Saturday, May 28, 2011

The virtue of modesty

Different cultures, religions and individuals have different ideas of the value and meaning of modesty. A common reaction that I have received when I tell people of my aversion to airport scanners and patdowns is something along the lines of: "Why are you being so modest?" The question I have for people who think that giving up long-held views of personal modesty is a reasonable thing for the government to force on its citizens is: "Why is being modest something to be mocked or dismissed?"

Here's an essay from a Catholic woman who dresses modestly on the airport experience. I've been waiting for religious Americans to speak out against the scanners in a more concerted fashion. Unfortunately, pieces like this one are too infrequent. And, while some of the commenters agree that the procedures at the airport are an affront to modest people, too many state that it is worth it for the added security [theater!].

Another interesting thing in this essay is that women who dress modestly (in clothes that aren't tight-fitting and, particularly, in long skirts) have been getting singled out by the TSA for years. I had heard this about people wearing loose-fitting clothes (such as sweat pants), but, before I read this article, I did not consider that a large population of religious Americans are essentially being targeted for additional screening because of the ridiculous policies of a bloated, too-powerful, and ineffective agency. (Note: in my previous post I noted that a blogger stated that it was "easy" to avoid the scanners. Apparently, this only works if you are dressed a certain way, and wearing a habib is not the only thing that will set off flags.)

UPDATE: I forgot that there were two related stories on this I had read. The commenters I was referring to 2 paragraphs up are on this story from a different Catholic woman.