Girls experience slut-shaming from an early age, with most comments originating from schools, classmates, and even relatives. Rather than placing the blame on the girls themselves, this mom dared to shift the conversation onto those who are doing the shaming.
In a Facebook post, Jessica Martin-Weber shared why she won't force her daughters to dress modestly.
"To us, enforcing modesty standards is about controlling people and we have found that is counterproductive and undermines our commitment to respecting bodily autonomy," Martin-Weber said. "The definition of modest dress has and will continue to change through history and across cultures. We do not believe we need to apply such arbitrary controls to our children."
Although they'll follow schools' dress codes, the family won't force their daughters to dress modestly beyond that.
She said they'll mainly focus on the practicality of their daughters' outfits (i.e. suitability for the weather).
Martin-Weber, who runs a family blog with her husband called Beyond Moi, also shared that she was raised with strict modesty rules, and when she was sexually assaulted as a youth, she blamed herself for wearing a form-fitting outfit. Today, she's changing the conversation by putting the focus on teaching individuals not to commit sexual assault, rather than focusing on what the victim wore.
Most comments were positive on the post, which was liked over 3,000 times. One Facebook user said, "Yes this!!! I've been telling people this concept for years, but you put it into such a way that I could not!." Another said, "your're (sic) making a big impact on our society." Of course, a few users disagreed, with one saying, "We don't have a strict rule but my son or daughter ain't going out in daisy dukes, so I guess we have standards or limits which kids need to know."
"I don't regret this decision as we watch our daughters bloom with confidence and dress for themselves rather than for the gaze of others."
While society might not adapt to this new take on modesty overnight, it's inspiring to see how having an open dialogue at home can make an impact.