We all know just how much of a lie sexual purity is and for those who don’t know, sexual purity is a lie created for women to hop on. There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to have sexual intimacy until you find the right one and you believe you’re going to spend your lives with them, the problem is when you begin to attach your value to having sexual intimacy and not having sexual intimacy, it’s not your fault because those are the lies being fed to you daily. The target audience for sexual purity is women, we’re the ones being told to keep our virginity for husbands, we’re the ones being told to not allow the boys touch us, we’re the ones being told to close our legs when we sit, we’re the ones being told that our husbands will value us more if we’re virgins, we’re told that virginity breeds respect, we’re told that our values go down if we have sex with someone who isn’t our husbands, we’re the ones whose necks are being breathed on daily. The men on the other hand are the “hunters”, they’re not strong enough to prevent lust and our jobs as women is to prevent them from having sex because we’re the sex captains, men are told to not impregnate women at least in the African household, they’re told to sit with their legs opened, their values aren’t attached to their penis neither would it reduce no matter how many people they’ve slept with. A man who has slept with 13 women could still be presented with a virgin and not marked as tainted goods but a woman who has kissed one man has automatically lost her value and is tagged as a sinner, shameless or promiscuous.
I’m glad sexual purity doesn’t matter to me as much as it used to before. I was in a school where girls simply having feelings for the opposite sex could get them punished and cast out for being an unserious loose girl by the school officials, house masters, teachers and gradually the students participated in it making the environment inconvenient for students who were in relationships. I think I was happy when my friends kissed boys they liked and had relationships with boys they liked without feeling the need to insult them about it but it still didn’t change the fact that I was a “purity workshop“. Thanks to the amount of shaming the girls in the hostel received about boys, we spent an unhealthy amount of time talking about how dead our intimacy lives were (it was a cool thing back then) rather than talking about good sexual education. I was known for refusing to have sexual contact with any guy I dated and that was why I didn’t date anyone from my school until I was in SS3. I remember when I had invited my boyfriend at the time to my school for our carol and end of the year party which he came for. I introduced him to my friends, we walked around laughing and playing until he asked for permission to kiss me, I told him I wasn’t going to let him but he kept on smiling and saying that he would and in that moment I made the decision to let him kiss me because “what is the worst thing that could happen” unknown to me, half of the school saw it and that was still fine and okay with me, I wasn’t moved until two of my friends came to me and kept going on about how they couldn’t believe it, how they were disappointed and whatnot like I had sinned against them. It was the most uncomfortable thing ever. I don’t blame them for being surprised like I said, I was a purity workshop but the judgemental tone and questions started becoming unbearable, at one point I even said I didn’t kiss him, imagine having to explain why you kissed your boyfriend. My best friend (guy) and my other male friends didn’t say anything hurtful to me, instead they tried comforting me with their own relationships and embarrassing stories of themselves just so I could relax which I very much appreciated. After the party, I went home, called my boyfriend and told him what happened and basically placed the blame on him. I kept going on about him being the cause of my friends asking me really fucked up questions and he apologized to me, taking the blame for everything which I had to apologize later on for. I don’t think I ever fully recovered from that incident because I could never get as comfortable as I wanted to with him even when I was home and miles away from school.
Society has spent so much time making girls feel uncomfortable about their sexuality and sexual desires while it has made boys own their sexuality and own their sexual desires.
Purity Culture does more harm than good. I think the seniors in the school knew this but they still shamed themselves out of animosity and because they thought they were doing the right thing. In my group of friends one person really suffered from purity culture and slut-shaming, thinking about it now I wish I had done more to defend the choices she made for herself without judging her. While the girls were going on about who the purest was, the boys were going on about scoring girls and who the baddest was in the group. SS2/SS3 was when I became more open to talking about sex and relationships to the girls in our hostel and to the junior students. I couldn’t even hug my best friend because I thought it would taint me (The definition of a HOT MESS).
Purity culture is harmful and once we begin to correct the bad side of it, we would be able to speak about good sex education for boys and girls rather than what it’s supposed to be about. Instead of making purity culture about virginity and how it is a woman’s worth and the only way her husband would respect her, we could talk about purity relating to abstinence, protective sex and regular health checkups to keep ourselves away from STDs. We can talk about purity being the types of birth controls, contraceptives, reversible vasectomies and cleanliness rather than how a human being has been devalued for having sex.
Purity culture encourages rape. For every time you say “and she was a virgin”, you encourage the rape of women who choose to have sex.
Next we take on Purity Culture in Religious Places.
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