Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Sunday Sermonette To Women

It has to be "a sermonette to women" as a woman can't preach to men, according to conservative religious guys. And women can't become bishops in the Episcopalian/Anglican church and still remain Best Friends Forever with the Catholics. This I have learned. Now you can learn it, too, from "the address Cardinal William Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, gave to the Church of England bishops' meeting June 5, on the question of ordaining women as bishops":

On the other hand, it can be academically demonstrated that the rejection of the ordination of women within the tradition was not predicated on contemporary concepts alone but in essence on theological arguments. Therefore it should not be assumed that the Catholic Church will one day revise its current position. The Catholic Church is convinced that she has no authority to do so.
Where and on What Side Does the Anglican Communion Stand?"

Put that in your pipe, all you hairy feminazis, and smoke it. How does it feel to know that you'll never be equal with us penised people? - But of course that is not at all what our dear Kasper meant. Women and men are wholly and holily equal. Just don't try to test that assertion.

You know, this stuff hurts. It hurts that in this great human family of ours it is so necessary to shit on women. To have the family thrive. This definition excludes women but what the heck. Women are used to being told to sacrifice for the greater good, and we have interesting ways of defining "greater good".

This was supposed to be a nice and superior type of a sermonette, with uplifting ideas about self-flagellation for women. But I sinned and fell into the duckpit of despair there for a moment. I will try to do better now, I swear.

One thing I could be is more modest. Modesty is becoming in women. It's an odd virtue as men don't seem to need it. The muslim extremists go on about the modesty of women a lot, and so do the American modesty folks. As far as I can gather, the idea is that if only women were really modest, never blowing their own horn, never revealing a breast or an eyebrow, depending on the culture, then men could be virtuous much more easily. It's the lack of modesty that is the real problem in this world, the lack of proper feminine modesty. I'm not at all sure why men can't be modest, but it seems that either they are so driven by animal lusts that they just can't stop for even the one second that it would take to look elsewhere from an immodest woman or that it's totally unfair to ask men to change anything in their behavior. That's what women are for.

I didn't make any of this up. There is a blog, enchantingly called Modestly, Yours, which addresses these types of topics. A bit of an odd name for a blog. I guess it's meant to be a reference to the way one might end a letter, but it's a teeny-weeny touch titillating.

The posts on that blog are all about how women should be more modest and how to get there. You can find pearls like this one:

I can't say I know much about Ann Coulter. She says some things that seem to make sense to me and the way she says other things makes me almost wish I didn't agree. But I have to ask: What is the deal with the cover of her new book? When I first saw it a few days ago I assumed that the sexy little black dress was a choice by her publishers that she didn't particularly agree with, but then I saw her on the "Today Show" with Matt Lauer and she had on what appeared to be the same outfit. While what I love about Modestyzone is that we don't go into the specifics of exactly what we and what others should wear (we leave that to the ladies at gofugyourself, right?) this is just downright confusing.

Modesty is all about clothes. It's ok to agree with Ann Coulter (who advocates genocide and suggests a baseball bat as the appropriate form of communication with us liberals), but not with her mini-dresses. It's confusing that Ann Coulter says outrageous things while being outrageously dressed? I have a long way to go before I can learn all about female modesty.

The whole modesty movement is linked to Christian fundamentalism, so it's no great surprise that a central pillar of modesty is the idea that women should withhold sex from men until the wedding night. Because nobody would buy the cow if they can get milk without owning one, and cows better carefully plan how they can get bought. Other metaphors that come to mind here are the "excitement of the hunt" which men are denied if the hunted animals suddenly hunt them instead. This worldview gives men very little credit for being adult human beings who can actually control their primal urges. But it gives women no credit for having any primal urges except a kind of sneaky urge to fish for husbands.

To be fair to the modesty folks, many of their commenters are fairly sane. That must have come as a bit of a shock to the ladies who run the blog.

I think that "modesty" is not a very different idea from "sexee". They both tell women that the way to dress is based on the demands of others. Depending on the culture, either you hide that hair or you bare that tit, and in both cases it's someone else's feelings which are hurt. Why not let women decide for themselves how to dress? Like comfortably, healthily and in a way that is fun?

Just as silence never saved anyone, neither will modesty. Look at the women in Saudi Arabia, dressed in the most modest way possible.
The link to all that modesty is from Pandagon, where Amanda shreds another post on the modesty blog. I was pretty disappointed to find nothing about Modesty Blaise there, by the way.