"Is Female Purity Bullshit?"

"Is Female Purity Bullshit?"

The following is an excerpt from Marc Barnes's blog post, "Is Female Purity Bullshit," of which the full text can be found here.  Marc Barnes is currently a student at Steubie U, sneak-attacked-kissed my best friend on the cheek (bahaha, true story though), and gives me hope for the future of Catholicism in America. Check out his blog, Bad Catholic on Patheos. When I led a Faith and Field: English program here at school, whenever I was lazy I just made my group read his blog posts.

[Lindy West of Jezebel's] critique [on female purity] comes from being righteously pissed over an evangelical culture which has guys saying they want a “pure” girl without defining their terms. She discusses “sex-ed” classes which liken women who have had sex before marriage to chewed up pieces of gum no one wants. Allow me to murder my way through her thesis: “Purity” is a vague, repressive expectation imposed on women by men, a unique method of controlling female sexuality, with the grand result that women feel like crap for failing to live up to the fresh and sealed quality of unopened candy.

She says:

Girls and women, if no one has ever told you this before, or if you just have trouble believing it: you are good, you are whole, you are yours. You do not exist to please men, and your value as a human being is not contingent upon your sexual capital. “Purity” is a lie.

Guess what? She’s right, and damn right. Purity as such is a lie. But this only follows if “purity” is defined as our wanna-be-Christian culture defines it, which is essentially not having sex until you’re married. This cannot be the definition. Not having sex until your married, taken in itself, is simply an absence of sex. As an absence, “purity” cannot be something “good,” for something must be in order for it to be good. To give you a visual example, check this out:

Exactly. I can’t represent the absence of sex because it is — by definition — non-existent. When a Catholic weeps at the feet of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in earnest whispers the Memorare, begging the intercession of the “Virgin of virgins,” could we honestly say his hyperdulia springs forth from an intuition of the absence of sex in the Virgin Mary, and that what we laud as praiseworthy in the Blessed Mother is a lack?