I was once watching a video of a circus show. A magician came on with his assistant. He was dressed in a tux and tails, a cape, a top hat; she was barely dressed at all... What did this show say to me? It said that the man was the artist, the skilled professional. And the woman? Well, all she was good for was her body; presumably everyone would focus on her physical features, so the magician could perform his tricks without being caught. I was so offended, I turned off the tape.

Tzniut – modesty – has always been the hallmark of the Jewish woman, Tzniut in its greater sense is dignity and self-respect, an understanding of one's intrinsic self-worth. When a woman acts and dresses in a tzniut way, she effectively tells the world that she expects to be judged as a human being with skills and capabilities, intellect and emotions, and not as a "piece of meat" that is being displayed to attract the attention of a buyer. Read the "suggested dress for women" section in any manual on how to apply for a serious job, and you will be amazed at how closely it correlates to the general laws of tzniut. Because the woman applying for a job is expected to be hired on the basis of her abilities, not her body...

It would seem to me that any true feminist would actively encourage all girls and women to dress tzniut!

For more on this topic, see our Inner & Outer Beauty section.

I hope this has been helpful.

Chaya Sarah Silberberg,