Bride Presents Father With ‘Certificate of Purity’ on Wedding Day
I actually am not terribly interested in discussing this particular news story, but it is right up the alley for this blog, so I feel obligated to a point.
I’ve seen this news story show up on my Twitter account from other people, and in various Christian groups or blogs I visit. I figured that may be another reason I should hop into the fray.
Here is a link about it:
Here is an excerpt from that page with some comments by me below the excerpts:
- To some people, the idea of waiting for marriage might seem old fashioned, but not for Timothy and Brelyn Bowman. The 20-somethings tied the knot earlier this month in Prince George’s County, and they were virgins when they wed.
- To prove it, Brelyn presented her father, Pastor Mike Freeman, with a ‘certificate of purity’ on her wedding day. Soon after the wedding, the couple’s social media posts went viral.
- Appearing on Good Day DC, Brelyn said she signed a pledge to remain a virgin until marriage when she was 13. FOX 5’s Steve Chenevey asked Brelyn how her father reacted to the certificate that she presented to him.
- “He was so excited because it’s not nothing he required. He didn’t ask, ‘I need you to go and present this.’ It was something because I kept my word,” said Brelyn Bowman. “My sister, who was a virgin when she got married, did the same thing. And she was an example for me, so now I can be an example for others.”
This news story has been discussed on various sites, including
- (Link- off site): Stuff Christian Culture Likes and
- (Link- off site): SSB, Spiritual Sounding Board.
Here is an excerpt from the coverage at SSB, which I believe was written by SSB’s founder, Julie Anne (whom I do really like and respect):
- I am disgusted that this young lady felt the need to go to a doctor to get a note from him to prove her virginity. Would her father not take her at her word?
To be fair to the father, I have so far not seen a news story saying that the father insisted that the daughter go through a medical exam to prove her virginity (or that she possessed an intact hymen) to him.
Yes, some people, especially ones who are angered at this news story, are attempting to make a distinction between virginity and having an intact hymen.
Yes, it is true that some females can tear their hymen by playing sports and so on, but I think this is a semantic quibble.
Generally speaking, having an intact hymen is part of female virginity; it is usual for women virgins to have an intact hymen. The two concepts are usually linked. So, for whatever reason, I don’t get as angry or upset as others are by this part of the story.
I do think that men who are utterly obsessed with a woman’s virginity or hymen and insist on marrying only a virgin may be on the sexist side. Although I think these sorts of men are few and far between: most men today prefer to marry NON-virgin women (see (Link): this page on this blog for more on that issue).
I, a virgin woman, would prefer to marry a male virgin, but I know by this time in life, most guys I meet to date will be non-virgins, guys who are divorced or who are widowers, and I’d assume most of them were sexually active with their previous wife. I’ve learned to accept that fact of life and consider other factors in a guy – so men need to do the same with women.
One article I read, from New York Post, I think it was, made it sound like it was the young woman’s, Bowman’s, idea to pursue the “intact hymen” certificate and to publicize it, not her father’s (link to that is below, under the “additional off site links” section).
Here are some of my thoughts on this story, based off the handful of news articles and commentary I’ve seen online.
Off the top of my head, I’m not quite sure what I make of the story.
I’m not really sure if I am for or against this woman getting a certificate of intact hymen signed by a doctor and making this information public.
What I will say is this….
I find some of the progressive, secular feminist backlash against this woman or her values or actions hypocritical.
Secular left wingers, especially feminists, love the term “sex positive.” They don’t believe women should be shamed or criticized for however they express their sexuality – no matter how many men they have sex with, if they have sex prior to marriage, and so forth.
A lot of that is also true for secular folks who are not feminists. I’ve seen male atheists adhere to these same views online – they don’t believe men or women should be judged for how or when they engage in sexual acts or for the type of sex act.
There are also Christians – both liberal and some conservative – who don’t think anyone should be held accountable or judged for their sexual behavior.
