Hall Monitor Conservatism
Conservatives have a problem when it comes to addressing modesty.
If you pay attention to conservative media, you will remember the “Conservative Calendar” controversy over the Christmas season. Without rehashing the whole debate, it is clear that conservatives have a problem: they tend to come off like a bunch of losers when making their case for modesty. You know exactly what I am talking about: perhaps you went to school with one of these “conservative” types. Self-righteous and absolutely insufferable, the person I have in mind would call the police on a rager, all out of a secret, burning resentment that he was not invited. He would take great pleasure in prancing down the hall, informing a teacher of the vaping going on in the bathroom, and promptly getting half the football team suspended.
The great shame, of course, is that binge drinking, meaningless, uncommitted sex, and vaping in the bathroom are all bad for you! Yet, the hall-monitor-energy “conservative,” in being such a painful prig, makes people gravitate toward the bad things even more. The lesson to be learned here is that opposing something for the wrong reasons, even if that thing is bad, is in itself wrong, and serves to drive people away from your perspectives. Hating binge drinking because you hate fun does not put you in the right, and frankly, makes binge drinking look cool (even though it is not, if we are all being honest with ourselves).
With that lesson in mind, let us tackle the subject which conservatives act like the biggest losers about: modesty in dress! By this, I am not simply referring to the most egregious trends in immodesty that have cropped up recently, such as the newfangled, two-piece, skin-tight gym clothing made out of dental floss, painfully justified as being required for “comfort” (give me a break). Thus, a more modest, Christian standard of dress needs to be realized.
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However, as is the case with the above examples, conservatives also lose every single argument about immodesty because they do not know how to define immodesty. When the hall-monitor conservative sees a woman wearing a crop-top and those jean shorts or whatever, he thinks “look at this seductress jezebel… trying to lure men into sinning.” He thinks this way for the same reason that he shuts down the parties he is not invited to: he is a self-centered creature, thinking in terms of his own small motivations.
Of course, in reality, the nature of sin lies in the intentions of the sinner, and so projecting one’s own experience onto the intentions of another (in this case, projecting one’s lust onto the intentions of the immodest) will invariably lead to a misunderstanding. It is painfully obvious that women do not show midriff primarily in order to incite lust in the men around them. Therefore, by falsely calling them promiscuous for doing so, you are bound to come off like a big, creepy dork, accusing them of something far more evil than they are actually doing.
So, why do women wear immodest clothing? The answer is the same reason that men wear immodest clothing. That is right: immodest men do exist! Think of an male internet personality who constantly shows off his flashy watches and goofy suits in highly edited TikToks trying to make him look like a boss. Of course, unless you are a man swelling with pride (feeling, in some way, that you are in an edit yourself), or a woman swelling with lust, such a person’s routine will come off as a sad thing.
An internet personality puts on his cringe, little show because he thinks it makes him look cool. But, all the superficial, flaunted ornamentation does not cover up the fact that we are nothing but dust, and to dust we shall return. This truth is what underpins the value of humility: if we really were good, why be humble? But, we are only good by the Grace of God, flaunting oneself about like a God does not reflect the fact that truly, we are nothing.
Therefore, when a woman is being immodest, she is being like that cheap cologne-wearing guy who thinks he is in an edit. She flaunts herself about for the same reasons that he does: a little rush of prideful satisfaction in the face of external admiration. Of course, there is nothing wrong with looking and dressing nice. But the game of self-deception that the immodest woman plays, that she really does not like the gazes that she is receiving, and that she is oopsie-ing herself into attention (and, if she lets pride grow into lust, worse) simply by effortlessly existing is as much of a clown show as your average dude-bro’s latest goofball hour. It is in being modest and humble that both men and women can substitute cheap thrills for true joy.
The AdamoZone is a column by Luca Adamo, Vice President of Marketing and columnist at The American Postliberal. Published every Friday at 5:00pm EST.
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