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An excellent reason not to dress too sloppily while on holiday

An excellent reason not to dress too sloppily while on holiday

Old May 17th, 2002, 05:47 AM
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Old May 17th, 2002, 08:48 AM
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First, let me stress that my objection is to the theory, and not to Jennifer's kind intentions in pointing it out.

Barbara, I could well understand your being shocked if people refuse to dress in order to show respect, as in a church. The issue I have is with the notion that to dress 'conservatively' not only will guarantee that one will fit in (it will not) but with the attitude on the part of authorities that conservative dressing is both universally defined (it is not) and a proven preventative measure against being robbed. What we have here is an insistence to dress formally, not to show respect, but to protect one's self interest.

While I would undoubtedly have had attention paid to me by a thief had I been robbed, can I claim the converse is true? Can I say that my not being robbed was because I dressed or acted a certain way? A Siennese lady told me of how she took two American guests to the market one morning, and she, herself, was the one who had her wallet stolen from her purse! Can we automatically deduce from that, that her dress style was at fault?

It is as absurd for authorities to order us 'not to draw attention to ourselves' as if it were possible to travel without bringing a suitcase, for example. Or to visit a foreign country and never be seen at popular tourist attractions, consulting a map, or snapping pictures. It is about as useful as the admonition, in the days post 9-11, to 'be alert.'

On an unrelated point: Capo, what one wears in a church has nothing to do with what God thinks of one's bare knees. It is to symbolize that one is supposed to be thinking of God, or at least of something of greater importance than oneself and one's fleshly vanity. It is meant to remind oneself to be humble.

Old May 17th, 2002, 09:44 AM
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Jane, I can understand the symbolism. The problem is that the meaning behind the symbolism is utterly fallacious: the idea that one cannot be thinking of God, or love or goodness or humility, if one is baring more skin than some religious authority figures deem proper.

I, of course, have my own ideas of what I'd consider "proper" attire in church. I wouldn't consider nudity proper, for example (though I doubt few people would ever go into a church nude anyway.)

"Fleshly vanity" is an interesting term. I'd argue there may be far more vanity in the way some people choose to dress *up* for church than in the way some may choose to expose shoulders and knees.
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