In response to my modesty posts (and to Dalrock’s), there is a consistent refrain that no one gets to set the rules of modesty. Generally it goes thus:
“Modesty is important, and everyone should strive for it..provided that we all understand that modesty cannot be actually be defined or realized. No one gets to set the rules of modesty. Any attempt by an individual to establish what is and what is not modest, is an inherently false attempt. This is because standards of modesty are something that the community establishes…with, again, the important caveat that any such boundaries must be organic, chaotic, and above all unspoken and undecided. Any intentional setting of boundaries–even by the community–immediately disqualifies such boundaries as phony. The worst thing one can do is be deliberate and act as if modesty were real.”
Understand that the opening acceptance of the existence of the thing modesty is meant to sound as if it is a statement in support of it. Rather, it’s establishing the fact of boundaries in general; of which modesty is one sort. Support for boundaries is necessary because the rest of the argument is actually the circumscription to pen in those who would set the boundaries for modesty. The sole purpose of the argument is to hedge the shepherds in and the flocks without.
This argument may be bemoaned, celebrated, or anything in between, but it is so consistent that we must confess it is now the traditional rebuttal to attempts to address immodesty. It is passed from conservative to conservative; most especially by those who call themselves Christian.
It’s a devilishly effective trap that operates in a several ways.The first is that no one is just a shepherd. Everyone beneath God is a sheep to someone, and so out of pride they want those above them to be restrained. They believe that the grass might be greener over there, and they want that option available with minimal fuss.
Secondly, their sheepiness manifests itself as cowardice. Behind the stockade of never shepherding, they can throw up their hands and say, “See? It is out of these! The sheep must, in ignorance, decide for themselves; as we have always done!” Allowing oneself to be hemmed-in is a relief from a fearful thing. To be responsible for someone often enervates and harrows the soul.
Third, shepherds are in favor of boundaries. It’s the nature of their job. Being believers in the goodness of boundaries they desire to not transgress their own boundaries. They are law-abiders who live in a world where the one law they have been told is to not make laws for others. They must be shepherds who must not shepherd.
Then there is the world’s response to us. Dalrock introduced us to Atheno’s (Kraft’s) character Yiayia as a symbol of a female shepherdess. She was created by a an ad agency bolster the Atheno’s brand. Below the linked case study video they write:
We created a story around Yiayia (Greek for grandmother). Specifically, an old-fashioned grandmother who’s not shy about giving her opinion on everything from what’s on TV to who you’ve married, but especially on what you eat. She gets away with it because it comes from love, but it can sometimes be a bit awkward. Yiayia represents old world Greece, Greek values, and most importantly she represents preparing food the right way. And she will intimidate anyone who doesn’t agree with these ways. There is, therefore, no better sign of quality than her approval. This was an idea that captured beloved perceptions of Greek culture but was relatable to everyone.
Yiayia, like plain yogurt, is good for you, but has an odd taste. She was relatable to everyone because we know that grandmothers are supposed to love us, and therefore hold the line because they know better.
The campaign worked. From the case study:
Yiayia launched with a bang: after a critical article in USA Today that got people talking and fans defending, the videos drew 1.6MM views on YiaTube in the first 4 weeks live (this above and beyond what was delivered through television and paid digital media). Within the first week, Yiayia ads mocking Charlie Sheen were produced by a radio DJ in Chicago, and YIayia was mentioned in the Conan monologue.
According to an independent quantitative study done by Ace Metrix for Marketing Daily, the Yiayia spots beat all competitors in effectiveness and overall performance.
But the ultimate proof is in sales results, and a mere 6 weeks into launch, Athenos hummus and Greek Yogurt sales were trending up, significantly more so in markets where Yiayia was on TV.
Despite the success, Kraft could not stand for it. Yiayia was turned into an idiot that could only be rivaled by a sitcom dad on a “family-friendly” station.
If you visit the Athenos YouTube channel, all pro-Yiayia ads are gone, and in their place are eight videos showing what morons are those grandmas; just like all the shepherds. While that message is from the godless world we must recognize that the majority of Christians uphold it just as they do their ambivalence towards the necessity of fathers and husbands leading their families.
To get out of this trap is going to take generations. I suspect that my daughters may be among the first Yiayias in a long time, and they will have a very tough time getting there; as I have had a tough time raising them to be so. We are laughed at and scorned for our choices–my choices–by acquaintances and family. My children believe they are alone in the world, or very near it. Will they stay with me, or will they reject me and choose the false delights of the world? It’s in the Lord’s hands. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord, even if that means my house must diminish to the sound of the sneers of others. God please forbid.