Extreme Modesty as Objectification

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMelissa at Patheos has this interesting article from 2010 on objectification reversal. She was raised in a fundamentalist “quiver full” Christian home and writes about the extreme modesty she was raised with, and how it created an objectification of women as sex objects in her own life, and in the life of others around her.

When does our overcompensation and obsession with fighting an issue become its own bondage? This article may be specifically about modesty in dress, but how many issues like this do we have in our own lives? How many obsessions enslave and objectify us?

On the one hand, I know that extreme modesty is liberating for some people, but for others it crosses a line, and becomes a point of judgment and fear. The object of our concern stares back at us, and its gaze converts us into its slave. We are proselytized by the objects of our concern, and like a hard-sell multi-marketing network, or a cult, we become its faithful servants.

This has happened in religion with music, with sexuality, with doctrinal purity, with alcohol, and sundry other topics. But, I am convinced that religion is not the only place this occurs. Every one of us is subject to this terror of the object of our concern – whether it be our desire or our despising it becomes our passion, and we become its slave.

Have you experienced this kind of objectification? Have you seen the objects of your concern turn on you, and proselytize you into something you did not want to become? Have you experienced isolation because of the objectification placed upon you by the objects of your most passionate concern?

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