Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Body of a Woman: Seven Recommended Readings

Frederick, the former pirate, sees young ladies for the first time, and realizes 
that his elderly nurse, Ruth, is not nearly as lovely as he once assumed.
Image from here.

Fredrick: Oh false one! You have deceived me!
Ruth: I have deceived you?
Fredrick: Yes! Deceived me.....You told me you were fair as gold!
Ruth: And master am I not so?
Fredrick: And now I see you're plain and old!
Ruth: I'm sure I'm not a jot so!
Fredrick: Upon my innocence you play...
Ruth: I'm not the one to plot so!
Fredrick: Your face is lined your hair is grey!
Ruth: It gradually got so!
(From The Pirates of Penzance)

The issues of modesty, the objectification of women, and women’s body-image are hot topics right now. Here are some articles on the subject that I think are helpful.

On the Objectification of Women:

1. A Tangled Web: Don Jon Highlights Real-Life Effects of Internet Porn by Mary Rose Somarriba

Part movie-review, and part examination of the effects of porn on both men and women.
Don Jon is a bold contribution to a recent trend in entertainment, giving audiences a real—and grim—snapshot of 21st-century relationships.... It’s as if sex is no longer sexy in pop culture. What was once a warm and alluring mystery is now a cold, anatomical display. If intimacy is dead, porn may have killed it.” READ THE ARTICLE.

2. People See Sexy Pictures of Women as Objects, Not People (Psychological Science, 2012)

This brief press release contains very interesting observations on how people respond to images of “sexy women.”
“One way that psychologists have found to test whether something is seen as an object is by turning it upside down. Pictures of people present a recognition problem when they’re turned upside down, but pictures of objects don’t have that problem. So Bernard and his colleagues used a test where they presented pictures of men and women in sexualized poses, wearing underwear....

“People recognized right-side-up men better than upside-down men, suggesting that they were seeing the sexualized men as people. But the women in underwear weren’t any harder to recognize when they were upside down—which is consistent with the idea that people see sexy women as objects. There was no difference between male and female participants.” READ THE PRESS RELEASE.

On the Call for Modesty:

3. The Allure of Either/Or by Simcha Fisher

Simcha addresses the fight between those who feel that girls need to cover up, and those who feel that it’s the boys who should take responsibility.
“It sounds so bold and stirring to cry, “Girls should be able to walk down Broadway naked at midnight and not be in fear, because boys have been taught not to rape!” or “Boys should be able to walk down a beach at high noon and not have to bat an eye, because girls have been taught to dress and behave modestly!” but come on.  We’re dealing with human beings here.  No one deserves rape, and no one deserves to be tempted.  But if we don’t want to be victimized -- and I'm talking about girls and boys here --  we can help ourselves out by taking personal responsibility, and help each other that way, too." READ THE BLOG POST.

4. The Human Shield by Rachel at Femina

Do Christians use other people’s sad stories in order to avoid moral rules that we dislike?
“A Christian woman says girls should be modest, and all everyone wants to talk about is sex trafficking tragedies…. The thing is (and the heart of the matter), is that the hurt people are often not putting themselves there. They are brought out. They are held up as a human shield between Christians and conviction of sin. If there is teaching that might sting us, we want the weakest and the most hurt people to get in front of us and absorb it. ‘Don’t shoot! You’ll kill her! And she has already been through so much! You are so heartless!’” READ THE POST.

5. Modesty Matters: What Not to Wear by Tim Challies
"The ultimate solution to immodesty is not a list of rules or a checklist; the solution is the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. And isn’t it interesting that the gospel is all about being dressed? When Christ suffered and died, he was stripped naked and nailed to a cross where he was clothed in all of our sin and unrighteousness. All we had ever done wrong was placed upon him. All of our immodest desires and behavior were placed upon him." READ THE ARTICLE

6. "Slut-shaming" versus virgin-vilifying by Weekend Fisher

This post addresses the claim that women are liberated by making themselves sexually available.
“Many feminists are genuinely trying to take a stand for fairness; but I wonder sometimes whether they realize that they're being played. Would it bother them to realize that "feminism" has become a tool by which the men play the women to get what they want?.... When it comes to the topic of ‘slut-shaming’, the feminist movement is taking the role of Adelaide, singing about how sleeping around is ‘empowerment’ while the men hoot and applaud, and maybe not realizing that was exactly what the men wanted them to do, and that the men are quite firmly in control of that situation.” READ THE BLOG POST. 

On Body-Image:

7. Tips for Moms Who Want to Fit Into Their Wedding Dresses (Hint: it has nothing to do with fitting into your wedding dress) by Kathleen Quiring

Basically, I liked this blog post.
“Our wedding gowns are pieces of our past — symbols of who we once were. It’s unreasonable to expect to be able to fit into the same clothing we wore before we grew new humans with our bodies. We’re new people. Those dresses were made for different women — younger, simpler, more naive women than the women we are now. We contain whole worlds of new life within us now. Our new, grander selves may not be able to be contained by our old clothes. And that’s okay.” READ THE POST.

What articles do you recommend?

Linking-up with List It Tuesday at Many Little Blessings. Head over to see other lists!


Seven Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.


  1. I am raising a 13 year old granddaughter and trying to teach modesty and body image. Thanks for the list.....I am a newby here!

    1. Paula, Good for you! It must be a challenge. Being a thirteen-year-old girl is rather hard, isn't it? I like this blog post about twelve-year-old girls (you'll have to copy/paste). It would be relevent for thirteen, as well:



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...