Why This Mom Won’t Teach Her Daughters To Dress Modestly

modesty quote

From HuffPo: Jessica and Jeremy Martin-Weber have six daughters, ranging in age from 5 to 18, and a baby on the way in the fall. With all that experience, they’ve learned a few things about parenting, which they share on their family blog and Facebook page, Beyond Moi.

Among lighter parenting fare, the Martin-Webers frequently discuss topics such as sex positivity, body autonomy and consent, and the toxicity of gender roles for boys and girls. All these play into their recent Facebook post on why they don’t enforce a modest standard of dress for their six daughters.

“We were asked yesterday and have been asked before what are our standards of modesty in how our children dress and how do we enforce that,” Jessica began the post, which included a photo of herself and two of her daughters in summer clothing.  “Here’s the short version: we don’t teach or enforce any standards of modest dress for our children,” she wrote.

She goes on to explain that while the family follows the dress code guidelines of places they visit, such as schools, outside of that they do not believe in “modesty” as a concept.

Modesty is too subjective and true modesty is about attitude and our heart. To us, enforcing modesty standards is about controlling people and we have found that is counterproductive and undermines our commitment to respecting bodily autonomy,” she writes.

Jessica points out that while some would find each of the outfits she and her daughters are wearing in the photo modest, others would find them unacceptable. Instead of adhering to an arbitrary standard of modesty, she uses a series of practical guidelines that her daughters can take into consideration when choosing their clothing.

For instance: “Can you participate in the activities you will need to do without worrying about your clothing?” and “Is it practical for the weather?” For older children, the conversation might include something like: “Are YOU comfortable with the parts of your body that are showing and that others may notice those parts and though we are not responsible for the actions of others, how will you feel if someone says something about that?”

Jessica says the couple is often asked by friends and readers of the blog how they approach teaching their children to dress modestly, so she decided to write a post on the subject.

“We really just wanted to show that there is another option in how to approach this topic without promoting toxic ideas that the human body, specifically the female body, is dangerous and to be controlled, hidden and punished for being sexual,” Jessica told HuffPost.

Jessica herself feels so passionately about the topic of body autonomy because of her own experiences. She grew up with a set of extremely rigorous standards of “modest” dress that led her to fear her own body, and yet that didn’t protect her from experiencing sexual abuse. Still, she took a similar approach with her own children, until two of her daughters were assaulted at ages 3 and 5 by a family friend. That’s when she and her husband realized that emphasizing “modest” dress actually contributes to rape culture, by “teaching that we are responsible for what abusers think and even what they do.”

“This was just one way the abuse changed our parenting,” she told HuffPost. “Instilling in our children that they had the say over their body couldn’t be in lip service only, it had to translate in every aspect of their lives.”

“As their parents, we aren’t responsible for controlling their bodies but rather for guiding them to eventually be able to make those decisions for themselves,” she continued. “It takes more time to dialogue with them and guide them while respecting their autonomy but we believe that is worth it in the long run and we have personal experience that enforcing rules like what they should wear doesn’t actually work to keep them safe.”

Jessica feels that doing away with modest dress standards has not only helped free her children from the pressure of dressing for the “male gaze” and equating their worth with their sexuality, but it has also helped them find the confidence to dress solely for their own approval.

Read the rest of the story here.


13 responses to “Why This Mom Won’t Teach Her Daughters To Dress Modestly

  1. Modesty is an expression of prudence: Too many people nowadays have little to no common sense, and they dress accordingly. I am not a prude, yet these new shorts or hot pants many young women wear these days show their butt cheeks.
    Now that I’m older and marriage seems out of the question, I am not turned on by this. I do appreciate the physical beauty of many women out there, but for me it’s an aesthetic thing and not a sexual thing. But these women are sending a signal, in their “packaging” that their morals may be up for compromise.

    In other words, there used to be something called the “ethical proof.” How one presents himself used to be the first “proof” of how he or she would conduct himself or herself with others. Although this “ethical proof” is not the final word in the matter and was only the initial presentation of self, it used to mean something. It used to matter.

