The modesty and purity movement is both fascinating and frightening.
When people start talking about purity, someone must die. The cry for cleansing conjures up suggestions of genocide. It reminds me of Rwanda.
Read René Girard. Religion was necessary in the development of human evolution to control violence by imputing guilt onto the scapegoat. I suggest this exposes the failure of religion because we continue to create, despise and ignore our victims at an ever-increasing rate.
Thabiti Anyabwile’s blog is “Pure Church” and his tagline is “a desire for an increasingly pure church”. Scary. His popular post at the Gospel Coalition blog network titled, “The Importance of Your Gag Reflex When Discussing Homosexuality and Gay Marriage” is horrifying but important because it betrays a very real hatred of homosexuals. Thank God he said it because now we know it’s real. It bears a genocidal nuance because it’s a small step to calling them “cockroaches” to be cleansed from society.
It’s the same with the virginity, purity and modesty movement. The demand for girls to be pure prepares the way for girls to become victims. Our sacrifices. I find the renewed story of Teresa Scanlan, Miss America of 2011, sad but telling. She was homeschooled and the homeschooling community was proud… until the slut-shaming began and some started to criticize her because she wore a bikini, even to the point of questioning the genuineness of her Christian faith. She was an adored virgin until she became a despised slut. Those seem to be the only two options. Unless you’re a wife. But that’s a whole other issue.
The pressure women are under, especially young women and girls, is astounding. Is it not true that on the one hand they’re pressured to be pure virgins, but then on the other hand they’re pressured to be promiscuous? Does it all circulate around their sexuality? Their vaginas? Is it all about whether or not they’ve been penetrated? Had? Is the female still a supplement to the male, complimentary, a helper? Something to fulfill the male? Like an accessory? An add-on? “You complete me”?
The purity and modesty movement objectifies the woman for the man’s pleasure… whether it’s to use the slut now or save the virgin for later.
The daughter in this cartoon, about the same age as my daughter, has a good mom. They won’t be just another tool in the man’s shed.
My daughter Casile, an artist, sums it up well:
“This stuff makes me so angry I can’t even!”