Tznius vs. Playboy
I am deeply troubled by modern culture’s over-sexualization of girls and women. In American society, women and girls are frequently reduced to objects for men to desire, judge and pursue (while, paradoxically, female sexual expression is denied). Libraries of books and millions of articles have explored this idea further (check out the basics of Sexual Objectification and this Redbook article on the sexualization of girls for starters).
Tznius, the laws of modesty as interpreted by the Charedi community, govern and restrict women’s dress, behavior and place in society, based on an explicit set of laws that define women’s subservience to men in that culture.
Unpious reader J. recently commented:
“A culture that treats women as sex objects is just as misogynist as one who has them all covered up. Both treat women as objects for their own pleasure and power.”
Personally, I find both cultures troublesome, but I think modern culture is clearly the lesser of the two evils: at least in secular society there is awareness of the problem amongst some, efforts to combat it, amongst some, a far wider range of actions one could take in reaction, and many options in terms of lifestyle and community that will expose one to more or less of this problem.
What do you all think? Are these two sets of cultural mores equivalent?