"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wSaturday, October 15, 2005

LIKE A VIRGIN, OR SOMETHING: Beliefnet featured my chastity article, with the response from Jeff Sharlet, on its front page Tuesday. The readers chimed in with quite a few posts.

In the article, I cast doubt on the practice of loudly advertising one's virginity. I wrote:

Virtue is not mute, but neither is it obnoxious. People don't wear "I gave to charity" T-shirts or "I honor my mother and father" wristbands, with good reason.

A few readers who label themselves virgins defend the practice. One greling writes:

I don't really think me being a virgin and abstinent makes me "better" than anyone else.

The reason I want to get one of these shirts is to go against the tide in radical fashion.

He explains:

For some reason it's somehow considered "upright", "commendable" and "praiseworthy" for young women to keep their virginity, but for young men like me, it's considered taboo and de-masculinizing. Afterall, there is more cultural pressure to get young men to have sex and young men are stereotyped as having uncontrollable hormones.

I think it's cool when I can look around and see other young gay guys like me who are 21 years old and waiting for monogamy.

No, I didn't see that one coming.

rea_1219 chimes in with a more traditional defense:

And for those of you who take issue with teens talking about abstaining from sex: Duh. We talk about sex in this culture all the time. Thats the whole point. We need to be vocal with the positive messages too.

In response, I'd just point out that my article attacked the excesses of the virginity movementarians rather than the idea of chastity, which I think is, on the whole, good.

Poster Posterboy raises a practical objection:

I can think of another reason why a woman shouldn't wear a t-shirt proclaiming that they are a virgin. It might attract predatory rapists who otherwise might not attack them for fear of getting an STD as a consequence, therefore making these women prime targets to evil predators.

rea_1219 responds:

Yeah, know what you mean Posterboy:

Its like those kids that wear those rainbow colors to show their support for gay and lesbian civil rights -- dont they know theyre inviting homophobes to smack the snot out of them?

mykal100 suggests some more tee shirt slogans:

"I don't smoke crack"

"I say my prayers everynight"

"Not a shoplifter"

"I am NOT a serial killer"

I like the last one. Might have a few made.

posted by Jeremy at 12:00 AM