slut virgin wife

slut virgin wife cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

You can buy my art!

My cartoon and post yesterday, “The Modesty Purity Movement and Our Sacrificial Virgins” received a lot of attention from both sides of the camp. Read the comments to see what I mean.

From the literature propagating the internet lately it appears to me that women have three choices: they can be a slut, a virgin or a wife. In a lot of what I read a woman is defined by her sex and her relationship to men. Either she’s had sex or not. If she has she’d better be married. If she hasn’t then there’s something wrong or she’s super special.

This is how it pans out:

A virgin is no man’s. A slut is any man’s. A wife is one man’s.

I’ve read Michael Hyatt’s post, “Whatever Happened to Modesty” several times. I find it fascinating. My daughter read it, 21 years old, and it made her angry. Men dictating to women how to dress. Still. He quotes something Jordin Sparks said at the MTV VMAs:

“I just have one thing to say about promise rings: It’s not bad to wear a promise ring, because not everybody, guy or girl, wants to be a slut.”

Those are the choices? I’m sure that’s not what she meant. But it does articulate an apparently prevalent attitude: either you’re a virgin or a slut. Or a wife.

My daughter said she will define herself thank you very much.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Merrydew

    A friend’s ex-husband told their two teenage sons to play the field with pretty girls but when it came time to pick a wife to choose an ugly girl because ugly girls had been used less.

    I have been in trouble at churches all my life because I think and I think that women are trapped by the world into the slut/virgin standards because many men in power fear women who think. I did not add ‘wife’ to the equation because even a wife who thinks and expresses an opinion is called a slut and worse.

  • Anne Evans

    Goodness. I’m with your daughter. No-one has the right to define a woman, except that woman herself. We appear to be going back several hundred years in attitudes to women – and some women seem to be happy for it to happen. This is worrying – and dangerous.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    There are lots of dynamics here and it all seems to boil down to power.

    One is the power of men over women where men objectify women and think of them as property or objects to possess. As objects, men would want one that is shinny and new. As objects, women would want to be one that is shinny and new. People used to think more like this in the distant past than in the present but unfortunately the bible was written in the distant past and has contributed in perpetuating these old power dynamics through modern times.

    Another is the power of religion over people in general where religion becomes embedded in our lives in such a way as to perpetuate its power. For example, to say that one natural physiological function (sex) is immoral outside of marriage and moral within marriage – and then want to be able to define and administer marriages. With religion so closely coupled with this important physiological function, it maintains its power. To buck the system and engage in sex outside of the institution of marriage challenges the system and the religious system needs derogatory terms for such people. The double-standard in play puts the blame on the women. The only exception is with homosexual men. There are no women involved here so the men have to be blamed and vilified. Christianity also has the idea that we are all broken and wicked and can only be made pure by God for admittance into an afterlife. The parallel theme plays out in saying the act of sex is wicked outside of marriage and can only be made pure by the institution of marriage as defined and administered by the church.

  • Shary Hauber

    I too agree with your daughter David the article made me angry. Men need to be taught to see the whole female. Is she creative enjoy it and tell her about it. Is she generous tell her she is kind. Is she smart, even smarter than you then admit it. Is she loyal to her friends complement her on it. Does she do her job well reward her with equal pay. Please men see the whole woman. Do you think she is sexy be careful you don’t imply that is all there is to her. And please do not mention it the first time you meet her.

  • Gary

    The polarity of opinion on this subject is appalling to me. It is difficult to discuss sexuality with most people because of their rigid definitions and stereotypes. Its as if our conversation on the subject is reduced to sloppy and extreme caricatures.

    I pointed this out on the other thread and it is worth repeating here in line with your excellent post today. It is actually possible to have a respectful and mutually beneficial sexual life outside of marriage. The fact that some make bad choices with their sexuality does not then in turn mean that the only good choice is complete abstinence. We would not say this about anything else in life so why do we about sex?

  • eddy_from_dayton

    I find the whole thing confining towards women to be honest. So a woman can’t live on their own and be valued unless they are paired with a man. Hmm, so much for women who are not ready to settle down. And men want them to be a “lady on the street but a freak in the bed’ without appearing slutty. So much for the choice of having as many men (or women) they want at their choosing because they just happen to love sex. And true purity must come from someone who abstains for sexual activity. Well, so much for being alive as a human being denying what is a part of their make up from the moment they are born.

