Modesty

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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The following are quotes from Wendy Shalit in her interview with People Magazine.

"Our society has lost sight of the value of feminine modesty." "Respect for modesty made women powerful. It taught men that you couldn't expect sex right away. You'd have to court a woman, send her flowers, prove that you had a good character." "Modesty is a wonderful natural instinct that protects sexual vulnerability in the young and preserves the erotic when you're older. We've been told that it is about repression, but it's not. It's about protecting romantic hope, protecting mystery, having the right to get to know people before you expose your most precious, inner self." "Once you banish the idea of feminine virtues like modesty, patience or temperance, what's left is totally superficial- things like breasts, lipstick, being good in bed instead of just being good. If you compare girls' private diaries from 100 years ago to today, you see that back then they berated themselves for not being a better friend or a better daughter.

" "There's way too much sexualization early, when girls need to be given a sense of confidence and integrity instead. If you have that, you're not going to be easily swayed by anyone, sexually or otherwise." "Girls do want to have fun. But the problem is that sex for sex's sake often isn't as much fun as women expect it to be. Modesty protects fun and flirtation." "In Hollywood, women are presented as more powerful when we're sleeping around"¦But I don't generally look to Hollywood for my moral exemplars. I look more to my mother and grandmother." "Virtues Reward" - People Magazine - 4/19/99- pages 103-106