By the title of this post you might be wondering why a blog dedicated to Apologetics and Traditionalism has to do with bikinis fitting. Don't worry, this post isn't about some diet or exercise regimen that a lot of Conservative women must be into these days while gearing up for summer, but rather a different type of fit all together. All Conservatives "know" that Liberals are all about being promiscuous and immodest, but what Conservatives don't realize is the striking inconsistency with their own position. If you stop and think about it, wearing a bikini is the epitome of immodesty and promiscuity, so why do Conservatives (in general) see nothing wrong with bikinis?
As always, the first place to start with is definitions.
What many people don't know is that "Catholic" is not a
synonym for "Conservative," and in fact true, orthodox
Catholicism is not Conservative
at all. That's because Conservatism is a secular
philosophy that doesn't say anything in particular
about faith or morals. Conservatism, as its name implies, is
about conservation, namely resisting radical or sudden change.
But resisting change of what? That's essence of the problem, there is
no benchmark or reference point of what must be conserved: there's
only a vague notion that what our parents and grandparents did can
only be changed gradually and with caution. But once things have
changed gradually and with caution, they become acceptable and
effectively the new normal. The alert reader can readily see what
this entails: this Conservative mentality can create situations where
what is objectively immoral or heterodox from a Catholic perspective
can end up being perfectly acceptable by society as long as this
immorality and heterodoxy is introduced slowly and cautiously. This
takes us right to the heart of bikini issue.
The truth is, bikinis were developed about 100 years ago as a
form of pornography, this form of pornography was called “soft
core” to flirt with the viewer into getting sexually excited about
even more devious images beyond the magazine cover. At the time, and
even up to about 30 years ago, everyone was well aware of the
original purpose of a bikini, that of a semi-nude woman putting
herself on display for money from sexually aroused males. This is
more popular than ever today, as nude and semi-nude women are all
over tv and magazines, proving the slogan “sex sells”. But this
has become so widespread and accepted that people today see no
problem with it, including Conservatives. Whether they are living
in a Red State or a Blue State, Conservatives take it as a normal
thing that wearing bikinis is the thing to do. This has even led
to putting bikinis on children at younger and younger ages. And why
should they not do that if they see their mother or older sister
wearing one? The problem is, Conservatism has blinded most people who
are otherwise generally decent people, and that's because Conservatism is a false ideology.
The sad news is, Conservatism has gotten to many good Catholic
women, as wearing bikinis is seen as perfectly acceptable in their
minds even in the midst of their pro-life activity and being active
in their parish. If there is a parish or school event at the pool or
beach, you can be guaranteed to see bikinis present. Thankfully,
there are a lot of Catholic women who don't subscribe to Conservatism
who see the problem clearly, and they've written posts about it (e.g.
sadly, I've come across some Catholic blogs where the female authors
are still in debate about the issue in their own mind, revealing just how entrenched the error of Conservatism is.
As a Catholic, one must be opposed to bikinis, as they're a
clear violation of modesty. The original intent of bikinis was
plainly about exciting sexual lusts, particularly to make money. No
informed individual can deny bikinis are associated with sexual
overtones, be they fantasy or reality. This has turned into a general
corrupting of morals overall. Some Catholics have pointed out the
irony of how a bikini shows just as much if not less
than normal women's undergarments, and yet seeing a woman in her
underwear is considered lewd and unacceptable while wearing a bikini
is not. This is nothing but a mental disorder. There is no
acceptable social context in which a woman, especially a Catholic
one, should ever wear a bikini. Not only does this strip her of
dignity by reducing her to a piece of meat, it leads men into sin and
the near occasion of sin. The Scriptures and Tradition are very
clear that Christians are required to avoid scandalous behavior that
would put others in the near occasion of sin. So any woman wearing a
bikini who is aware of this is, in fact, committing sin herself.
This is particularly why some Catholics have written articles about why women should keep their bikini pictures off of Facebook and similar sites.
It is plain to see that the acceptance of bikinis has led to more
and more revealing casual dressing as well, which is just as serious
and can be just as sinful. While there are cultural lines that can be
difficult to judge at times, there is still a principle of modesty
that exists in virtue of Natural Law and Christianity. Once a
woman wears a bikini, she's totally destroyed any principled way to
distinguish immodesty from modesty. In fairness, men should not
be dressing in a provocative manner either, since they can lead
females into sin as well. So a good case can be made that men should
not be going shirtless. That said, men are far more visual than women
and get sexually aroused a lot easier, so in this case addressing the
issue of women in bikinis is far more crucial.