    It seems to me women are the best judges of who they want to define themselves. Too often men and society get a lot of things wrong when we try to define women. Why don’t we stop doing so and allow women to just BE! No guilt or judgement, just let women be women and God will sort it out in the end. Actually, I believe, He’s sorted it out already by stating his love for all women and values each one by who they are in the first place.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    I think it’s funny that men think they have to tell us about this. There are only so many options, and the woman who is sexually active with more than one man but not a slut (however that is supposed to work out?) is just supposed to be open for men to enjoy, is what I would say. It sounds self-serving. We know that woman are generally looking for commitment. !!! And men are often more shy of commitment. It sounds like a way to enjoy the cow and not buy the milk, as we say so horribly but fittingly. Even in Islam when you go to heaven you get so many, (quite a few) perpetual virgins. Well, here we have an oxymoron. –Have your cake and eat it, too.

    Nope, it sounds pretty much like rationalization. Women are not really interested in having their hearts broken over and over, and here we are just talking about the emotional/spiritual aspect, not to mention disease and pregnancy. (Did you know that we have a spike in throat cancer now. You can guess how you get that.)

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Because sex is special.

  • Gary

    Life is special and sex is indeed one of the wonderful aspects of it. How does this justify seeking to declare anything other than abstinence as sinful and/or slutty?

  • Gary

    You certainly prove the validity of David’s post today.

  • Al Cruise

    After 40 years in these types of Churches, here is fact. Many of the men who preach on the purity of women, are on the prowl for any slut, ” their words” they can jump into the sack with. Doesn’t matter if she’s married or a Church member or what have you. Women going through divorce are always a good bet. As long as the dynamics of the “Church leadership culture” stays the same, there will be no change any time soon. Fact is many men who are in leadership or positions of power in Church, business, entertainment, sports, etc., feel it is their unilateral right to have access to sluts, regardless of what the Bible says or any other moral teachings.

  • http://www.rosevbutler.net/ Rose Butler

    Maybe you should do your research and talk to the actual people involved before you go spouting shit like this. It proves that you don’t want to understand the people involved or their motivations. Michael Hyatt does not appear to be involved in the purity movement; he just has a very biased opinion on what is acceptable for the entire world. Check out the Ladies Against Feminism, actually TALK to the people involved, and then write a post about how the purity/modesty movement defines women. I’m not a part of it, I don’t agree with it, but I totally understand where those women are coming from and I respect their choices no matter what.

  • Jake Enns

    My only beef with the cartoon is that my wife looks a whole lot more like a woman than your drawing. She is hotness personified.

  • Worthless Beast

    No room for plain ol’ aesexuals, is there? Not that people think the male version of that exists, either. Sometimes saying “Yes, there’s something wrong with me, let’s please not get into it” is the easiest answer.

    Maybe it’s just my tendency to Take a Third Option (or a Fourth Option, or a Fifth Option, etc.) when presented with choices and ultimatums? Sometimes, I wonder if I even belong on this planet… I feel like I belong in a different universe… in regards to lots of labels, actually.

  • wanderer

    Rose, I’m totally baffled about what your point is. I have checked out LAF, I’ve listened to many involved in the purity movement, and I agree with David’s post/cartoon. If you don’t agree with that movement I’m not sure why you sound angry that they are being misrepresented?

  • wanderer

    Yes, it sounds like Brigitte has a very narrow perspective of women and what we want.

  • klhayes

    Right on Gary…and the Church loves to talk about “sexual addiction” and all this horrible stuff that could happen to you if you have consensual sex before marriage. But again I like to point out they don’t see rape and molestation as a big deal.

  • klhayes

    She had to get her Islamaphobia in too, lol

  • klhayes

    And doesn’t have a label for a man that has sex with a lot of women.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    Hello David,

    you might be interested to know that in the French Evangelical church I was a member of seven years ago, it was also taught that a man can be

    1) a depraved man having sex outside of marriage

    2) a male virgin (what the English word for that? ;-) )

    3) a committed husband

    A young man was excommunicated by the elders for living together with his (non-Christian!) girlfriend.

    Are you sure that, for American evangelicals, this only concerns women?

    Greetings from continental Europe.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

  • Amy Mitchell

    I have to wonder how much of the “you’re a slut” and policing women’s bodies/clothes is because men are trained to be afraid of their own bodies. I mean, if you grow up being basically told that it’s a sin to get hard or to masturbate, aren’t you kinda more likely to think that rather than a normal bodily function, erections are dirty and wrong? And then, not knowing how to handle that, blame women for the “problem” because that’s what you’re told to do? This fear just gets passed on, even among men who would otherwise not have issues with power. (Not that power isn’t an issue too, I’m just wondering how much damage is done to young men’s psyches regarding their sexuality.)

