To show or not to show … that should be a choice

15 Jun

Comfortable

Also comfortable

By Lanny Morgnanesi.

In high school I had a recurring nightmare that I’d be in class with my pajamas on. It was a horrifying thought.

Today, students wear pajamas to class by choice.

In the office, a man, unlike some woman, would feel awkward in a sleeveless shirt with a low neckline.

I’m not sure about necklines, but an old girlfriend, quite progressive, refused to wear short dresses at the height of their popularity. She preferred to hide what others preferred to show.

Modesty clearly is a relative thing.  It’s about individual comfort and peace of mind.

Knowing this, I’m willing to accept that many (not all) Muslim women choose and are not forced to wear head scarves and even burkas. I believe they feel comfortable in their modesty.

Yet today, those in the west often see the scarves and burkas as repressive, and the women as victims. I think the women would have been victims if they had been force to wear pajamas to school.

This stuff shouldn’t be so foreign to us because the modesty and decorum exhibited in the Muslim world has great parallels in the world of conservative Christians. Both show reserve and good judgment and a concern about how things might appear, avoiding even the appearance of questionable conduct. Similarly, I believe a single Hasidic Jewish woman cannot be alone with a man after dark. Or should I say “doesn’t want to be”?

Some things just don’t seem right to some people, so they don’t do them — Muslims, Christians, Jews and my atheist girlfriend.

Why is it that people who are strong advocates of freedom often want to cheat those who choose restraint? Is that fair? Is that even logical?

I would love to hear your comments.

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