Worthwhile Reads: Dateable: Am I?

Every so often I get a pingback indicating that another blogger has mentioned one of my posts. Sometimes, as it did today, this leads me to interesting and insightful post and blogs. This particular one is so spot on that I just have to share it with you. It’s called Dateable: Am I?, posted on VeganAtheistBlog. Here is an excerpt in which the author discusses what a purity book she read as a young teen taught her:

- Boys only think of sex. Always. No boy ever likes you, they just want to have sex with you. Don’t be fooled into thinking anything else. You cannot trust them. They’ll do and say anything they have to to get you into bed.

- One day, someone will marry you, but only if you’re untouched. Nobody wants something broken, and girls who have had sex are completely broken and worthless. Didn’t you read the car thing above? Marriage is just the price men pay for the privilege of tearing through your hymen, and if yours is already broken, well, you’re a worthless slut and can’t expect anyone to treat you with respect.

- COVER THAT BODY. Seriously. What is wrong with you? If you wear stuff like that and someone fucks you and dumps you, don’t come crying and complain that I didn’t say so. Boys value girls who wear lots of clothes and no slutty make-up. You know, because of the mystery and the way the girls respect themselves. “If you dress like a piece of meat, you’re gonna get thrown on the BBQ.”

Yes, yes, and YES. These are the same messages I and so many other girls growing up in the purity culture received almost daily. And then there is this particularly beautiful part, something I also experienced as well:

I only realized how much all of this was still part of me when I slept with my boyfriend for the first time. I trusted him, and I believed that he really liked me (not just my body) and wanted to be together with me.Yet in the weeks afterwards, I felt like a burden had been lifted from me – we had done it, and he hadn’t left me. He was still at my side, as sweet and loving as ever, treated me with no less respect than before and showed no sign of waning interest now that he had “explored the mystery” (yes, you may thank me for this new euphemism).

Go read the whole thing!

What Courtship Was for Me
Bob Jones University Rejects Key Recommendations of the GRACE Report
Be Pretty, but Not Too Pretty
The Modesty Rules---Not So Simple, Really
About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • http://www.veganatheistblog.wordpress.com veganatheist01

    I feel extremely honored now :D

  • machintelligence

    This somehow strikes me as another manifestation of the two value logic employed by fundamentalists. (Things are either true or false, good or bad, etc.) Since boys think about sex more than girls, they must think about it all the time.

  • smrnda

    Wow, horrors upon horrors. First, there are lots of boys who probably are only interested in sex, but I’m sure that it’s not all of them. Perhaps this is an impression that you can only convince a girl of if she’s never allowed to engage in any mixed-gender socialization. I always had male friends and I think many of them grew up to be more interested in a woman’s personality, interests an intelligence since they got to know girls as people, not as something you see and want but can’t touch or talk to or as some abstract class of being you never really interact with.

    And the whole idea of having had sex making your ‘broken’ – if a guy only cares whether or not a woman is a virgin, then he’s an absolute P.O.S. I mean, there is so much more to a person than that, and hey, isn’t Christianity about forgiveness? There are lots of reasons to respect a woman – the whole ‘only a virgin is worth anything’ is reducing a woman to a sexual commodity the same as if she was being prostituted.

    And the whole ‘boys value the modest girls’ – what about boys who care about things like what a woman think, aspires to or believes in? I think that this sells both boys and girls short. At the same time, I’m sure that rigid gender segregation – where boys have little to no actual contact with girls (and where girls are rigidly socialized) – kind of traps boys into being unable to relate to women as people.

    And if women and girls don’t think about sex, why do so many women’s magazines have a huge front page article title where it’s something about sex?

    • seditiosus

      Great comment. I’d like to add that when boys do only think about sex it is an unhealthy, dysfunctional worldview that needs to be corrected, not just written off as “boys are made that way”.

      From a male perspective I think the fixation with sex is a stage that some of us go through around puberty (hormones, you know), but grow out of fairly quickly. We realise quite early on that the one thing better than a shag is a shag and a good conversation.

    • Nimue

      @ smrnda re: christianity being about forgiveness: from what I have seen at a christian university, if it became generally known that a man had had premarital sex, he was forgiven and held up as an example for his humility in the whole experience of confessing/being caught and toted as a pius person because of how hard he was working to stay “pure” in spite of his past “failure”. Conversely, if the same became known about a woman, she was immediately branded a whore and no pius man would have anything to do with her. People treated her rudely because if you were polite to a slut in public, it was probably because you were either a) sleeping with her (if you were male) or b) also a slut (if you were female). The double-standard was infuriating.

  • ScottInOH

    Although I grew up learning these “lessons” (albeit in a kinder, gentler way), one thing I never understood–or had the courage to ask–was, if sex with a virgin is a man’s greatest goal, why would he value sex with his wife after the first night?

  • smrnda

    On boys only thinking about sex – I think that’s probably a mental health issue that should be handled by a psychiatrist. I think that sex and gender segregation help fuel this since the only thing about girls that boys with know is that they are girls and that they feel sexual attraction to them; they have no experience dealing with girls as human beings with interests, opinions and personalities.

    @nimue – the whole double standard thing probably seems very blatant to outsiders but is probably just accepted by those on the inside without much critical thought. I think that the real reason is that religion is mostly patriarchal, and ‘purity’ is more about ‘a guy deserved a virgin wife like he deserves a new car.’ It’s obvious to me since when I read X-tian sources telling boys to ‘stay pure’ it’s more because they shouldn’t be having sex with *some other man’s future wife.*

  • http://politicalcorrections.wordpress.com/ Natalie

    By the way, this is a really good article for your reference.