Posts Tagged “immodesty”

2015 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships - Vault - Claudia Fragapane 02By now my readers will have heard about the case of Dr Larry Nassar, physician for numerous gymnasts over the years, who’s pled guilty to sexual assaults of a number of them (Archive.Is cached article). It was inevitable, I suppose, that someone would blame the victims for these assaults. We live in a time when many people refuse to acknowledge there can ever be any such thing as a genuine crime “victim”; instead, they view everything that happens to people, no matter how terrible, as being somehow “deserved.” This is largely because they cannot, and will not, accept an unjust universe.

I bring this up because someone has done exactly this: Blamed Nassar’s victims for his sexual assaults. Christofascist pastor Kevin Swanson, about whom I’ve blogged already, made this claim, according to Right Wing Watch (cached):

On his radio program today, extremist anti-LGBTQ pastor Kevin Swanson attributed USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of more than 150 women and girls he treated, in part, to the fact that gymnastics encourages “a fair amount of immodesty.”

Citing a variety of supposed dangers, such as the use of open showers, Swanson warned Christian parents against allowing their children to participate in sports because “sports tend to focus on the body.”

“There is an infatuation with the body,” he said, “and, of course, the sexual aspects of the body as well. Some sports encourage immodesty, revealing large portions of the body and this happens in some sports. These are the risky sports. Here they are, what are the risky sports? Gymnastics. Gymnastics and swimming. These are the sports in which there is an added risk.”

I’m not sure how gymnasts are supposed to do what they do, in blousy, unrevealing clothing. Maybe Swanson would like them to wear burqas or something? (As an aside, the obsession with female modesty is a great example of how militant Christianism bears more than a passing resemblance to militant Islamism.)

Let me explain a very simple fact, here: Nothing a woman wears — or doesn’t wear — can ever possibly justify rape or molestation. Period. A woman or girl should be able to walk down the street stark naked and not be attacked by anyone. That’s just how it is. I know a lot of folks don’t accept that … but it’s not negotiable. No law I know of, in the US anyway, says that rape or molestation is justified if a woman is naked or wears revealing clothing. If that were true, no woman would be able to walk on a beach or beside a pool without being raped.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Hat tip: Joe. My. God.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments No Comments »

PikiWiki Israel 11209 Landscape viewI’ve blogged numerous times about religious extremism. Most of the examples I cite deal with Christian extremism, and less often, Islamic extremism. But that’s not to say that other religions don’t have extremists, or that I don’t mention them. The latest example I’ve come across, is one of Jewish extremism. The AP reports via USA Today that some ultra-orthodox Jewish men have been harassing a little girl as she walks to school in Israel (WebCite cached article):

A shy 8-year-old schoolgirl has unwittingly found herself on the front line of Israel’s latest religious war.

Naama Margolese is a ponytailed, bespectacled second-grader who is afraid of walking to her religious Jewish girls school for fear of ultra-Orthodox extremists who have spat on her and called her a whore for dressing “immodestly.” …

The girls school that Naama attends in the city of Beit Shemesh, to the west of Jerusalem, is on the border between an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood and a community of modern Orthodox Jewish residents, many of them American immigrants.

The ultra-Orthodox consider the school, which moved to its present site at the beginning of the school year, an encroachment on their territory. Dozens of black-hatted men jeer and physically accost the girls almost daily, claiming their very presence is a provocation.

The problem with harassing people over “immodesty,” of course, is that “immodesty” is both subjective and relative. Almost any kind of outfit can be labeled “immodest” if one wishes to do so. And the context in which an outfit is worn can make it seem more or less “immodest.”

The tension between the hard-line Haredi Jews of Beit Shemesh and their more moderate neighbors is not new, though:

Beit Shemesh’s growing ultra-Orthodox population has erected street signs calling for the separation of sexes on the sidewalks, dispatched “modesty patrols” to enforce a chaste female appearance and hurled stones at offenders and outsiders. Walls of the neighborhood are plastered with signs exhorting women to dress modestly in closed-necked, long-sleeved blouses and long skirts.

In other words, they’ve carried on a campaign intended to force others — not of their sect — to act as though they believe as they do.

(Gee, sounds a bit like the Religious Right here in the US, no?)

Christian readers of my blog have complained previously that they feel I don’t criticize other religions. This blog entry — like a number of others — proves them wrong on what score. Moreover, even if I only pointed out examples of Christian extremism, that in itself does not make me wrong. Extremism is not relative; it doesn’t become acceptable in one religion just because it happens in another; and I don’t have to talk about the extremism of other religions in order to remark on Christian extremism.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments 3 Comments »