If you're not a Mormon, the
terms in the following email may be a little puzzling. The "LDS" standard is a
type of honor code common at Mormon schools. A "ward" is like a sub-sector of
the Mormon public, and it determines where and when you go to church and who
you're going to church with. Forward your moral outrage to
--- Michael Neault
From: Stephanie C. To: Meredith B. Subject: immodesty Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2004 Dear Meredith: I don't really feel right about sending you this message but I felt it still needed to be aired. I have a boyfriend who attends your ward and I have learned that he has repeatedly been distracted by your appearance. I know of this because I just recently overheard him passing crude remarks in reference to your body in a phone conversation with one of his friends. A girl I know who attends the same ward gave me your name and I looked it up in the directory so I could contact you in a polite way. You may be an attractive woman, but dressing in ways that deliberately put emphasis on your bodily curves and feminine clothing (often tight and revealing your bottom and panty-line --- which my boyfriend has a weakness for) is not the proper way to present yourself in a spiritual setting. I have a strong feeling that he is not the only guy who feels the same way about you. This is very sinful on your part, in my opinion. He is trying hard to live by the LDS standard and live a moral life, and he and other guys would be better off without the distractions that come from women of low moral standards. Whether or not you are intent on causing young men temptation, please consider carrying yourself in a more modest manner for everyone's sake. Stephanie ------------------------------- From: Meredith B. To: Stephanie C. Subject: My bottom and panty line Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2004 Dear Stephanie: Thanks very much for your concern regarding my modesty. My friends and I all laughed very heartily over your email and reached the conclusion that 1) you are someone playing a joke or 2) very mistaken about who I am. I hope that the former is true, as it would mean you're fairly clever, ironic, and amusing. If the latter is true --- that you really are a concerned girlfriend emailing a complete stranger because she's tempting your boyfriend with her scandalous clothing --- then I feel pretty bad for you. First, my choice of wardrobe, though it's really none of your business, happens to be among the most conservative (coverage wise) that anyone has ever seen. I wear long, relatively baggy skirts and generally some kind of frumpy sweater. In short, I dress more like a school marm or a librarian than a seductive siren. I wish I had the capabilities to take a photo of myself in such an ensemble in order to illustrate this principle better, however, my description is hopefully demonstrative enough to suggest that I am neither attractive nor an immodest dresser. Secondly, if your boyfriend does indeed have a weakness for panty lines, as you claim, and if he habitually makes lewd comments to his friends on the telephone, it would perhaps be advisable to take some time to evaluate your relationship. Maybe I don't have the most experience with relationships (I am, after all, a very unattractive school marm) but it seems quite dysfunctional for a presumably grown woman to contact perfect strangers about her boyfriend's wandering eyes rather than to speak to the boyfriend directly. If your boyfriend is a wanderer, maybe he's not that great of a catch. It seems as though the worst thing to deal with in a relationship would be mistrust. Also, if I ever had the opportunity to speak with your boyfriend, I would similarly advise him to reconsider his courtship of a neurotic, potentially dangerously jealous girlfriend such as yourself. Furthermore, there is perhaps no better way to illustrate one's piety and righteousness than to be moralizing and judgmental, as you have been. I believe you accused me of being a "woman of low moral standards" and of being "very sinful." Thanks so much for taking the moral high ground in this situation --- it exhibits your profound maturity and I can assure you that the opinion of a relatively inarticulate stranger is certainly apt to greatly influence my choice in clothing styles. If you are really concerned about the way I dress, maybe we could arrange a time for me to come over and browse through your saintly closet and pick out (only to borrow, of course) a few items that might be more appropriate. Additionally, the fact that you seem to be surrounded by young men who are constantly tempted by women in immodest clothing demonstrates your ability to pick great friends. Perhaps if you all had some hobbies it would keep your mind off such inappropriate thoughts. Some suggestions might include taking up knitting, joining a shuffleboard class, volunteering with the elderly (or maybe they dress too scandalously as well), or learning to oil paint. The point is, find some other things to do besides get distracted by what others are doing. Again, I appreciate your concern and hope that you will find the actual person to whom you were intending to write. I also hope that you have a talk with your winner of a boyfriend about his temptations and if you are worried about maintaining morality in your own relationship, I might suggest wearing a thong, as they don't produce the panty lines for which your boyfriend has such a weakness. If, on the other hand, you happen to be someone I know who is simply playing a practical joke (my first reaction, as your email really was absurd) please come forward so that I can congratulate you on your fine sense of humor. Good luck and please let me know if you ever notice my shorts getting too short or my midriff being exposed, etc. Thanks! Regards, Meredith B.