Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Garment: At the Risk of Sounding Sacrilegious

I was talking with a woman recently who was told that she was being immodest because she wore something that allowed the garment to be seen.  It wasn't a matter of too little coverage; her blouse was just light and thin enough to see that she was wearing the garment.  She asked me what I thought about the charge of immodesty, and I responded by telling her:

If they aren't supposed to be seen, then there are lots of men sinning by wearing a white shirt to church. 

She laughed and told me that the comment was made by a man who was wearing a typical white shirt - which showed much more clearly than her blouse that he was wearing the garment. 

My comment about white shirts is exactly why I don't take it seriously when someone says they shouldn't be seen. I don't want to walk around showing my "underwear", so I get it - and I respect that standard greatly.  however, we as a community have gone so far past that point as a culture that I just shake my head silently and go with whatever is comfortable to me personally.

Seriously, any man who wears a typical white shirt to work or church with typical garments underneath and then talks about not letting garments be seen hasn't thought very hard about it - or is unconsciously sexist in his application of that standard.  Frankly, that hypocritical sexism bothers me much more than anything else about the story she told me. 


Heather M. Collins said...

I don't think it's a question of sexism. I think it's a question of even more fundamental civility. People think they have the right to correct, I would daresay even bully, whoever they want these days. We would do well to remember our manners when we're in public, and to keep our minds focused on our own affairs.

The only person who has the responsibility to invite someone to repent is the bishop. It is outside of the stewardship of anyone else to invite an individual person to repent. This man needs to do less checking on garment lines and do a much more thorough examination of his own heart.

Firebyrd said...

Aside from the white shirts showing the garment, the typical cotton men's garment neck is cut so high that it peeks out from most shirts unbidden. I've also got some shorts that are fine with my drysilque (or whatever the weird TM spelling is of that fabric) garments and don't show anything, but other fabrics peek out. My husband and I certainly don't go around deliberately trying to show off our underwear, but when totally ordinary clothing has them peeking out occasionally, I don't sweat it anymore than my bra strap slipping to peek out is a big deal. I just adjust my clothing and move on.