I walked up to a table at school and bent over to sign my name on a sheet. I had to fill out a few things and so I was bent over for a couple of moments. While I was straightening up this conversation occurred between the man and woman who were manning (and subsequently sitting on the otherside) the table:
(For the record I was wearing this dress with a trenchcoat over it).
Guy: I'm glad that group of girls with the low cut shirts just left - I was like woah! Super awkward.
Girl: What does it matter to you? Just look away.
Guy: I know, I try, but seriously - (acknowledging me now) I'm married and take my toddler to this tots class at the library and the moms are bending over to pick up their kids in these shirts that let everything hang out. I'm like, seriously - you are with a bunch of kids! Who are you trying to impress?
Me nodding in agreement
Girl: So are you saying that girls are supposed to take "responsibility" (very sarcastic) for your thoughts and actions and curb how we dress? If it bothers you, look away.
It was interesting. The girl was obviously very offended by the guy's thoughts on the matter (or even brining it up as an issue in the first place). When I commented that I thought it was a woman's responsibility to be conscious and respectful in how we dress she gave me looked that clearly indicated she disagreed.
Personally, I was impressed the guy mentioned it at all - and I thought that was neat. Other than my dad and brothers, I don't often hear male opinions about modest clothing...especially in a non-religious setting. I think there is a lot more to dressing modestly than just the argument that "girls need to dress modestly because guys are more physical and we should not be a stumbling block", but clearly, as demonstrated in this conversation, there is some truth behind such an argument. Plus it's not just guys - as a woman I don't have any desire to have a full-on view of another woman's cleavage or backside.
When I think about my personal views about modesty I think about respect.
-RESPECT for my future husband by guarding my body for his eyes only
-RESPECT for those around me by not dressing in a manner that is distracting or offensive
-RESPECT for God by honoring the body he gave me
-RESPECT for myself - I think it is pretty safe ot say that we live in a judgemental world where people are frequent to stereotype other individuals and make presumptions based on first impressions. How you dress and conduct yourself makes up a big part of those impressions. I want people to respect me - so I dress in a way (or at least I hope) that is worthy of respect.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20