Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Her Heart/ Bed are Pure As Snow: The Purity Lie

I came across this interesting article on that has me a bit outraged. My small response and synopsis follows, along with a link to the article in its entirety.

Amongst the religious and sometimes non-religious, there is a popular slogan for young women which is to "stay pure." There are numerous groups, religious ceremonies, and lots of religious cultural prompting for young women to focus their moral identity on whether or not they have sex. Growing up Christian, I thought it was a girl's duty to remain sexually inactive until marriage, in order to better serve her husband. It seemed the mark of a strong, Godly woman: sexual purity and the denial of sexual desires. However, what has me angry at the moment is that these institutions who are trying to promote "God-like" or "clean" behavior are belittling women by putting their worth on whether or not they remain virgins until marriage (expecting that they want to get married).

Many young girls wear their "purity" proudly, as if it defines them as strong women, which only brainwashes them into believing that their worth is completely connected to their sexuality. This undermines girls' understanding of their bodies. It first makes them feel guilty for having sexual desires, and then makes them feel worse if they act on these sexual desires.

By trying to keep women safe from unwanted pregnancy and emotional angst that comes with unsafe/stupid sex, society and religion only serve to sexualize women by allowing their sexuality to be 1.) a public spectacle 2.) open for discussion 3.)a means for labeling women "impure" or "pure" simply due to whether or not they have sex. What this does is allow guilt in young women to alienate them from their peers and their family that expect them to not be sexually active. Not only does it alienate girls from others, but it also could make them compulsively run to sexual behaviors, because that which we are ashamed of is usually done compulsively.

A beautiful heart and mind are said to go along with a low libido. I thought only the media objectifies women, but religion does as well.

Source: The Purity Myth


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