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Sports Illustrated Strippers and The Decline in the Virtue of Modesty by Laurie Higgins

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Aly Raisman, former Olympic gymnast and one of the many victims of serial abuser Larry Nassar, offered this troubling defense of her appearance the in Sports Illustrated (SI) soft-core porn “swimsuit” issue wearing nothing but dumb slogans written on her body:

Women do not have to be modest to be respected–Live for you!… The time when women are taught to be ashamed of their bodies is OVER.

She’s right. Women don’t “have to be modest to be respected.” We should respect humans because they’re human. But not all behavioral choices should be respected. Choosing to be immodest—like appearing nude in a men’s magazine—is a choice that ought not be respected.

I’m not quite sure what Raisman means in tacking on the words “Live for you” to her first statement. I guess she lives to be immodest.

Modesty is not synonymous with shame. Modesty in this context means “regard for decency of behavior or dress.” Shame refers to “the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper etc.”

Modesty is a virtue to be cultivated, and women should feel shame over stripping for SI…

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