Whores, modesty and breasts

Roaring Point Beach, Wicomico County, MD. Spring 2014. A small local
Roaring Point Beach, Wicomico County, MD. Spring 2014. A small local “family” beach, where I have met many wonderful and supportive (albeit sometimes confused) people.

That last post got me thinking about the words, “whore” and “modesty.”

According to Merriam-Webster a whore is 1) a woman who engages in sexual acts for money, a prostitute, 2) a promiscuous or immoral woman (because a woman having and enjoying sex is automatically immoral to some people), 3) a male who engages in sexual acts for money (no mention of promiscuous males being whores), or 4) a venal or unscrupulous person.

Venal means capable of being bought or obtained for money or other valuable consideration.

I’m not a women’s studies major but I can imagine there are probably entire bodies of work devoted to the word, “whore.” But isn’t it fascinating to follow the connection from bare breasts to sex to money to the ability to be bought.  Bought, as in, owned.  In the opinion of a person declaring a bare-chested woman a whore, the mere baring of breasts equates to the ability to be owned.

Wow.

I had a mother once express disappointment with me because she said she was teaching her daughters to be modest and I was undermining her.

Modest is defined as observing the proprieties of dress and behavior, but also as placing a moderate estimate on one’s abilities or worth, being neither bold nor self-assertive, tending toward diffidence, and being limited in size, amount, or scope.

So let me understand.  You want to teach your daughter to place a moderate estimate on her ability and worth, to be diffident, neither bold nor self-assertive, and limited in scope???  And you’re upset with me for undermining you?

High five.

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