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Wedding guest dress & conservative faiths - Page 6

post #101 of 114
Nearly off topic now, but I just remembered that at the time when I didn't own any skirts I lived next door to the Chabad House near UCLA. They had these fabulous Orthodox Jewish weddings there, and would invite anyone who wanted to to come to the reception afterward. I would have gone, but I needed to wear a skirt to go inside, and I didn't own one. Funny thing was, the weddings themselves were on the city street, so I could attend those wearing my jeans. I just couldn't go to the party.
post #102 of 114
After having three kids and not being the same size that I used to be I didn't have anything to wear to a recent wedding and had to buy a dress. It wasn't in our budget at all. I tried to get something reasonably modest since I wasn't familiar with the church the wedding was being held at. And after reading this thread I realize it doesn't meet some folks standards. The two fingers below the collar bone rule would rule it out even though I was careful to choose a dress that did not reveal my ample bosom.

I think if I received an invitation to a wedding that required the level of modesty some folks are talking about here I might turn it down because of lack of money and time to deal with finding something appropriate. I just can't afford to go out and completely replenish my wardrobe.
post #103 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
I find the basis of these "modest" dress practices offensive and demeaning.

That doesn't mean that I have any need to run around half naked. But there is nothing inherently offensive or shameful about one's shoulders or my calves or any other body part that one can see during a trip to the mall or the grocery store. I refuse to have such a low opinion of humanity to think that men and women are such animals as to become unhinged at the sight of a naked shoulder. Any person who cannot contain themselves at the sight of a naked calf is going to find some other excuse to get themselves worked up--maybe a naked ankle or wrist. We know where that leads. And in reality these practices generally are overwhelmingly sexist.

If your religion believes this and you believe it that's perfectly fine with me. But I don't and I would be offended to be expected to participate in it.
The OP referred to a wedding in an Orthodox church, where the standards of modesty are roughly the same for men and women. If anything, the women have less stringent requirements. I cannot see how this could be considered sexist. The reason women's clothing is being discussed exclusively is because men in this culture tend to automatically wear modest clothing to an event like a church wedding.

I think the modest clothing request is being seen as something special and extraordinary being required, like wearing an elaborate costume and a mask; while most women regard their usual clothing as "neutral," modesty-wise. I would argue that it is not neutral at all. Present-day women's clothing, especially special occasion clothing, is designed to emphasize sexuality. How is such clothing typically described? If it looks right, it "shows off your legs" or "emphasizes your waist and bustline;" it "flatters your figure" or "makes your butt look terrific."
Asking for modest clothing for a church ceremony is simply requesting that, for this one occasion, you do not choose clothing intended to draw attention to the body - like the male wedding guests would do without being asked.

Most women, especially young women, have absorbed this attitude so fully, they are not even aware of it any more. This makes it difficult to discuss, because we have the weird dichotomy of women wearing clothes specifically designed to attract the opposite sex, yet becoming offended when men respond as intended.

Personally, I find it far more "sexist" and "demeaning" that women are only considered nicely dressed if they wear things that display or call attention to their secondary sexual characteristcs, while the same does not apply to men.
post #104 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post


Asking for modest clothing for a church ceremony is simply requesting that, for this one occasion, you do not choose clothing intended to draw attention to the body - like the male wedding guests would do without being asked.
I'm asking in all seriousness with no snark.
So in order to not draw attention to one's feminitity should all colour, make-up, nail polish, jewelry etc also be verbotten? No up-dos in order that you can't see the curve of a slender neck? No open toed shoes? At what point does it become enough?

Is the idea of modesty to please your God? (Because then aren't you requiring others to participate in your faith?)
To not distract others? (Because honestly men in suits can be hot, and I've known women to be sexy in track pants and hiking boots and no makeup - it's a state of mind thing more than a body thing imo.)
To show respect? Because isn't respect embodied as much in intent as it is in actions?
post #105 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post

I think the modest clothing request is being seen as something special and extraordinary being required, like wearing an elaborate costume and a mask; while most women regard their usual clothing as "neutral," modesty-wise. I would argue that it is not neutral at all. Present-day women's clothing, especially special occasion clothing, is designed to emphasize sexuality. How is such clothing typically described? If it looks right, it "shows off your legs" or "emphasizes your waist and bustline;" it "flatters your figure" or "makes your butt look terrific."
Asking for modest clothing for a church ceremony is simply requesting that, for this one occasion, you do not choose clothing intended to draw attention to the body - like the male wedding guests would do without being asked.

Most women, especially young women, have absorbed this attitude so fully, they are not even aware of it any more. This makes it difficult to discuss, because we have the weird dichotomy of women wearing clothes specifically designed to attract the opposite sex, yet becoming offended when men respond as intended.

Personally, I find it far more "sexist" and "demeaning" that women are only considered nicely dressed if they wear things that display or call attention to their secondary sexual characteristcs, while the same does not apply to men.

I don't think women are so stupid or naive as to not be aware of what they are wearing or why they wear it. I give women a great deal more credit than that. I also don't assume that if a woman wears clothing that draws attention to what she considers her best features that she is necessarily doing it for the sole purpose of attracting men. It may well be that it makes her feel good.

As a woman, I enjoy setting my own dress standard, not having it be imposed on me by anyone.
post #106 of 114
This is from DP.. we were talking about this and he wants me to tell you what he thinks.


