I was talking about modesty with my friend the other day. She works as a youth minister and was drafting a dress code for her teenagers attending a service camp in a few weeks. In the past, she hadn’t included one because she remembers how, as a young woman, she so often felt ashamed of her body as the result of well-meaning adults instructing her and her friends on modesty (“modest is hottest” or so they say).
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Ok, I’ll admit that title is a little click-baity, but let me explain. I posted the above meme on my Instagram a little while ago. It followed from some discussions I had with my 12th graders (I teach ethics at a coed Catholic high school) when we covered units on Justice and Chastity back to back. I was struck by two recurring themes: First, how much the two topics have in common, and second, how almost universally, the students who were on board with church teaching during the first unit were adamantly opposed to it in the second and vice versa.