A Modest Conclusion: Innocence

January 6, 2009 | NeW

Since we ran out of weeks in 2008 to finish A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit, I would like to wrap things up before we start a new book. 

Chapter 10 discusses the idea of “Modesty and the Erotic.” Shalit highlights studies that show that married, religious women are more satisfied with their sex lives than women who lead the casual “swinging” sex lives that modernity encourages. One of my favorite ideas from this chapter is that modesty doesn’t hinder Eros. In fact, according to Shalit, it is more likely to fan it into flame. 


Chapter 11 is titled “Pining for Interference.” Shalit notes that today, people either attack you for what you believe or say nothing about your behavior. Is it because they don’t care? Is apathy the cause? Today during my internship orientation, I was chatting with a few other interns about posture and slumping. I jokingly told about how my mom would tie tennis rackets to our backs to show us the importance of good posture. Surprisingly, one of the other girls responded: “I wish my mom would have cared enough to do something like that.” This remark itself illustrates Shalit’s point…that our culture is hungry for parental interference. For parents to come along side us and tell us that what we are going through and thinking is natural – however, for them to subsequently tell us the truth, even if its the exact opposite of what we want to hear.
Chapter 12 goes “Beyond Modernity.” What we see now, is a loss of the dating scene and instead the reign of the ubiquitous hook-up culture. Shalit’s point rings true when she says that our generation doesn’t drink a glass of wine with friends to spark conversation but rather drinks beer and hard liquor to get drunk, to cut-off truly meaningful conversation, and to “get to the point” (a.k.a “the hook-up”). Because of how far we have gone in modernity, Shalit thinks it is probable that society will turn around. What do you think? Are you willing to talk with your friends about putting a halt to the downward spiral that we are in?
I agree with Sugarland on this one . . . I’m not settling for anything less than everything!
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