Not too many people think that a woman can dress “non-modestly” and do so for her own happiness and benefit. If a woman shows her breasts or her stomach or wears shorts it is viewed as always being for male attention […]
This all makes sense because we live in a world where women’s bodies are pornographically manipulated to sell products, to confirm male supremacy and women’s weakness, to objectify us.
In our culture, a woman’s body is a product. It is the vehicle by which male supremacy is justified and upheld, where violent male fantasies are projected. And every dress choice we make is said to either titillate or repel a man.
Modesty culture tells us we’re supposed to find the magical “in between” where we’re the “good girl” who is not an ugly prude. Of course, what is modest (but not repelling) is always changing based on context and men’s whims.
And then what? Where does that leave our ability to self-define? Nowhere.
Modesty culture tells us that when women dress conservatively they are freeing themselves from male objectification. But it’s modesty culture which renders every clothing choice a woman makes as being a part of male objectification […]
And it’s for this reason that I praise Rihanna. I praise Rihanna for doing her own thing at the CFDA Fashion Awards in spite of all the social forces which encourage women to shrink themselves in favor of and in fear of men.
short excerpt from “On Rihanna Teaching Me to Say No to Modesty Culture" @ One Black Girl. Many Words. (via daniellemertina)
"But it’s modesty culture which renders every clothing choice a woman makes as being a part of male objectification"
So so true. I’d add though that this “modesty culture” is actually an offshoot of rape culture.