Editor’s note: At The Shoeless Banshee we have published some strong women’s responses (here and here) to Lori Alexander’s post “Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins without Tattoos” from her blog, The Transformed Wife. However, I was curious to get a man’s perspective on this controversy, so I invited some respected friends to weigh in.
I know you’re not old enough to use the internet yet, but one day you will be. And someday you may come across an article such as this.
What I want you to know is that this is all a lie and it goes against everything that makes you, you. You are not a housekeeper, you are not a baby factory, you are not a “prize” that a man must possess. None of these things are you, and none of these things sum you up in your entirety. Everything that I hope to have taught you up to this point is that God is the only Person who matters here.
You may bring debt into your marriage if you choose to attend college (if it even exists then), but that won’t be a mar on your character. You will have bettered yourself in college and achieved new skills and chosen for yourself what you want. A man can’t define that for you. Not even me, your father. If anything is going to define you, it should be your love and desire to be with God.
People may think college is wasted on women, but I think it is lost on anyone who cannot put their education to use. I can already see how curious you are about the world, so why would I not want to foster that? Of course, you don’t have to go to college—you might go into a trade and do something you really enjoy. Or maybe you’ll just plunge straight into the workforce after high school. I won’t stand in your way; in fact, I’ll cheer you on the whole time.
Even if you get married and have a husband, whatever you bring into it will be worked out between you. Whether this is debt, spiritual baggage, or past relationship wounds, both of you are part of one flesh, one team. Marriage is far from a one-sided affair, and I hope that your mother and I have modeled a decent one for you. Anyone who says anything different does not understand that essential reality.
The point of this, little love, is that you are not an object to be examined, inspected, and then evaluated based on some guy’s preferences.
You are a unique, strong, intelligent woman and if anything, any man who comes into contact with you should be intimidated. I’m already intimidated by you, and you’re only a year old now. And the fact that such people think that they can define you? That they can change you? That they can make you into something you’re not? Man, will you have news for them.
And no, I will not care if you get a tattoo.
At the end of the day, my little love, you get to choose who and what will be best for you. I will give you tools, point to the path that I believe is best, and, with your mother, help form you. But you’ll take everything from there and go out on your own. The only thing that I will ever ask of you is to include me.
Your Dad, Al
Alexander Pyles holds an MA in Philosophy from Franciscan University and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. When not actively parenting, he writes, reads, watches, and breathes science fiction. He resides in Illinois with his wife and daughter.