September 15, 2008

The Modesty Revolution is the 4th Wave of Feminism

At the 2008 VH1 music awards, singer Jordin Sparks challenged show host Russell Brand on his ridicule of promise rings, rings that signify a pledge to remain sexually pure until marriage. Standing up to the lies of 2nd and 3rd wave feminism, Sparks is one of many young women demanding a change in perspective. For them, the spirit of feminism is about opportunity and freedom, not rights at the expense of dignity and self-respect. This is the essence of what author Wendy Shalit calls The Good Girl Revolution.

Shalit's book, by the same title, documents story after story of young women who are tired of the sexual exhibitionism that defines contemporary feminism. They understand the backwards logic of this in that it cancels out the work of the early feminists who wanted to be taken seriously as intellectual equals instead of merely objects of sexual gratification.

The Girlcotters are a group of young women known for their objection to the Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirts for girls that say "who needs brains when you have these." A young group of feminists, Shalit spends many pages telling their story, leading up to their invitation to be guests at a NOW conference. Here is what one of the girls had to say about the conference:
We went to the NOW conference last week, and I support equality and would never like to be controlled by a man, but the NOW conference was more like a brainwashing feminist summit than anything else. They had this artistic performance that was so much about sex and how much all men suck; it really made me feel sick...Those three days were awfully confusing for me...I mean, we got the Women of Action award for what we've done, but...I think we've been misunderstood. Everyone thinks that we are so feminist, but, frankly, most of us are not that radical. We just want to be on par with men...I thought that they were very reasonable, middle-of-the-road like me, but I guess I was somewhat mistaken. (page 235)
The Girlcotters are evidence of NOW conferences hard at work to exert their influence on young women (where is the church????). It's exciting to know that this young woman could think for herself, that she could be confident and retain her self-respect when clearly NOW was going to be no help in that regard.

What Shalit points out in numerous ways in GGR is that 2nd and 3rd wave feminists cannot accommodate today's young feminists who embrace modesty as a way to value themselves. The feminists of previous generations hold that promoting modesty is a sell-out to patriarchy, but I can't understand how young women giving themselves over entirely without emotional or commitment safety is of any benefit to woman.

Desiring fair and equal treatment between men and women is a noble pursuit, but women have deceived themselves into thinking that being bad, engaging in casual sex and and other forms of exhibitionism puts them on par with men. In fact, it accomplishes quite the opposite and the evidence is that sexism is still a serious problem in our culture. I believe we can place the blame on women who have made it easy for men to not take any of us seriously.


Jag said...

To be taken seriously as women, we must retain our feminine dignity before our male counterparts. This means expecting to be treated as the valuable human beings that we truly are. This includes maintaining our dignity as sexual beings but it does not stop there.

Women, like men, are persons who are an integral part of humanity. When we are loved and valued as people made in God's image, we are enabled and motivated to give our best contributions in life and work. Real men are not threatened by the valuable contributions of a woman, and real women are not afraid to offer them, even in the face of denigration and sexist treatment.

Anonymous said...