  • Aimee Platz

    I’m with you’re daughter …. I’ll define myself too thank you very much ! This type of thinking “slut virgin wife ” in the Christian community and sometimes secular culture is detrimental and archaic . Women are so much more than these labels And our sexuality doesn’t define who we are .
    Also thank goodness for minds like your’s ! I love reading you’re blog and totally agree . People like you help people like me who are liberal and spiritual not lose our faith <3 ✌

  • http://demiurgiclust.net shelly

    Good on your daughter. *nods*

  • Dorfl

    “It sounds like a way to enjoy the cow and not buy the milk, as we say so horribly but fittingly.”

    If this expression is meant synonymously to ‘why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free’, then I agree it’s horrible of you to say it. I can’t think of any worse reason to marry anyone, than marriage being the only way to get them to sleep with me. There would be so much wrong with it that I don’t even know where to begin:

    If I did that, I would be fooling a person into making an emotional investment I would not be able to reciprocate. I would be faking a much greater interest in them as a person than I would actually feel. I would be making them unwittingly live a lie for as long as it took them to figure it out and divorce me. I would be keeping them away from genuine relationships they might have had. I would shake their trust in others, possibly hurting their capacity for commitment and intimacy.

    I really don’t understand why people who see themselves as defenders of the sacred institution of marriage make this argument, since they’re basically declaring that they just see marriage as a more respectable form of prostitution.

  • http://nakedpastor.com/ nakedpastor

    You are aware, aren’t you, that that phrase “Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?” is used to describe women who have sex before marriage? It’s degrading and misogynist. I’m surprised you pulled that out of your bag of tools.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    I agree Gary. The thing that people tend to forget, is that in humans, sex is usually only part of a relationship that includes it. If it is a long term relationship, its one of the less frequent activities a couple engages in, with others like eating a meal, talking, doing chores, sleeping taking much more of a their time together.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Special how?

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    What the hell does a spike in throat cancer have to do with this topic? A rise in the disease could very well be because of smoking, or genetics, or a life time of exposure to toxins. So this is related how???

  • http://nakedpastor.com/ nakedpastor

    I know for a fact that there are professionals on the speaking circuit going around to churches, etc., actually teaching people that they can contract STDs by just breathing the air in the same room as a homosexual or sexually active person! There is so much fear which translates into hatred concerning sexuality that it isn’t a wonder to me that women are especially targeted.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Yeah, I”m baffled too. I doubt David has dealt with the topic while existing in a bubble. Besides, he seems to have plenty of people who have up close and personal experiences with what the purity culture teaches and what it does, to glean insight from.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    It is sad that there are so many people that believe the myth of “if this person is speaking from a pulpit, then they are speaking truth” and don’t bother to do any fact checking. God gave us brains, and insight and the capability to seek answers on our own.

  • Gary

    Uhm…Huh?

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Well, what shall we call a man then who blows up people so that he can have sex with many perpetual virgins? Ah, yes, a martyr.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Yes, yes, I said the saying wrong. But Dorfl, I am sorry, I cannot follow your thinking at all. I am sorry, Dorfl, you are probably mad at me and you have probably been through more things than I have. But I am one person, who has only ever slept with her husband, and I am not the only one who has followed this pattern, and it is nothing like what prostitution would be. It is the most wholesome and joyful way to have a love-life. I would not trade this scenario for any perceived excitements in the world.

  • http://nakedpastor.com/ nakedpastor

    But can’t you see that you saying “It is the most wholesome and joyful way to have a love-life” may be based on what you’ve been taught and your own experience which have a symbiotic relationship?

  • Brigitte Mueller

    It is not describing women. It is describing the cheap bastard who will use a woman in this way. It calls the women a cow, I guess. But it is just a metaphor. It means someone who gives and gives, here.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    David, as a friend of mine likes to say, when there is sex there is always three. God is always there. So, yes, it is also about what one considers God-pleasing, (if one has a God). If someone thinks a gangbang is God-pleasing, maybe it could be very enriching and nourishing and lovely.

  • Dorfl

    I’m not mad at you. Sorry if I ranted a bit.

    My point is that even within the context of this metaphor, anyone who ‘buys the cow’ as a way of getting ‘milk’ is completely reprehensible, while ‘getting free milk’ from a willing ‘cow’ is at worst somewhat sleazy.

    This is of course ignoring everything that’s wrong about comparing women to ‘cows’ and seeing sex as something they passively give away.

