I've been idly searching on various modesty-related subjects for a while now, and I'm feeling rather disturbed. The overwhelming majority of people advocating modest clothing, skirts for women, and the like, are religious. These are the same people that advocate things like women caring for their home rather than working, and cooking and baking from scratch... and then a deity.
I have worn only skirts outside of my home for over a year now. They are more comfortable, with bloomers/pantaloons/bike shorts worn underneath. They are easier for me to find in my size and more flattering to my rather sizable hips and bum. I can layer them or layer things under them for warmth, I don't need to worry about shaving my legs if I don't want to, and I feel more confident and attractive while wearing them. All things considered, skirts are entirely practical for my life, and I enjoy wearing them.
Modest clothing is also something I'm more or less in favor of -- though not to the extent that many people seem to take it. I see nothing wrong with some cleavage, provided that cleavage is from the top down rather than the sides or (oh defiance of gravity) the bottom. For myself, cropped tops or bikinis are right out, and I'm not fond of things without sleeves. Form-fitting clothing is fine, provided it's not so tight that I can practically see a person's pores. Still, if people want to wear cropped-to-the-chest sequined spandex three sizes too small, well, my eyes are capable of turning in another direction. I feel no need to tell others how to dress unless they ask me to, nor do I feel that my way is the "right" way of doing things.
Lastly, I'd love to be a housewife. I have a definite flair for baking, and I am rapidly gaining proficiency at everyday cooking as well. I like to keep things tidy, especially when it is my "job" to do so. Caring for a person I love is very high on my list of things I enjoy doing -- even to points that might make people uncomfortable. I like having food ready for my partner when he comes over after work. I like giving him a bit of a massage to unwind at the end of the day. I see nothing wrong with offering sex to him when I'm not particularly interested, but he is, or he's particularly stressed and in need of a relatively quick relaxant. As far as I can tell, this makes me (at least in the eyes of the rather more extreme feminists) all but a traitor to my gender.
I have two breaking points, in regards to people who are religious that share my preference for everything I've just mentioned. The first is children. I don't want any. My partner is, in fact, willing to get sterilized so that I will never have to worry about him getting me pregnant. If he was not -- and possibly even though he is -- I would consider getting myself sterilized to be entirely sure. I just plain don't like children. Don't know how to deal with them, and have never in my life desired one of my own. Even if I could magically have one without the horror that is pregnancy attached. Even looking at pregnant women makes me uncomfortable.
The second problem point is religion. I also don't want any of that. The closest I've come to being religious is when I went through my woo-woo pagan phase in my first years of high school, and even then my interest was more academic than functional. My up-bringing was entirely secular (churches are for weddings, funerals, and the odd choir concert) and I've never really wished for it to be otherwise. So there goes my hope of forming any deep relationships with the bulk of the more conservative religious folks.
This all boils down to the fact that I have no idea how I ended up like this, and I feel rather like I'm in several niches that don't fit together. Skirts, housewife-ing, modesty, never wearing makeup; these things are not terribly popular with anyone I've met in my general age range. And people that do like those would likely object to the atheism, kinky sex-positive views, pro-choice views, and generally liberal stance on everything.
I've been dwelling a lot on this as I prepare to move halfway across the country. I know no one there besides my partner that I'm moving with, and so have an unusual chance to make whatever first impression I desire. I've been living in the same place since I was 9, so this is a major event. I'm really happy for the chance, because I've come to feel fairly secure in my self-identity, mixed up bag of pick-and-choose contradictions that it is.
One of the first conversations I had with my current partner was in a tiny park by the library in my town, late at night. It was a perfect time to speak frankly, and we did. He shared a great deal of things with me -- deeply emotional things and secrets, things that made him cry -- that I still feel awed to have been allowed to learn about him.
There was so much going on that night, and yet the one thing I remember most clearly (for we are all somewhat ego-centric, no?) was the way he described me. It took him a bit, and several encouragements from me to get past the hesitance and the inability to find the perfect phrasing, but he finally told me that he saw me as a living contradiction, like a part-human, part-animal creature from myth. A centaur or similar. The comparison was odd, but it rang true to me then, and even more so now.
I've gotten away from my original topic somewhat, so I'll wrap this up. Somehow all of the paths I follow in my head bring me around to him, no matter how many twists and bends it takes. I feel unbelievably fortunate to get to live with someone who knows me so well, and is also reasonable in solving problems, mostly sane, and loves me so dearly.
Now please excuse me while I go expire in a big, contradictory pile of mush over in the corner.