    I have read a lot on the Moi page. I have noticed something peculiar, unwholesome and unhealthy in our culture, beginning with the 1970s. Woody Allen films, many Holllywood movies and many television shows presented many characters in various situations in which the characters could not handle those things which our parents’ and grandparents’ generations handled with ease: Getting along with other people. People today—and that includes these “processed liberals” have a peculiar, unwholesome and unhealthy SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS. There is something unsettling and nerve-racking about it, about having to tolerate people whose common sense and intuition are BLOCKED.
    These left-leaning losers, who have rejected religion (for the most part), or at least Christianity and the Natural Law, are looking for an acceptable substitute that will give them the “self-realization,” described by Maslow, that they believe will fulfill them. They have also accepted the “debate terms” laid down by feminism and political correctness, even if they don’t realize it. Woody Allen made many funny movies, and some of his dialogue can be very meaningful (e.g., “Stardust Memories,” or “Radio Days”) but it can be very banal, also.
    Modesty is not merely an expression of one’s “ethical proof,” but it is also an expression of one’s recognition of the Natural Law, of one’s recognition not only of one’s personal boundaries, but, also, that one respects the personal boundaries of others.

    Thanks to the Sexual Revolution, television (viz., the abuse of it), Freud, Bernays, Hugh Hefner and pornography and on and on and on, all that common sense is gone now. The recognition of the Golden Rule, Natural Law and individual responsibility is gone now, replaced by a moribund self-consciousness of moral and psychological paralysis, and, above all, the REMOVAL OF GOD from public—and, hence, personal—life.
    When Sigmund Freud came to America in 1909, by ship, he stood on the deck and gazed upon the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. His companion for the trip asked him if he was looking forward to his visit here.
    “Little do they realize,” Freud replied, “that we are bringing them the Plague!”
    How little we realize that all of culture has been infected with the banality of Woody Allen and Laurence Kasdan! How little people understand this! “People don’t know, and they don’t even know that they don’t know,” as Chomsky said, albeit in a different context.

    The Holy Shroud of Turin portrays modesty more than the brainwashed sheeple today!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Steven . . . As usual, your points are very reasonable, and well taken. I concur, the immodest dress of so many of today’s young people . . . truly is a plague on our society!

      Just look back at the “Academy Awards” of the 1950’s and early 1960’s . . . we saw real beauty in the charming feminine looks of those women in their choices of gowns. Now, we have women appearing in see-through dresses, where they have applied small opaque patches of cloth to cover their bits n’ pieces! These newer gowns do not compare in any measure with the more modest gowns of yesterday!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I love the picture at the top of this article, along with the poem. It is truly wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How EDGY and modern this mommy-blogger is. (Not.)

    Funny how things go full-circle: real edginess these days is embracing Traditionalism and Godliness in the face of the Progressive heathens. To hell with them, I say! Butt-crack, no matter whose it is, gets tiresome to look at.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Was anyone else as startled as me to read this woman’s 7-year-old daughter’s statement: “I wear what I like but I make sure my vulva is covered”?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Why This Mom Won’t Teach Her Daughters To Dress Modestly – NZ Conservative Coalition

  6. very unfortunate for a mother to not inspire upon her daughters, by her own actions, the importance of modesty/femininity. She is performing a disservice as a “mother” to send daughters into the world who will have a vacuum of ignorance for modesty/femininity and society will fill that vacuum with its evils and propaganda. I must question her sincerity at being a mother vs. being a “friend”. Her husband isn’t much of a father (or man) to know how males are in the world and not prepare his daughters on how to deal with men by encouraging his daughters to dress properly for their emotional health, esteem, sake, and security.
    As far as I’m concerned, both “parents” are failures.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think this kinda explains the rash of grade schoolers being caught naked in the school coat closet and by that I mean the teacher left the room and the entire class took their clothes off and started fooling around inside the large folding door closet and were caught in that condition by the teacher. Other kids at the same school were caught having sex and I mean these are grade school kids who have no hormonal urge for sex yet, they’ve been programmed. As this was in Des Moines and I know some parents whose children were part in it, and it was reported to these parents oin multiple occassions as it keeps happening, I have to assume it’s taking place all over. These kids have been programmed.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Yes, several of these comments hit the nail on the head, programming. Look up Alan Watt (not Watts, that’s a different guy) , he’s a sociologist, and discusses how TV is brainwashing and “programming”, how it began by exposing children to sex too early and that was researched and shown to cause these children to grow into marriage shunning adults. Among other things. Alan Watt says this is deliberate and willfully done TO us.

    Liked by 1 person

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