  • Gary

    And what shall we call a man who carries a sign that says “God Hates Fags” and protests at the funerals of our fallen heroes? (Or even children if they believe it will get them enough press)

    Yes Brigitte…religious fanatics are ugly and detestable, and so is the slander of an entire group of people based upon these extremists.

    Seriously…knock that shit off. No one is impressed by your bigotry.

  • Gary

    God is present in all things. Every conversation with a friend or stranger, every mundane or exciting activity we engage in…including sex. Your insistence in portraying sex in the most vile ways you can imagine (“ganbang”) completely invalidates any point you might like to make.

    I believe God is not offended by sexual activity unless it violates the basic principles of the law of love. (Same for ANY activity) So why should I care that the God who gave us the wonderful gift of sexuality is omnipresent??

  • Gary

    This may be the best response to that disgusting saying I have ever heard or read. You are absolutely correct in that holding sex out as a carrot to entice people to get married cheapens the marriage.

    Many years ago I counseled a young couple who were living together and had a young child. They had made mistakes in their life like bringing a child into the world before they were emotionally ready. In the course of my counseling with them their lack of maturity became more apparent. However…it was known that they were not married and the church could not tolerate such a blatant display of “living in sin”. After pressuring them to either marry or break their relationship off completely (the arrogance of that still haunts me) they finally consented and I performed a wedding for them. You can probably guess the outcome. sigh In little more than a year they were divorced.

    I have often wondered over the years if their relationship might have survived had they been able to focus on building it together rather than facing the church based shame and condemnation heaped on their family. I have seen and known countless examples of couples who tried to “save themselves for marriage”, only to have that sexual element drive them into a marriage relationship long before they were ready. Hell even my wife and I (married 30 years now) rushed into marriage prematurely just to get to the sex. We were one of the lucky ones who managed to develop the relationship before our immaturity tore it apart. Admittedly…it was touch and go for a while.

    The phrase “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” is so disgusting to me now…as is the entire fundamental church view on sexuality.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    There is a rise in a particular kind, otherwise I guess it would be from smoking, but we’ve had smoking for a while. It looks a certain way and shows by the tonsils… (I am not really an expert. Just reading the newspaper). It is caused by HPV. We have, or course, vaccines for HPV now, but… only 50% usage, etc.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Dorfl, yes and no. To get married in order to have sex, which we all have an urge to have, does make some kind of sense.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Wait. So god makes sex an odd form of menage trois?? That is creepy on so many levels

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Do you never think about God when you have sex, or even thank him for it?

  • Brigitte Mueller

    With Islam we are not talking about fanatics but the whole system. The promise of paradise is that a man will have 72 beautiful, young women and the virility of 100 men. The debate is whether he will have continuous erection or intermittent, I just read yesterday. Someone, who knows more than I do, might like to debate this. But this article, for example, seems pretty well documented. I have read the Koran, but I am no scholar in the area. http://knowing-islamic-doctrines.blogspot.ca/2011/05/paradise-lust.html

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    If I am thinking about god doing sex, instead of the person I’m having sex with. Then I am doing it wrong. And I am thankful for my spouse who knows what he’s doing and who treats me wonderfully, ini and out of bed . Giving thanks for just sex , to me cheapens it.

  • http://nakedpastor.com/ nakedpastor

    NO! One of my professors in a pentecostal bible college taught us that she spoke in tongues when she had sex with her husband. i thought way back then she was crazy. talk about dichotomizing the human being!!! that makes for crazy imo.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    I think the “Virgin” Mary used that strategy. :)

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    I’ve heard there is some latitude as to what that passage means. Some translate it to be 72 white raisons (a delicacy at the time). Others 72 jewels. Some take it to mean merely that heaven will be a very nice place. In Islam as in Christianity, there are those that take things literally and those that take a more nuanced metaphoric reading.

  • Dorfl

    You’re the Christian conservative. I’m the godless socialist. How come I end up being the one to berate you for having a sexual morality permitting things I find utterly unacceptable?

    I don’t think it makes sense to marry someone in order to have sex. At all. I’m not married, but even in the short-lived romantic relationships I’ve had, love, friendship and an interest in each other as individuals have weighed more heavily than the need for sex. It’s not that it’s been unimportant, but it’s been much less important than the other things.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    That is just a weird objection.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    You heard the strangest things in these threads. Honestly. — Getting married to have sex is like prostitution, says Dorfl. Giving thanks for sex cheapens it, says allegro63. Giving thanks for sex is dichotomizing the human being, says David. The Muslim jihadist who is promised the virility of 100 men to service his many young lovers, (women with nice boobs, and boys, by the way) is just taking this to a radical literalism, says Jeff.

