Ayesha Curry is setting twitter ablaze with a conversation about modesty. Taking to Twitter to share her thoughts on “the latest fashion trends,” wife of NBA MVP Stephen Curry got the Internet talking last night when she professed that she prefers to “keep the good stuff covered up for the one who matters.”
What is shocking is the angry reaction from feminist and other women group calling her a hypocrite and defending their right to bare it all. Freedom of expression the call it. The question is: in a world where many women believe that Ayesha Curry is wrong, and that modesty has no more role in women’s live, have women become the greatest women haters. Well according to Sarah Hinlick, this may be so. She says that the end-of-the-century American mating rituals goes like this: First there’s the hook-up. That’s where young men and women gather in some communal territory, like a frat house or bar, medicate themselves with liquor, and then engage in any range of sexual activities, oblivious to all factors beyond momentary attraction. The next stage is the dumping: the male disentangles himself from the perceived “clinginess” of the female’s attempt at emotional involvement. The final stage is the check-up, in which the thoughtful male makes sure that the dumped female is still in fairly good health and, if he is especially enlightened, offers her the chance to talk about “what went wrong.” This three-tiered process is what is known as “having a relationship.” Get used to it or get out.
The problem is, not surprisingly, that women are miserable. Of little use are the contingent of conservatives who claim that the misery is a big female hoax and remind us that, after all, “boys will be boys.” At the same time, we should equally dismiss feminists, many of whose ideas, are responsible for the unhappiness of female lives. The plain truth of the matter is that somewhere along the line this romance thing went terribly awry, and it’s making a train wreck of young women’s lives. Appalling numbers of girls today are starving themselves, bingeing and purging, mutilating their bodies, throwing their hearts away on careless cads, suppressing their natural desire for romance, and denying their need for family and children. And when they can’t cope with the rotten regime, they dope themselves up on Prozac. Women have become the world’s greatest woman-haters, having learned to shun all things feminine.
Women should be women again. The deep perversity of the “androgyny project” of the past thirty years that demands manhood of women and a diminution of manhood among men, but refuses to tolerate womanhood in women. It is anything but a liberation from old shackles: instead, it is a suppression of femininity, a direct assault on the oft-touted blessing of diversity. But now a counterrevolution has begun, not one that chains women to the stove and takes away their right to vote, but one that allows and even encourages the natural and complementary differences between the sexes.
The solution is modesty, the much-maligned virtue that was ditched years ago along with corsets and girdles. It is not stuffy puritanism that wants to spoil everybody’s good fun, but in fact just the opposite: a subtle, exciting, sexy social arrangement in which men are men, women are women, and both get the maximal benefit from it.
Modesty is a quality inherent in girls. It is their infinite capacity for embarrassment, for blushing, for shyness, for refusing praise. The fact is, it’s so natural that it has to be deliberately bred out of girls — bred out by the sorts of adults who are compelled to destroy the mysteries against which their own immorality has innoculated them — by the debased tactics of sex ed, fashion slavery, and Melrose Place. Girls without modesty are not gleefully liberated sex kittens, however. They are women who have no idea how to protect their own undeniable womanliness. The destruction of modesty is a hateful project: It is precisely denying a woman’s special vulnerability and stripping her of her natural way of compensating for it that is the height of true misogyny,
Modesty is woman’s natural defense when it is respected by society. In fact, grumpy feminist types will be shocked to learn, it once served as the great equalizer between men and women, not as the backbone of domination. There is convincing evidence that modesty was encouraged in part because it was believed that women liked sex too much, and they would get themselves into endless trouble if they didn’t learn early on to exercise some restraint. Modesty gave women the right to withhold themselves from men with dishonorable intentions, and in turn forced men to make themselves worthy of the women they desired. True modesty wisely takes account of the inescapable differences between men and women in order to protect them both. Encouraged to act immodestly, a woman exposes her vulnerability and she then becomes, in fact, the weaker sex. In that case, women are victimized while men become predators, as our current disastrous state of gender wars demonstrates.
In a nutshell, modesty brings out the best in everyone. Modest women live in a way that makes womanliness more a transcendent, implicit quality than a crude, explicit quality.” Womanliness enhanced by modesty becomes as intriguing as the Sphinx, in which a Mona Lisa smile far out-shines a silicone-enhanced D-cup. In turn, this has serious — and positive — implications for male character. Female modesty elicits a reciprocal response from men, enticing them to become gentlemen, behave honorably, and develop the manly virtues deserving of a woman’s body and soul, especially chastity, protectiveness, and gentleness.
Modesty is ultimately more erotic than licentiousness. Men are more excited, by the twinkling eyes behind the veil and the slender ankle peeking out from the long skirt than they are by casually exposed body parts and effortless conquests in the sack. A comparison of turn-of-the-century women lounging on the beach in their terribly demure bathing suits and positively wicked grins, with the dull, distracted expressions of dutifully unrepressed nudists on their beach. Mischievous and modest; bored and bare. Something more than meets the eye is at work here. We want the rules back because, without the rules, the unruly, the scandalous, the exciting, and the erotic all disappear into thin air.
There has been some modest heroines and heroes, of course, who have maintained the ideals of chastity even through the sexual revolution, but that is not enough anymore. It is impossible for society to be indifferent to the varying choices of women, and it is always going to prefer one kind of choice to another. At the present time, the “survival value,” of immodesty and sexual immorality is so high that few women have the strength — or even the option — to combat it. And the answer is to become a counterrevolutionary, to reinstate the “cartel of virtue” among women. That is the only way to bring the gentleman back on the scene in society — when it is only through honor, decency, a flair for romance, and a commitment to everlasting love that men can earn the right to share a woman’s bed. Call it unfair, but the initiative belongs with women once again. No illusions: “If women want the men to be good, they have to want to be good too.”
Let the prudes and the libertines step aside, then because we have hit upon the most exciting truth to come out of the whole sexual revolution: “Modesty is the proof that morality is sexy.”
Sarah F. Hinlicky