Comment

In summer, London has a modesty problem. And it’s not just women who need to cover up

If immodesty is the issue, why not at least recognise that often men don’t cover themselves properly in public? (Photo: PA)

Ah, the joys of June, the sparkling blue sky, the hot sun and long days filled with sunshine.

Walking home across the central London parks in summer, I see crowds of women sunbathing in skimpy clothes or even letting their underwear be seen. But it’s time to acknowledge that some of the most immodestly dressed are men, striding around bare-chested or embracing the fashion for showing off their underwear at the top of tight shorts.

I am not a mother with young children, but if I did have a small child, it would be a cause for concern that so many public places during summer are dotted with men who flaunt their flesh. Even outside the hot summer months, there is the persistent fashion trend of wearing trousers hanging down to show off one’s underpants. It is regrettable that such a trend has come about through young men trying to fit in with their peers.

As Catholics we have been sorely amiss in not addressing men’s immodesty of dress. Too often critical discussions of women who are scantily clad are thinly veiled platforms for misogyny. If immodesty is the issue, why not at least recognise that often men don’t cover themselves properly in public? So much time has been spent contesting what women must wear and must not wear to stay modest – without taking men to task for dressing in a way that is objectively immodest.