Deprogramming Modesty

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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Perfigliano
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Deprogramming Modesty

Post by Perfigliano » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:17 pm

As I mentioned in my Intro, modesty judging and obsession has been ingrained in me and even though I live outside of Utah where the church is largely irrelevant, the church's teaching hijack my mind and I find myself judging women's clothing choices. Every time I see shoulders, thighs, or midriffs, I have to repeatedly tell myself that it's normal and it doesn't make them slutty or anything... I don't think it's working very well.

Any suggestions?
Last edited by Perfigliano on Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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whatififly
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Re: Deprogramming Modesty

Post by whatififly » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:20 pm

I don't have any answers for you, but I feel your pain. I'm approaching this topic as a female, re-evaluating my choices and wondering what my new normal should be.
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Thoughtful
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Re: Deprogramming Modesty

Post by Thoughtful » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:43 pm

I tell my girls to ask themselves two questions:

1- is it appropriate for the activity I'm attending?
2- am I comfortable and confident wearing it?

But for myself, so much baggage. Today I wore a tank top in the yard and the sun on my shoulders felt amazing.

Neighbor dog came by and it's my only LDS neighbors, got my sweatshirt on before they saw me.

I want to wear normal clothes without it being a black mark against me socially. I want to be comfortable and confident and let my skin work as a sensory organ the way its made.

My big issue is 100% related to others who would police my behavior so I end up policing myself. Ugh.

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moksha
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Re: Deprogramming Modesty

Post by moksha » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:05 pm

All females have shoulders, thighs, and midriffs whether they are wearing a burqa or a swimsuit. Seems gentlest just to give them all a pass on this clothes wearing business and let them wear what they want. No need to assign them an angelic or demonic status because of their choice.

Deprogrammo Modiosa! Hope that helps.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Perfigliano
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Re: Deprogramming Modesty

Post by Perfigliano » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:25 pm

I appreciate the thoughts so far, but I at least already recognize that the way I once felt about modesty was wrong and that the lingering thoughts are irrational. I already agree with both Thoughtful and moksha at a conscious intellectual level. What remains is the obsessive thoughts. Maybe I'm trying too hard not to think of elephants and it's the reverse side of trying to suppress my (completely normal) thoughts of sexy women back in my TBM days. I guess it's different because these thoughts aren't normal.

Maybe I should apply what one of my depression therapists taught me and just passively observe the obsessive thought, recognizing that it is irrational and obsessive, and let it pass.
Integrity is more important than loyalty.

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Mad Jax
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Re: Deprogramming Modesty

Post by Mad Jax » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:02 am

I think time will do the trick for you. In a sense, realizing that modesty is a mental construct is a form of therapy, and all therapy requires time. It's best not to try and force yourself to think a certain way, I think. Rather, simply let yourself think that way.
Free will is a golden thread flowing through the matrix of fixed events.

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alas
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Re: Deprogramming Modesty

Post by alas » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:51 pm

Or, I mean being a guy and all with normal sex drive, you might try enjoying immodesty for a change. I mean, that is the normal reaction rather than the sexually repressed reaction. "Ohhhh, shoulders, naked shoulders, yum."

With women we are not taught that when we see a sexually attractive man that HE must be immoral. We are simply taught that for us to see a sexually attractive man and feel anything, that we must be abnormal, because good virtuous females do not have sexual feelings. So, we have to deprogram also, and learn that it is perfectly alright to see tight buns and think, "yum" instead of purposely NOT thinking or feeling what we were feeling.

So, enjoy those feelings. A loving God gave them to you for a purpose, or a loving evolution gave them to you for a purpose. Just make sure your thoughts and feelings do not turn into behavior that mistreats or dehumanizes the woman you are looking at.

Another way to combat the thoughts you are having about how the woman must be immodest to to remind yourself of her humanity. Purposefully look for something about her personality. Is she an extrovert or introvert? What is her favorite color? What do you think her favorite TV show might be? Humanize her, rather than judging her according to her clothing.

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Deprogramming Modesty

Post by RubinHighlander » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:24 am

This is an interesting topic. I think the root of this modesty dress issue goes back to the misogynistic roots of our evolution where males were protecting their females, then later religion made it worse as a means of further control. Nature has amazing and unashamed ways of displaying bedazzling features, colors, horns, fighting, etc. Most of the time it's the males putting on the make up or strutting around to fight for the females attention. I hope we are evolving past that now to be on equal ground. The effort by the COB to throw the veil over women's faces should be over now, but will likely linger for years to come. I would hope that at least all that crap about the dress and actions of YW being responsible for YM's thoughts can be thrown out of the correlated material now.

I will say though that when I was in church as a YM, it was terribly distracting and brutally difficult at times if there was any YW with cleavage or too much leg showing. I'm sure it was just normal hormones, but I think it was also because of the stigma and taboo that was placed on all things sexual by the church. It's like they placed the tree of life up on the hill, made it really desirable, but then the flaming sword of guilt and hell was waiting behind you if you dared to partake. If all the weird sex stigma was taken away in the church, maybe it would not have been as difficult as it was?
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Perfigliano
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Re: Deprogramming Modesty

Post by Perfigliano » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:45 am

It's too bad men are still lacking in the expressive range of clothing that women have. Men have 2 socially accepted lengths of pants, can only wear tank tops at the beach or for athletics, are severely limited at the more formal end to suits and ties, and can even be somewhat limited in their choice of colors and patterns. Women can wear almost anything that men can wear (basically, they're fine as long as they cover their nipples), plus all sorts of variations on tops, more lengths of pants, skirts, dresses, a much wider range of colors and styles at the more formal ends, and can wear tank tops in all circumstances.

I'm jealous.

I want daughters. They're cute and you can dress them up in all sorts of cute outfits. Boys are boring to dress.

Ironically, I'm pretty spartan to begin with, but my lack of choice compared to women is still irksome to me.
alas wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:51 pm
Another way to combat the thoughts you are having about how the woman must be immodest to to remind yourself of her humanity. Purposefully look for something about her personality. Is she an extrovert or introvert? What is her favorite color? What do you think her favorite TV show might be? Humanize her, rather than judging her according to her clothing.
I really like this. I'm gonna start doing this.
Integrity is more important than loyalty.

Thoughtful
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Re: Deprogramming Modesty

Post by Thoughtful » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:16 am

Perfigliano wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:25 pm

Maybe I should apply what one of my depression therapists taught me and just passively observe the obsessive thought, recognizing that it is irrational and obsessive, and let it pass.

This is a good idea. Delineating how the current programming is erroneous, and the thoughts are a product of this "cognitive error" can be helpful.

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slavereeno
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Re: Deprogramming Modesty

Post by slavereeno » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:05 am

Take the extreme, tribes around the world who do not wear clothing. At some point there really are no body parts that are all that titillating to either sex, if you are seeing them on everyone all day long. There must be other aspects of a person that become the features that attract mates to one another. Not to get too graphic but nudity isn't really part of foreplay for them either. How could it be, when you do the dishes, and repair the roof in the buff? All the negative power that immodesty seems to be completely created by our culture, and not an inherent aspect of humanity. If I start having unwelcome thoughts about a woman's body, I see this completely an ill created by religion/culture who also offers to provide the "cure" which feeds the problem requiring more cure and the cycle feeds itself.

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