Using a dynamic definition of modesty, a psychic movement alternating between veiling, unveiling, and re-veiling, the author attempts to show how the current re-veiling of Moslem women is not, as claimed, the effect of a movement of modesty. It is even opposed to modesty, both because it implies a fixed gaze, and because instead of allowing female desire to express itself without advertising itself, it entirely negates and even tries to eradicate it.
The paternal law founded on the prohibition is giving way to a maternal presence based rather on confidence which fosters hedonism. Contemporary adolescence is a world marked by the mother, by the absence of limits, regression. The fear of losing face, of feeling shame or responsibility for one’s behaviour is no longer at the top of the agenda. On the contrary, the adepts of Jackass and happy slapping are perfect illustrations of contemporary individualism and indifference to the other person. Their ego has no other people to whom it could be held accountable.