Modesty…..

Following some comments on my last post (thanks Heidi!!) I have begun to think a bit more about the nature of femininity.  It got me thinking about what it means to be a woman, and a woman who genuinely wants to follow Jesus. 

So I did what I always do when faced with a difficult situation I googled!  Who would have thought this one google would have transported me to a whole new world I naively didn’t know existed…………..that of the Modest Christian Women Clothing ranges!  My New Year’s resolution (along with getting fit, writing a blog and saving money!) is to be positive and not so bitchy and so I will leave you to google for yourself to see some examples for yourselves. 

In some ways this idyllic idea of metres of fabric (and I mean metres) is slightly nostalgic, an echo to times gone by.  It may even be slightly retro but it seems so alien to me.  Does being a Christian Woman mean covering myself in floras and kaliko?  Is being feminine about looking a certain way?  Do I hold responsibility for how men (or other women) may view me?

The modesty websites on the whole seem very strong advocates for all women as homemakers.  Again something I really struggle with.  Is it ungodly for me to want to have a career?  Is it unbiblical to be crap at cooking and on the whole domestically challenged?  Surely there is more to being a woman than how I look and how I cook?!

I believe God made men and women but how are they different apart from anatomically?  Is it possible to make any generalisations?  All very confusing……maybe I need to get myself a new dress!!

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6 Replies to “Modesty…..”

  1. What does it mean to be a Christian woman? It is so hard when you don’t fit into people’s neat boxes. And, how does that look when you’re not married? I have been thinking about this alot because it seems to be a recurring theme in my life.

    If I am single, then I have to pursue career, I have to be able to provide for myself, take care of myself and do all those ‘manly’ tasks. Those that would typically be defined as male roles. Why is it that you only seem to be able to hold certain roles in churches if you are married? Why does everyone push you towards this ideal? Whether or not you want to be married or not? Why not single women in leadership roles? How do you be that woman when you are single? Should that change after you marry?

    I realise I have just posted many more questions than answers. I have enjoyed reading the chapter on this in the ‘Why not women?’ book. I think churches have fundamentally translated the passages on men and women wrongly. Meaty reading….

    1. Thanks Lizz. So many single women I have spoken to have echoed your thoughts. I really struggle with this mould people are put in, particularly women, where by we have to be married and act in certain ways. I hear of lots of young women desperate to be married as they can see no purpose or calling in their lives except to be defined as a wife. When Nick was a Bridal…sorry I mean Bible………college it was painful to watch some women who were evidently paying the course fees in an attempt to find a man, rather than seeking to develop themselves and their giftings.

      It seems that we have these concepts of ‘roles’ in culture and in western Christianity. Where did they come from? Nick recently discussed this with a group of men the other day who said things about traditional male ‘hunter / gatherer’ roles as a justification for women as ‘homemakers’. These ‘traditional’ male roles are very western specific though. In many cultures women perform these roles. We seem so steeped in our own culture that we have equated it to ‘God’s’ culture. Surely there’s some difficulties with this!……end of rant!

  2. Although being a man, I have an opinion in these issues, probably a wrong opinion but will voice it anyway.

    Does being a Christian Woman mean covering myself in floras and kaliko? Surely not.

    Is being feminine about looking a certain way? Not having a mustache helps.

    Do I hold responsibility for how men (or other women) may view me? Of course. So often women justify wearing sexy clothes by saying that they don’t do it to attract men, but to feel better. Obviously is not the sexy clothes that makes them feel better but the fact that men or other women look at them.

    I understand that we (men and women) want to look good, clean and smart. But if a man needs to wear a very tight trousers to “show” his macho attributes or a woman needs to wear nearly nothing to feel feminine, then something has gone wrong somewhere.

    Another question would be, does a single person have more justification to dress “sexy” than a married person?

    Love the Blog Ruth, keep it up.

  3. Regarding Gender roles,
    I clean the kitchen much better than my wife, does that make me more femenine? NO!

    My wife can work out the SKY TV remote control and all its endless menus better than me, does that makes her more masculine? NO!

    I think gender stereotypes is something from the pass, or it should be, and society and politicians should be working towards gender equality, which it shouldn’t be that difficult. We even have an equality minister, what does she do?.
    Same pay at work, same maternety and paternety leave (compulsory) shared custody etc, all so easy things to legislate but no one seems to care much.
    Why?

    1. Thanks Jordi. I agree there should be more in terms of legislation to try and reinforce the message that gender equality is important. There is still a pay gap between men and women and still a bias towards women in terms of custody of children. I suppose it is about us putting pressure on our representatives to make these kind of changes?

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