A group known as The Liberty Council is asking young women to wear white this Valentine’s Day to show that they’re virgins. And while I have nothing against celibacy, I can’t help but cringe a little bit at the deification of virginity.
You see, I grew up in this culture–this “virginity is the ultimate goal of womanhood” culture–and it was not without damaging consequences. For one, it confused many of us about sex. What was considered “sex”? Was it just intercourse? What about all those “in between” sex acts in which many of us were engaging? Did those count? And if I am coerced into one of those, should I tell someone or will my membership in the white shirt club be revoked?
Secondly, virginity culture alienates girls. I cannot count how many of my friends had been pressured or even outright groomed and abused into sex acts, who then wrote themselves off as “damaged goods.” Which is just baffling. Also, and I know this is a shocker, but teenagers have sexual feelings. Even teen women. Some choose to have sex. How is one person less valuable than another simply because they had something in their vagina? I’m wearing a tampon right now–does that make me unworthy?
Finally, and I’m just going to say it, weird shit happens when we elevate virginity to such a level. Remember the Duggars? The fundamentalist Christian family who wouldn’t even kiss before marriage? Well, there was an incestuous sex scandal going on between the children of that family. It happens a lot. Now, I’m not suggesting that abstinence always leads to abuse. What I am saying is that when we promote a culture of slut-shaming and overemphasizing sexual purity, we often stop having conversations about consent, and we foster ignorance in our children, which can leave them vulnerable to predators.
The other thing that really confuses me about this whole “wear white for Valentine’s Day”: Isn’t wearing white before Memorial Day a sin? That got us at SPM thinking. What are some other sins worse than having something in your vagina? Turns out, there are oh so many.
Waiting until the last minute to merge in a construction zone.
Wearing harem pants in any form.
Friending someone on Facebook for the express purpose of selling them MLM products.
Walking slowly in the middle of the Costco aisle with your big ass shopping cart so that no one can pass you.
Just dumping all your unwanted shit in a Ross Dress For Less dressing room until it looks like an episode of Hoarders.
Then not returning said shopping cart to the cart coral.
Clipping your nails at work.
Pronouncing it “expecially.” (See also: “supposably”)
Listening to someone chew. Unless, of course, they are eating Lady Doritos.
Leaving pittle on a toilet seat at work like a fucking animal.
When the babysitter cancels last minute so you can’t get a break from the baby you conceived via abstinence-only education.
Unsolicited parenting advice. (Double points if you aren’t even a parent.)
Repurposing mason jars into wine glasses.
Re-mixing decent 80s music into the instrumental, Musack version.
Farting in an elevator.
Having a soul patch.
Not having something in your vagina. (My lesbian friend has it on good authority that this is an especially egregious sin).
Point is, there are so many ways human beings exhibit less-than-perfect behavior. Maybe we could do womankind a favor and stop putting so much clout in what we do and do not do with our lady bits?
Special thanks to Amber Leventry for contributing to this post.