The Magical Marriage Switch

This is a picture from Abe and my wedding. I took it.

[Content Note: Marital Sexual Coercion] Purity culture Christians like to think of marriage as  something almost magical. It's like flipping a magical switch where all the rules, standards, and beliefs about reality change. It's as if saying "I do" plummets you into an entirely new universe. Looking at how things change after the flipping of the magical marriage switch reveals some gaping holes in purity culture thinking. One of the most integral moments in my decision to say "screw … [Read more...]

Once Upon a Cheap Hotel Room

Content Note: Brief Mentions of Rape/Sexual Abuse [Disclaimer: This is a story of my personal experience, not a universal prescription for how people should react to sex. Obviously others have different experiences and what not. Those other experiences are valid, but so is mine]  I didn't wait until marriage to have sex. If I'd heard someone admit that when I was younger, I might have gasped. I might have thought, "You didn't wait until marriage? What's wrong with you? How did you ever … [Read more...]

“You Are Not Your Own:” Women are objects, or weaker animals

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This post is part of a series called“You Are Not Your Own,” focusing on rape and sexual assault in Christian relationship/dating books Trigger Warning for rape, sexual assault, victim blaming, sexism Note: this research mainly focused on female rape. Though it is not the focus of my project, male rape is a huge problem as well–1 out of every 10 rape victims is male. I wanted to make it clear that, despite the focus of my study, it is not only women (and definitely not only … [Read more...]

Guidelines for a holistic sexual ethic, part 3

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If you haven't read my other two posts on sexual ethics, I suggest you do so to get the full context. The first post can be found here, and the second here. As a reminder, I've been talking about a few basic guidelines that can help people form a holistic sexual ethic. I'm doing this to combat the idea that purity-culture and/or wait-til-marriage Christians have a monopoly on ethical sex, and the idea that waiting until marriage is in itself a holistic sexual ethic. In my last post on this … [Read more...]

Is there room for other perspectives in the evangelical conversation against purity culture?

purity culture

Today, @mslooola, who I follow on the Twitters (#FF her for more great tweets on the topic, by the way--can I do #FF on a blog? Is that cheating?), tweeted her thoughts on the recent trend of evangelicals calling out Purity Culture: Now, I have a lot of friends/acquaintances who are evangelical, who are speaking out against purity culture, and whose sexual ethic (regardless of their personal convictions on when you should have sex) revolves around consent, and respect for others' … [Read more...]

Elizabeth Smart, chewed gum, roses, cars, and me.

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

Trigger Warning for Rape, Sexual Assault, and "Slut Shaming" As you may have seen, this storyabout rescued kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart has been making the rounds on the internet. Smart said she "felt so dirty and so filthy" after she was raped by her captor, and she understands why someone wouldn't run "because of that alone." Smart spoke at a Johns Hopkins human trafficking forum, saying she was raised in a religious household and recalled a school teacher who spoke once about … [Read more...]

Feminism and abstinence

bell hooks states in her book Feminist Theory, From Margin to Center: One aspect of sexual norms that many people find oppressive is the assumption that one "should" be engaged in sexual activity. This "should" is one expression of sexual coercion...When...emphasis is placed on ending sexual oppression...it is possible to envision a society in which it is as much of an expression of sexual freedom to choose not to participate in sexual activity as it is to choose to participate. Having grown up … [Read more...]

Same ol’ story.

Trigger warnings for sexual assault.  "Once upon a time, there was a girl who was pure, virtuous, an angel in a white dress, and most importantly, a virgin. Then, one day, she met a boy and fell in love. Although the girl was committed to remaining pure, the boy kept pressuring her for more than she was willing to give. Using lies and manipulation, he convinced her to come into his bed. The girl feels dirty and worthless. Her purity gone. But then she begs Jesus for forgiveness from her sin. … [Read more...]