The Three Weavers, Part III: The Fathers’ Advice


So with her father's blessing light upon her, she rode away beside the prince; and ever after, all her life was crowned with happiness as it had been written for her in the stars. In part I of this series I gave some background to Annie Fellows Johnston's 1904 short story The Three Weavers. In part II, I posted the first part of the story, in which three weavers---Herthold, Hubert, and Hildgardmar---who live side-by-side and have similar fortunes, had three infant daughters---Hertha, Huberta, … [Read more...]

The Three Weavers, part II: How the Story Begins


So with her father's blessing light upon her, she rode away beside the prince; and ever after, all her life was crowned with happiness as it had been written for her in the stars. In the introduction to this short series, I offered some background on Annie Fellows Johnston's purity morality tale, The Three Weavers. This short story had a big impact on me as a teen, and it has only been gaining in popularity in patriarchal circles in the years since then. In this post I will provide the first … [Read more...]

Why Non-Virgins Can’t Have Good Marriages

sex virgins

I recently came upon a blog post by an evangelical in Belgium reacting to the recent outpouring in the Christian blogosphere on the problems with evangelical purity culture. This blogger reacted with confusion, calling what he was reading about "a purity culture I don't know." I think he correctly credits his confusion to the cultural differences between the two nations, even within evangelicalism. Anyway, this one statement of his stuck out at me: What I’ve never heard  in all of this was … [Read more...]

More Real World Damage of the Purity Culture


The purity culture urges young people to marry not based on lust or romantic feelings, but rather based on a checklist of characteristics needed in a godly spouse. Christian? Check. Correct doctrine? Check. Believes in biblical gender roles? Check. And so on. These ideas are not just abstract. They impact the decision-making of young people raised in the conservative evangelical subculture and create real world pain and damage. Back in December I gave you some examples of this. I posted an … [Read more...]

Smile! Your Mom … Had Sex?


"Smile! Your Mom Chose Life!" I found this slogan very compelling when I opposed abortion. I mean, think about it! If your mom had had an abortion, you would not exist! Would you like to not exist? I didn't think so! So how can you be in favor of keeping abortion legal without being hypocritical? And then one day I realized something. I wouldn't exist if my parents hadn't had sex either. Or if they hadn't met. Or if they hadn't been born. There are lots of things that might have kept me from … [Read more...]

Teenage Boys and Pedophilia: Evangelical Purity Teachings Blur the Line


Last week I briefly mentioned Debi Pearl's suggestion that working mothers should worry that the babysitters they hire to watch their kids might have their boyfriends over for sex on the job. I pointed out that if you're worried that your babysitter isn't trustworthy, you should find another, and that there are plenty of responsible teenage girls out there. One reader responded with this comment: Geneder essentialism alert! Boys can babysit as well. Yes, yes they can, but not in Debi's world, … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking: Talking to Teenagers about Sex


I spend more time talking about how the purity culture “does it wrong” than about what it looks like to be doing it right. I want to change that. Forward Thinking is a values development project created in collaboration with Dan Fincke of Camels with Hammers. Dan is introducing our next prompt today (head on over to see it!), but in this post I will pull together some of the responses to this month's prompt: "What would you tell teenagers about sex?" Not only were there a large number … [Read more...]