    How about–just promoting sex in marriage for fun, safety and long term fidelity, so that old crones like me can still have a lover (look at that old wifie biddy in the picture with her bun and pots and pans; certainly that must be me and maybe you, too, allegro), and procreation, of course, where possible and appropriate, and being thankful for it all, enjoying it now in a sensible way rather than aiming for a false non-biblical mortification and abstinence, nor for the dozens of lovers in the after-life.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    I was 48 when I finally learned what good sex was. Yes you read it correctly, and I was not married at the time. I simply decided to take a chance after decades of the bad unenjoyable variety, I married the guy a year, who is better in every facet than my first. I am thankful for him and how he enriches my life. We enjoy the physical part of our relationship because we are suited. Yes sex for fun as part of a long term relationship is a bonus.

    However commitment is not for everyone. For those that do not want that, sex can be for them too, in boundaries that work for them. I do think that mutual respect, an understanding of the rules and expectations are healthy the parties involved. That doesn’t always happen. Just like a couple getting married doesn’t always have those conversations

  • http://nakedpastor.com/ nakedpastor

    It’s not an objection. It’s just a statement coming from my own opinion. You can pray to God while you’re having sex if you want. For me it would distract me from my lover thereby diminishing the experience.

  • Dorfl

    Oh, dear. I’m sorry to hear about that young couple. It’s always bothered me when people seem to think the outward appearance of a marriage is the most important thing, making them prefer a coerced marriage to people ‘living in sin’ and a loveless marriage to divorce. Even within the context of their belief system, I can’t see how that makes sense.

    I’m happy your marriage has lasted. I think lifelong marriage is beautiful when it works, even while I also think there are many equally beautiful kinds of relationships and that it probably isn’t suited for all, or even most, people.

    I hope that if I ever ‘buy’ a ‘cow’, it will be because of mutual love, friendship, respect and trust, built up over time. Not because it’s a more socially accepted way of getting ‘milk’.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    That website is a very very poor representation of Islam. It is taking a few passage of the Koranic scripture and essentially agreeing with the fundamentalist minority on what they believe. It doesn’t begin to deal with the whole of the faith, and much of its very introspective peaceful factors. Like Christianity, it is rich and diverse. There is much within it and of course others that are in harmony with Christianity as well.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    The quick research that I did, still has smoking and alcohol use as the primary causes of throat cancer. Yes HPV is a rising cause of the some kinds of this kind of cancer, and seems to occur more in men than in women. As fewer people are smoking, may make the shift from one source of cause to another more noticeable. Throat cancer is also not a very common form of the disease, being only about 3 to 5% of all cancer occurrences. The Mayo clinic, WebMD and a wealth of health related resources are wonderful health tools….Plus I”m a nerd. I love looking up weird facts.

  • http://nakedpastor.com/ nakedpastor

    Ya that’s pretty obviously an anti-islam site. Didn’t you notice the “merry christmas” and it’s counter on islamist terrorist attacks?

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Sorry, I thought I had replied to this. There is a specific throat cancer caused by HPV, now, which has increased a lot. We have a vaccine for HPV but the utilization rate is 50%.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Wow, after all these years, you think about your lover the whole time during love making and nothing else. That is amazing focus, indeed. I cannot say the same thing for myself. — No, but being able to be thankful is a real plus, I would say. Sometimes I even thank my husband for the favors. I think he likes it.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Whatever the label, there are a lot of quotes from the Koran and the Hadith.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    I just came across this challenge by Ayan Hirsi Ali. It seems especially fitting tonight, as we are poised to hear about US involvement in the strife in Syria. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3QaLugRjMg

  • Gary

    Should we start posting quotes from the bible ordering slaughter and genocide on those who did not accept their god/religion? (And countless other barbaric commands of god) Clearly they are there.

  • Steven Jones

    “Here they are: ‘Four Guidelines for Modesty’:
    - If you have trouble getting into it or out of it, it is probably not modest.
    - If you have to be careful when you sit down or bend over, it is probably not modest.
    - If people look at any part of your body before looking at your face, it is probably not modest.
    - If you can see your most private body parts or an outline of those parts under the fabric, it is probably not modest.”

    I wonder if some of the commentators are perhaps reading a bit too much into Michael Hyatt’s post. The way I read it was that he was commenting on what he saw as immodest displays on MTV. For what it’s worth, I would apply this to both genders – for instance, I’m not sure that I would be too comfortable with the image of my son going out in public wearing clothing with his underwear showing, half his backside sticking out, and displaying a relief of his genitalia a la some cheap Vegas costume.


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