In the past decade, I’ve read news articles about progressive women who walk in marches or demonstrations in the streets or at Roman Catholic Churches, where they strip their shirts and bras off, parade around totally topless, and scream in support of abortion or against “slut shaming.”
I think some liberal women even once held a “I’m A Slut” walk or two.
Here are some off site links about it:
Excerpt from Washington Post:
- It’s a controversial name, which is in part why the organizers picked it. It’s also why many of the SlutWalk protesters are wearing so little (though some are sweatpants-clad, too). Thousands of women — and men — are demonstrating to fight the idea that what women wear, what they drink or how they behave can make them a target for rape.
- SlutWalks started with a local march organized by five women in Toronto and have gone viral, with events planned in more than 75 cities in countries from the United States and Canada to Sweden and South Africa. In just a few months, SlutWalks have become the most successful feminist action of the past 20 years.
Here are a few off site links about women who go topless and scream at priests (or at other pro-lifers) in pro-abortion rallies or demonstrations:
- (Link): Topless Femen Activists Storm Spanish Anti-Abortion Rally (NSFW PHOTOS) – Huffington Post (Left Wing site)
- (Link): Topless Feminists Disrupt Canadian March for Life to Protest for Abortion – LifeSite News (conservative / right wing site)
- (Link): Topless feminist protest in Spain’s parliament over abortion reform – Euro News
In the past month, women (usually of left wing perspective) have taken to Twitter to brag about abortions they’ve had, under the “Shout Your Abortion” hash.
Off site news links about that:
- (Link): Why Women Are Shouting Out Their Abortion Stories On Twitter – Huffington Post (Left Wing site)
- (Link): Women Celebrate #ShoutYourAbortion on Twitter – WND (Right Wing site)
- (Link): ‘It saved my life’: Thousands of women share their termination stories to end shame and stigma as #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag sweeps Twitter – Daily Mail
Why are progressive women by and large fine and dandy with women going topless in public places, screaming at pro-life clergy in pro-choice demonstrations and bragging about – or discussing – on social media something as personal and controversial as having an abortion…
But many of these same women are so upset or indignant about a young lady, who apparently, of her own choice, decided to stay a virgin until marriage, have a doctor sign a certificate of intact hymen, and post this information on her Instagram account and discuss it with reporters?
Why is the airing and publicizing of positions that the left favors deemed acceptable by them, but issues the left abhors, mocks, or is disgusted by (e.g., someone with traditional values who publicizes her traditional choices or Christian choices and values) not?
I am not saying I necessarily personally agree with a young woman publicizing her virginity under her real name on a social media site (maybe not in the manner in which she went about it), or getting a doctor to sign a document saying she has an intact hymen – but those are that woman’s choices.
Why should I respect her choice on those things or to publicize them any less than a bunch of pro-abortion feminists who march around publicly screaming pro-abortion rhetoric while topless?
I am over 40 years of age and still a virgin myself. For the record, I have never participated in the “True Love Waits” program, nor did I wear a sexual purity ring or sign any purity pledges or anything of that nature. I simply made a choice when a girl or teen that I would wait until marriage to have sex.
(Although I am still a virgin at this point, I have decided that should I get into another committed, serious relationship, I will consider having sex prior to marriage.)
There is next to no support in many cultures today for remaining a virgin past ones mid or late 20s. You are thought repressed, damaged, or strange by most people (including a lot of conservative Christians) if you are not fornicating.
Having pre-martial sex is regarded to be the norm by most people, even though there are people such as myself who are sexually abstaining.
But we seldom hear from people who are abstaining.
I’ve written before about how (Link): most Christian churches, even the conservative ones, prefer to have ex porn stars and strippers give testimonies in church then they do getting honest- to-God adult virgins or celibates to offer their testimonies.
Churches and most cultures prefer sexual sinners. They tend to shame anyone who is over 25 and a virgin, or who is celibate.
In a way, Bowman is doing fellow virgins and celibates a favor by publicizing her story. She is quite correct that “not everyone is doing it,” as she said in one post or in some interview.