DP says he agrees with those of you who would not go. he said that attending a religious wedding in a religious place is a compromise for people who do not subscribe to that system of beliefs. He would not dress any differently (nor would he expect me to do) then he would if he were attending a secular wedding. If people outside the religion in question are coming to the wedding they are already making concessions to accommodate the religious beliefs of the couple. If it is that important to the couple to have people dressed in a certain way, no matter how simple, they should be prepared to have people choose not to attend.

he said that he will respect the couple by attending the wedding even though it will mean attending a religious ritual that he does not remotely believe in. He will not respect any request for him to to follow any of their beliefs including modest dress inside of a church. He does not believe that religious dwellings deserve any more respect that any other building. He appreciates them for their history and architecture but that respect has nothing to do with their connections to god or religion. Asking him to dress a certain way to show respect to god is akin to asking him to believe that there is a god who deserves respect for the duration for the ceremony which he has no intention of doing. ever.

the man will go a week without saying more then 5 words but if you put 'dressing up' and 'religion' in the same sentence he gives you a dissertation.
post #107 of 114
I must say, I've come around on the subject of skipping the wedding. If guests feel so intensely negative about attending a church ceremony, let alone accepting the church's guidelines for dress, it would certainly be better for everyone if they just went to the reception. Maybe church weddings should not be thrown open to all family and friends anyway, given how many hard feelings could result one way or another. Make the wedding ceremony private or optional and let everybody gather later on at the party.
post #108 of 114
Well I just finished reading this entire thread!

I think that dressing "respectfully" should be up to the individual, since this thread itself has shown that there are many different levels of modesty. Not everyone can be pleased. I may think that by showing up in nice dress pants and a blouse that I am being modest and respectful, but apparently not to some!

Food for thought. I have a pagan friend who invited people to come to her wedding "skyclad" or naked. For those of you who couldn't imagine not showing up to a wedding because of a dresscode, would you go, or would you respectfully decline and send a gift?

(I went, but chose not to go skyclad. Mostly because of self esteem issues, rather than modesty to be honest!)
post #109 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post
I must say, I've come around on the subject of skipping the wedding. If guests feel so intensely negative about attending a church ceremony, let alone accepting the church's guidelines for dress, it would certainly be better for everyone if they just went to the reception. Maybe church weddings should not be thrown open to all family and friends anyway, given how many hard feelings could result one way or another. Make the wedding ceremony private or optional and let everybody gather later on at the party.
This is what DH and I did. The Church where we married was small, so it was only close friends and family came to the ceremony and everyone else came to the reception. It worked very well, and no one seemed to feel slighted.
post #110 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
Ah. Just curious, since a lot of resources will have a tendency to read as "this is how muslims do things" when what it's really saying is "this is how muslims like me do things." While the pendulum is definitely swung more to the side of a more strict modesty overall, in practice there are probably just as wide a range of traditions as there are among christians.

(I like the gender dividers, myself, but one of the more common purposes of that these days is so that women can show off their favorite little party dresses. Come in abaya ... party in something skimpy ... leave in abaya. I'm guessing it might surprise some visitors who think modest = a predisposition towards the dowdy. )
I attended my Muslim cousin's wedding and they made a little "room" for the women where everyone could take their coverings off and we learned to belly dance. My male cousin got in BIG trouble for peaking under the divider. He was too young to understand, but still. I remember it being a blast.
post #111 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post
I must say, I've come around on the subject of skipping the wedding. If guests feel so intensely negative about attending a church ceremony, let alone accepting the church's guidelines for dress, it would certainly be better for everyone if they just went to the reception. Maybe church weddings should not be thrown open to all family and friends anyway, given how many hard feelings could result one way or another. Make the wedding ceremony private or optional and let everybody gather later on at the party.

AMEN!!!!!! After my childrens baptism I decided it would be best to not invite some loved ones to sacremental stuff. instead just invite them to share our joy at the reception.

not to mention, i usually don't go to peoples weddings because generally i find them boring and way too self involved....and way to light on the serious nature of what is happening. it makes me angry. i would rather just go to the party and celebrate their marriage. better for everyone involved.
post #112 of 114
[QUOTE=lil_earthmomma;14061604]
Food for thought. I have a pagan friend who invited people to come to her wedding "skyclad" or naked. For those of you who couldn't imagine not showing up to a wedding because of a dresscode, would you go, or would you respectfully decline and send a gift?
QUOTE]


I would not could not go, however...

just out of curiosity. . . . did a lot of people do it?
post #113 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by lil_earthmomma View Post

Food for thought. I have a pagan friend who invited people to come to her wedding "skyclad" or naked. For those of you who couldn't imagine not showing up to a wedding because of a dresscode, would you go, or would you respectfully decline and send a gift?
Hmm, like that Star Trek NG episode where Troi's mom wants everyone to go to the wedding naked...

I got over being worried about being naked when I was in the army - but I am not sure that I would want to see all the old relatives in the buff...
post #114 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by lil_earthmomma View Post
Food for thought. I have a pagan friend who invited people to come to her wedding "skyclad" or naked. For those of you who couldn't imagine not showing up to a wedding because of a dresscode, would you go, or would you respectfully decline and send a gift?
I wouldn't have a problem going, though I'm not sure I'd go naked. I wouldn't bring my kids, however, and I'd hope there weren't any children there.
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