I once belonged to a cult church.
One that had all kinds of whacky rules, beliefs, and mores against going to movies, dancing, playing cards, going to college.
Men in black wrote the rules, drew the lines, and underling men and women towed them and helped enforce them.
Among the rules was this one: Women weren’t allowed to wear pants to church.
Even to go and clean it.
We could clean the altar and place flowers there, but we could not stand directly behind it, let alone speak from it, because we lacked a penis.
And even when they relaxed the no pants for women rule, they still frowned upon the wearing of them and judged the wearers disapprovingly.
And though I had permission to wear dress slacks to play my viola with the orchestra for a visiting church dignitary, I was pulled from my place by a disapproving man in black just minutes before and ANGRILY ORDERED to borrow or buy a skirt or I would not be permitted to play.
Ordered to wear something without that offending seam winding its way up one of my legs and down the other. Something regimental that would, paradoxically, show more flesh than I was currently flaunting with just my hands and face uncovered.
Meanwhile, the “swinging” that had been going on between some of the ministers and their wives and members, possibly even involving a minor like me, yeah, that wasn’t anything anyone needed to pay any attention to.
[insert eye-roll here]
So, yeah, I’m not particularly impressed with “modesty movements” or arbitrary dictates about sleeveless dresses, skirt lengths, or whether or not our feminine ankles or toes can show.
I’m more impressed with those with the temerity to challenge such dictates, pad, pencil, microphone, or viola in hand.
Who show up ready to roll up their non-existent sleeves and do the work anyway.
Who, when stopped, very reasonably say, “No. We’re not changing. Let our shoulders, knees, and toes show, and let us fucking do our jobs.”
Who not only say “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” – Don’t let the bastards grind you down – but who refuse to allow the bastards the power to do so.