You wouldn’t know that there are adult virgins and celibates who exist, since our culture is so sex saturated; it’s quite easy to assume if you are a 20-, 30-, 40-, or older- virgin that you’re alone, that you are the only one who is not having sex.
In the end scheme of things, I do think a woman’s virginity is her own: it doesn’t belong to her husband or to her father or to any other man. I wrote a blog post about that (Link): several months ago.
(I do think an argument can be made that it’s considerate to save one’s virginity for one’s wedding day, since there can be ramifications for one’s partner if one does not wait, as mentioned in (Link): this link on this blog for example.)
I am puzzled and somewhat disturbed by the fact that Bowman found it necessary to get her father involved in her sexual purity pledge.
Her virginity is hers, not her father’s. I do think under-girding Bowman’s belief system is, or may be, Christian gender complementarianism or Christian patriarchy, where women are essentially viewed as being male property, first owned by their fathers and then by their husbands, if they marry.
I am also tired of the double standard here: the focus is always on female sexual purity. Men and boys are seldom reminded or taught to stay virgins until marriage, or asked to signed sexual purity pledge cards and so forth.
Here are additional off-site links to other news sites covering this story (with some concluding comments by me below these news links / excerpts):
- To make her innocence official, Bowman took matters into her own hands.
- “I was able to present a certificate of purity to [my dad] signed by my doctor that my hymen was still intact,” Bowman wrote on her Instagram page along with a photo of her first dance with her old man at the wedding.
- “If one person has made a decision to wait until marriage or decide to stop & wait we have done our job,” she wrote on another photo. “Let’s make Jesus famous!”
- While another wrote [below the young lady’s Instagram post about it], “Purity is one thing but a certificate of hymen authenticity is so far beyond I have no words other than unfollowed.” Others are questioning her decision to make this very personal information public. “The problem is placing that type of information online. That should have been something private,” one commenter wrote.
- But the newlywed and her family are proud of her accomplishment and her devotion to her faith. Six weeks ago, Brelyn posted this photo to social media and stressed, “everyone is not doing it!”
- …Dr. Mike Freeman, a pastor and the bride’s father, posted a photo of the two to his Instagram page questioning the outrage. He wrote, “Who knew that a pic like this would get so much negativity but a natural man will not understand things of the Spirit for they are foolishness to them!!!”Despite the negativity, Brelyn is taking the high road and enjoying her honeymoon.
To an extent, I do have to agree with the lady’s father’s implied view that the backlash against his daughter’s choice and actions (ie, publicizing her choice) is distasteful, strange, or is an over-reaction.
I do question the young lady having her father involved in this, in handing her father proof of her virginity.
Putting aside that part of the situation, however:
Persons in our culture routinely practice, encourage, argue in support for, and publicize -and our media regularly glamorizes or desensitizes- pre-marital sex, homosexual sex, and in some quarters, (Link): bestiality, and child molesters hold conventions to argue in favor of legalizing child-adult sexual relations (i.e, NAMBLA).
But for a hetero women to stay a virgin until marriage of her own volition and to publicize her status in this matter is considered by some tacky, creepy, preachy, judgmental, inappropriate, or beyond the pale, and in poor taste? That is, I’m afraid, a double standard. It’s a glaring double standard I could drive a huge Mac truck through.
This is one of those stories that I may have to reflect upon, and I may reach more or other conclusions. And, as I see other blogs and sites cover it, and read more of what people are saying about it, I may (or may not, who knows) edit this post to add more thoughts, links, or observations.
(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both
(Link): Secular, Left Wing Feminist Writer Marcotte on Anyone Choosing To Be a Virgin Until Marriage: “It’s a Silly Idea” – What Progressive Christians, Conservative Christians, Non Christians, and Salon’s Amanda Marcotte Gets Wrong About Christian Views on Virginity
(Link): Why Christians Need to Uphold Lifelong Celibacy as an Option for All Instead of Merely Pressuring All to Marry – vis a vis Sexless Marriages, Counselors Who Tell Marrieds that Having Affairs Can Help their Marriages