Everyone else on earth is as annoyed with “purity” as I am, right? The idea that there are two kinds of womenâ”good girls” and everyone else, and one of them is good for fucking and the other one is good for marriage and never the twain shall meet and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz? How is this fulfilling for anyone? Enough.
Reading this made me pretty sad. And not because she’s so obviously and entirely wrong and each word grated against my every moral fiber. She was right. At least about how most people seem to be approaching ‘purity’.
Now this doesn’t mean I’m agreeing with her. But I think if I were to take this article and put in every effort in shooting it down, justifying the common male perspective on female purity, I’d just be proving her right.
When a man looks at a woman and labels her ‘slut’, he has lost. When a man looks at a woman and labels her ‘prude’, he has lost. He has lost sight of who the woman is and where her beauty lies. He has lost any right to receive anyone’s trust. And he lost any chance at finding someone who could pull him out of his ego and into a bigger and better world.
But when we notice an abusive approach to valuing something, especially a virtue, we definitely shouldn’t throw that thing away entirely. It’s the same as judging all white people for being over-privileged racists or all people of a religion for the mistakes of a few irrational extremists (or weak-willed clergymen). We notice narrow-mindedness and respond by turning around rather than actually seeking the Truth that lies within and beyond. And the truth is always harder.
So first thing, this shouldn’t be a double standard. If I, a male, choose to value purity in a woman’s choices and actions, I too must be pure. I have to practice the same modesty and self-control that I am ‘expecting’ from some woman. I can’t look at ‘purity’ the same way ‘other guys’ look at breasts. I have to do all that I can to hold fast to my values if I’m going to hope for a girl who is going to be true to those same values. I can’t judge women, whether or not they are the girl I’m looking for. I can’t objectify women, even if they’re on a screen. I can’t act like everything’s okay if I’m in the privacy of a friendly conversation or even in my own room. And if I fail to do so, I have lost any right to hope for the trust of a woman.
Second, I was REALLY upset with how people have allowed their faith, especially a Christian one, to warp their understanding of human worth. Jesus looked at adulteresses and prostitutes with nothing but mercy. He lifted them out of their shame into a greater worth and greater love. He loved them for something so much deeper, and yet people who raise their children to be disciples of this same man have allowed them to lose any sense of that. That is a faith dependent on pride when disciples of Christ should be ready to be humiliated. That is a faith dependent on worldly dignity when disciples of Christ should be ready to receive martyrdom as the invitation to heavenly glory. The message scattered throughout the gospels is that everyone has a chance. The moment the Father catches sight of his prodigal son (or daughter), he will run to him, embrace him, and kiss him. He will give him the finest robe and put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. He will slaughter the fattened calf for a feast, “because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found” (Luke 15:24).
I’m not even sure how valid any of my points really are. This is mostly just a personal rant. It’s not a philosophical argument. So here’s the most personal and most unnecessarily honest bit:
To me, purity is related to intimacy and trust. In the same way that I don’t necessarily feel comfortable opening up to a person who is super outgoing and talks to absolutely everyone, I wouldn’t want a girl who easily offers herself sexually to others. It’s selfish, but I can’t trust absolutely anyone with absolutely everything and if I’m going to be so vulnerable as to give that trust, I would hope that it’s mutual. I want to know she trusts me and not that what I see as intimacy is just a regular activity to her.
A woman’s trust is something precious and something delicate. The only options are to value it or to abuse it. It’s just like absolutely anything that is good in this world. You have to seek it, chase it, wait for it, fight for it. And once you finally receive it, you have to keep it and protect it.
It might not be fair to compare her “purity” and “innocence” to my insecurity. But the question of trust is still there.There is something deeper that needs to be protected.
Her body is sacred. Sex is sacred. And I want a girl to help me see this. I want a girl who believes in a reason to be “pure” and a reason bigger than having the self-given right of slut-shaming. I want a girl who, whether or not she has the desire for sex, has a reason to not fall victim to a false or unnecessary sense of sexuality. And I want a girl who knows that no matter what mistakes she has made, no matter what suffering she has endured, she has that same reason to forgive and receive forgiveness, to stand back up, and to walk that same path of purity. Because her purity isn’t determined by her history and it’s not exclusive to the innocence of children. Purity lies in her thoughts, words, and actions. Purity is real, but purity is deeper than abstinence. Purity is hope.