| :lol:
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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by Journeyman on Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:02 am

That was an excellent, well-thought out post, Glinda. I'm pretty sure I agree with just about everything you wrote.

I wouldn't be too sure about this VVV though.
Glinda wrote:they're not there to pick anyone up and no one accuses them of that.

For the most part I trust people to clothe themselves and behave in a way that's appropriate to them and the situation. Bodies are human, most of us have one or the other set of bits and we all have to respect each other.

^ And this is the bottomline to the discussion. 'For the most part', haha... and mutual respect.
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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by Dave on Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:51 pm

Haha, I thought the same thing when I read that part about picking up at the gym. :lol:
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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by Glinda on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:31 pm

I see it this way - it's not unknown for people to meet in the gym. And there are gyms where socializing is encouraged in certain areas. But I've noticed that men and women who try to flirt during a person's set are brushed off. Most people know to approach others with respect for their activities.

And yes, I say most to cover myself because we can't say all. That said, I don't leave the house expecting to be disappointed in people's behaviour or expecting harrassment. That is not a viable way to live. An individual has to show a lack of respect or boundaries, I'm not going to assume he/she has them based on appearance.

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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by Journeyman on Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:40 pm

Indeed. Not judging based on appearances is cliched but not any less good or useful for it.

The thing with gyms is, apart from socialization between guys/girls who know each other (I train in a college gym so everyone knows everyone else); if you start talking to someone you don't know they'll assume you're hitting on them. This goes for guys as well as girls. Especially guys, in fact, most male egos double in size if they get any attention from a girl they don't know.
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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by Dave on Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:19 am

I don't know where "you can't judge a book by its cover" came from, but I think it is a limited catch phrase that doesn't reflect reality as well as some may like to argue, and as such is equally limited in alleged usefulness. What would it be useful for? People generally make themselves appear a certain way for reasons directly related to, even flowing from, their sense of self, morals, their behaviors, preferences, etc. They do so consciously, projecting what they want others to see them as.

Actually, this reminds me of a verse from the Bible (that I agree with in its proper context, no surprise there I'm sure, what can I say, I'm a man of the book. :) ):

Ecclesiasticus 19:27: "The attire of the body, and the laughter of the teeth, and the gait of the man, shew what he is."

"Judge" means "form an opinion upon which to base conduct". I don't believe ANYONE who says they don't at least subconsciously allow the appearances of others to guide their opinion forming process and interactions that follow. We don't have time to get to know everyone we meet. We size people up all the time and react to them according to how they look and other brief indications they give us of who they are or what they are like.

Obviously people are too complex to be able to understand just by looking at them, and yes appearances can be deceiving, but generally speaking, you can still learn a good deal about someone just by watching him or her for a few minutes. If you want to be sure to form a reliable and thorough judgment (opinion) of someone, take the time to read the book. Otherwise, you have to settle for (and react according to) the cover.

End rant. :blah:
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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by itlives on Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:22 am

This turned into a good conversation. I like that.
I think the turning point in it was Glinda's perspective. Thanks for sharing, Glinda.
Good points made by all!
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Re: Continuation of Modesty Discussion

Post by Journeyman on Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:55 pm

Dave.cyco wrote:I don't know where "you can't judge a book by its cover" came from, but I think it is a limited catch phrase that doesn't reflect reality as well as some may like to argue, and as such is equally limited in alleged usefulness. What would it be useful for? People generally make themselves appear a certain way for reasons directly related to, even flowing from, their sense of self, morals, their behaviors, preferences, etc. They do so consciously, projecting what they want others to see them as.

Actually, this reminds me of a verse from the Bible (that I agree with in its proper context, no surprise there I'm sure, what can I say, I'm a man of the book. :) ):

Ecclesiasticus 19:27: "The attire of the body, and the laughter of the teeth, and the gait of the man, shew what he is."

"Judge" means "form an opinion upon which to base conduct". I don't believe ANYONE who says they don't at least subconsciously allow the appearances of others to guide their opinion forming process and interactions that follow. We don't have time to get to know everyone we meet. We size people up all the time and react to them according to how they look and other brief indications they give us of who they are or what they are like.

Obviously people are too complex to be able to understand just by looking at them, and yes appearances can be deceiving, but generally speaking, you can still learn a good deal about someone just by watching him or her for a few minutes. If you want to be sure to form a reliable and thorough judgment (opinion) of someone, take the time to read the book. Otherwise, you have to settle for (and react according to) the cover.

End rant. :blah:

Sure. But we as human beings aren't perfect at discerning the true nature of others just by looking at them. I tend to be extremely observant of mannerisms, etc. but I've definitely been wrong with my first impressions before, it's just the nature of things. So, it's often best to suspend negative judgements until you at least get a chance to 'skim' the book, so to speak.
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