You hear about kids walking in on their parents in the bedroom, but how do you handle it when you get caught by your in-laws? I have never been interviewed on this topic before…
Who knew modesty was such a controversial issue? I took a lot of heat and criticism about “The Costs of Misunderstanding Modesty” article, and even some personal attacks. But those comments were out shadowed by the outpouring of gratitude and appreciating for my willingness to speak up and share my thoughts. I decided to write a follow up article responding to comments, questions, and criticisms, and to provide clarity. Here’s an excerpt from the article…
Thank you to those who posted thoughtful and articulate comments on my article “The Costs of Misunderstanding Modesty”. I had no idea that this blog post would spark such intense conversation and elicit so many varied responses and questions. No matter what you thought about the article, I think it is a good thing for us, as individuals and as a group, to reflect on and discuss our approach to teaching modesty.
I’d like to address a few themes and questions that prompted some to (passionately) disagree or take exception to (parts of) the article. It seems that some of you may have misunderstood my intent in writing it. Hopefully I can clarify some of those misunderstandings. The following are questions or concerns gathered from emails, messages, online comments and discussions:
Q: Are you are suggesting something different than the standards in the “For the Strength of Youth” (FTSOY) pamphlet? Are you saying that our girls can wear two-piece bathing suits and not have to worry about it?
I provided commentary on the life of Marvin Gaye for “Celebrity Legacies” on ReelzChannel. His life is unfortunately a sad reminder of the devastating long-reaching effects of child abuse.
Airing Aug. 19 10pm Eastern, 8PM Mountain on Reelz
Singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye was instrumental in helping shape the movement of Motown. He first started performing professionally as part of the Marquees, then later became a solo artist where he found fame with such timeless hits as “Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968), “What’s Going On?” (1971), and “Sexual Healing” (1982). Gaye would greatly influence future musical generations, chiefly in his use of R&B and Soul to explore themes like social activism, religion and spirituality, and human sexuality. But behind Marvin’ professional achievements and public persona lay the dark secret of a severely abusive childhood that culminated in a lifetime of problems and a tragic end.
Sadly, it has become almost cliché for a successful Hollywood musician or actor to come from a broken home and experience abuse (physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, etc.). And while all abuse is tragic, that which was suffered by Marvin Gaye is truly horrific. His sister explained that their father, Marvin Gaye Sr. would brutally whip them for every small shortcoming. Marvin later clarified the extent of the abuse: “It wasn’t simply that my father beat me; by the time I was twelve, there wasn’t an inch on my body that hadn’t been bruised and beaten by him.” The injustice he suffered at the hands of his father damaged nearly every aspect of his life:
Yesterday, Meridian Magazine published my article on the unintentional consequences of narrowly defining modesty and hyperfocusing only on “what girls wear.” I have written many blog posts in the past several years that have been well received, but this one has spread like wildfire. Since it was published, yesterday the article has over 90 comments and has been shared 21,000 times on Facebook! It looks like I’m not the only one who is concerned about the modesty obsession all too common phenomenon in Mormon culture and the pattern of hyperfocusing on what teen girls are wearing.
Here are a few of my concerns:
When we reduce the concept of modesty to what females wear, we are reinforcing the very thing that modesty is supposed to help avoid: the sexual objectification of women’s bodies.
Overemphasizing modesty gives others implicit permission to judge and measure a woman’s dedication to the gospel, or “worthiness,” based on physical appearance.
Moms have a lot to do, and we often take pride in accomplishing tasks and checking items off of our to-do lists. But when we don’t achieve what we set out to, unfortunately we can beat ourselves up (this happens particularly during changes and chapter endings, such as summer winding down and kids heading back to school). It seem to be human nature to focus on what we didn’t get done, but focusing on our shortcomings (perceived or real) can lead to great unhappiness and emotional distress. Here are 5 ways to resolve mom guilt: Read more
“Never before in our history have we been able to talk to millions of people with a single picture,” says Julie Hanks, owner and executive director of Wasatch Family Therapy in Salt Lake City. “In the past, we sought attention from people in our circle. Now we can seek approval from strangers and there’s more opportunity for narcissists to seek attention and validation.” But, she adds, this works both ways. “People who are empathetic in real life will be more likely to show more online too.”
We’ve all heard the term “mommy wars.” Originating in the 1980s, it refers to the negative cultural experience of mothers being pitted against each other based on their different lifestyle choices. While there are many aspects of motherhood that could be included under the umbrella concept of mommy wars (breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, etc.), the most significant dichotomy is that of working moms versus stay-at-home moms. But this framing is no longer relevant, as it doesn’t reflect the creativity and real lives of so many women who have a variety of experiences. Here are some steps to change the way we think about motherhood and end the mommy wars for good!
Women expect a lot of themselves: a strong marriage, healthy children, time to pursue personal goals and interests, etc. These are wonderful aspirations, but we also need to “get real” or risk burning out.
Physical and emotional burnout is a real problem, particularly in our community. LDS Living recently conducted a survey in which they found that 95% (of 1900 individuals surveyed) reported that they had experienced burnout (specifically in a religious/ spiritual sense). This is an epidemic that is affecting many of us, and clearly, something has to change. Here are 5 steps to prevent and avoid burnout: