The Unfortunate Anti-Virginity Fall-Out from Christian Misogynist Lori Alexander’s Wacky “Debt Free Virgins Without Tattoos” Post – The Problem is Not Supporting Virginity, It’s Complementarianism
Lori Alexander has posted this (unhelpful) clarification of her post (about “Debt Free Virgins with Tattoos”) on an ultra-conservative political forum:
(Link): Godly Men Prefer Debt Free Virgins Without Tattoos – by Lori Alexander, on Free Republic
Her new aspect is to add the word “Godly” prior to the word “Men,” as if that makes it less obnoxious or wrong, but it does not.
I used to lurk at the Free Republic site, back in my more conservative days, but I’m not surprised to see most of the posters under Alexander’s post on that site actually agreeing with it.
Of course they do.
I’m still a conservative, but I’m no longer off the reservation about it, as the Freepers are on some things, like on this topic.
The Unfortunate Anti- Virginity Fall Out Due to Lori Alexander’s “Debt Free Virgin” Post
If you’d like more background to this post, and an explanation for who Lori Alexander is, please see my previous post about it here:
If you are new to my blog, a recap:
I am over 45 years of age and still a virgin.
I was reserving sexual activity for marriage. I’ve never had sexual intercourse. I was expecting to be married but never found Mr. Right.
I do have a libido.
Contrary to what Christians ASSUME about older virgins, Celibacy, being sexually abstinent for as long as I’ve been, is not “a gift” where God granted it to me and supernaturally removed my libido and makes it easy-breezy to cope with.
For many years, I was dedicated to remaining a virgin until marriage, due to Christian ethics, (these days I’m semi-agnostic), but also due to other reasons as well, which I shall not get into here but have explained in older posts on the blog.
In the last ten or so years, I’ve seen a disturbing trend where secular, liberal feminist views about sex have trickled into liberal Christian corners, where there is much railing against “slut shaming” and there is strong opposition to judging any woman for her sexual behavior or choices.
This trend became so common that these same views, disturbingly, began appearing on liberal Christian blogs and sites, whose progressive, feminist, Christian authors began writing editorials saying virginity is of no import, God only cares about your heart and spiritual purity, and God does not care so much anyone’s sexual behavior, (Link): intact hymen, or sexual past.
This anti- sexual purity thinking (which includes the down-playing, condemning, or mocking of physical virginity and adult celibacy) has even crept into mainstream moderate- to- conservative churches and Christian writing and thinking, unfortunately.
See examples of what I mean by that – just a few examples on my blog, though I have more than these:
(Link): Where are America’s virgins? Discouraging the virtuous, by Julia Duin
(try this link, another blog has a copy)
Here is an excerpt:
- by Julia Duin
- This past spring in Touchstone, a conservative Christian publication, Russell Moore, a Southern Baptist minister who is dean of Southern Seminary’s School of Theology in Louisville, penned “Like, A Virgin?”
- His essay criticized a chaste female who wanted her husband to be a virgin like she is.
- He hinted she was being unrealistic and judgmental for judging a potential mate on his sexual history rather than his Christian commitment.
- This hapless woman resisted the spirit of the age and yet, her Christian leader denigrated her values. So much for seeking out a pastor’s advice.
- // end Julia Duin excerpts //
Contrary to what many of these anti- sexual purity Christian writers think and say, the contemporary church and Christian culture (Link): does not support or idolize adult virginity and celibacy but actually (Link): diminishes it and even mocks it.
(I would notice this devaluation of virginity in Christian culture more than you, if you are a married Christian person or a single adult who is sexually active or who once was. If there is over-whelming, Christian support for my adult virginity, prey tell, where do I find it, because I’ve not seen it anywhere.)
Unfortunately, Lori Alexander’s wacky post about men supposedly preferring “debt free virgins without tattoos” instigated another round of well-meaning yet damaging posts by concerned or indignant Christian women.
These Christian women mistakenly think the way to counter-act Alexander’s extreme take on virginity – where it seems to be assumed that a woman should only be valued for her virginity – is to go the direct opposite, but equally horrible route, to insist that physical (literal) virginity means nothing, or next-to-nothing.
One woman writer who replied to Alexander’s post on the matter on her own site even referred to actual virginity as being nothing but “horse manure” or “garbage.” (More on this below.)
Some of the posts I’ve seen in response to Alexander’s were quite good, and I find myself agreeing with most to all their content.
By the way, should you see this post of mine, and you’re one of the “downplay physical virginity to spare the feelings of female fornicators” advocates – because posts such as Lori Alexander’s make you livid – for the love of God, please do not patronize me by telling me that my late-age virginity is (Link): “for God’s Glory.”
Instead of giving me patronizing, “Aw, how sweet, you’re a virgin at age 45+, I honestly do respect that and didn’t mean to trash it, good for you, hun!” rhetoric (which is back – pedaling), please, in the future, just simply refrain from doing the following:
- cheapening or downplaying the importance of physical virginity, or
- insisting virginity amounts to nothing in the first place,
- re-defining sexual purity away, or spiritualizing virginity away, by teaching that God doesn’t “really” care about it – He supposedly only cares about how “pure” our hearts are, and
- stop telling women it is wrong, mean, or unfair, for them to prefer to marry a male virgin
- stop telling actual virgins they have made an idol of their virginity or are “prideful” about it simply for being a virgin who is asking for their virgin status to be respected
- please refrain from comparing virginity or celibacy to negative things such as garbage or “horse manure.”
Here’s the first link:
(NOTE. This post comes from the “Boundless” site, a site which I think is usually quite spotty and bad about adult singleness, but this post appears quite good. I am not a big supporter of the Christian posts that downplay physical, literal virginity by stressing that supposedly only “spiritual purity” matters.)
Excerpts (what this author says here is quite true):
by Erica Wilkinson
… First, I can tell you with confidence after more than a decade of modern courting and dating, online and off, that most men do not prefer virgins.
Ask any virgin woman you know, and she’ll tell you that most men react to her virginity with a spectrum of emotions including shock, shame, disbelief, mirth and fear.
These women will say that usually, once you’re out of your teenage years, virginity is a difficult and delicate conversation you must have in your dating life, not a bragging right.
Being a virgin doesn’t guarantee you’re going to attract the cream of the crop. A few years ago, I specified my virginity on my online dating profile. I was promptly asked, by three different men, if I’d become a sister-wife in a polygamous marriage.
Being a virgin also attracts deeply misogynistic men looking for a naïve, inexperienced woman whom they can control and abuse.
Virginity is a choice I continue to make because I believe that God is the God of my soul and my body, and He has laid out a very clear sexual ethic in both the Old and New Testaments.
And I know there are godly men who believe the same for themselves and are seeking that in a spouse. But telling a young woman that her virginity is something that will catapult her to the front of the “wife selection line” isn’t true, and it isn’t kind to spout such prescriptive lies.
Before I met and married my husband, I was a debt-free virgin (without tattoos, which seems to be an important point, though I have yet to see its connection). Not only that, I met other criteria the article would applaud:
- I was homeschooled.
- I lived with my parents until l moved out of state at 21.
- I knew how to cook.
- I knew my bible thoroughly and even majored in religion, so I knew more than the average woman.
I am writing this because I am grieved. I am grieved for every unbelieving woman who reads that article and thinks Jesus Christ is in the business of tattoo-removal and debt-consolidation before you can approach Him.
I am grieved for every unbelieving man who thinks Christianity teaches that women are subservient, second-class, and less-than.
I am grieved for every Christian woman who reads that article and believes herself incapable of attracting a godly man. I am grieved for every Christian man who sees it and – as my husband said – is insulted at the assumptions made about his gender.
I am not the only one who is grieved. God is.
…I was debt free, a virgin, tattoo-less. But my husband didn’t marry me because of any of these things. He married me because He loves Jesus, and I do too.
…But the article didn’t say much about Christ. In the name of Christianity, however, it articulated rules which are found nowhere in Scripture.
I’ve heard all these arguments before: “If you go to college, you’ll prioritize your career over your kids.” “You’ll never know how to manage a home.” “You’ll bring debt to a marriage.” “Men are intimidated by educated women.” The truth? Scripture says none of these things, and Christians have no right to act as if it does.
…There’s another piece to this conversation, though. Why must only women be debt-free, virgins, without tattoos? Does this apply to men as well? If it did, my husband would be disqualified
Read more of that post (Link): here
The Sheila Gregoire Post
As to this next post, by a Sheila Gregoire, whose work I usually agree with or enjoy, I found a bit troubling.
I could probably pick apart a lot more of it, but I’m not in the mood.
I get the point Gregoire is trying to make in this next post, but equating physical virginity to being “manure” (or to garbage) as she does, does not sit well with me – the author concedes that “virginity until marriage is God’s best for us,” but I feel that other aspects of her post discounts, or undermines, that sentiment.
Please, authors, do not diminish physical virginity because you are ticked off over authors, such as Lori Alexander, who you believe over-emphasize it.
Used Chewing Gum
Further, remember that many female fornicators say that when growing up in churches, they heard sexual purity lectures that compared sexually active women to used chewing gum, and this, they say, made them feel horrible.
All you anti-sexual purity advocates therefore condemn anyone for comparing the pre-maritally sexually active to used chewing gum, but…
You are apparently perfectly fine comparing an actual virgin – such as myself – or my virgin status – to horse manure, garbage, or claiming my virginity is based on self-pride or is prideful?
Do you not see you are guilty of doing the very thing to adult virgins and celibates that you get upset with churches over in their purity lectures?
Why are the feelings of female fornicators treated as more valuable than the feelings of adult female celibates or virgins?
So, this, from typical church sexual purity lectures, is bad, so I keep reading on Christian social media and sites:
Female Fornication = Used Chewing Gum / Dirty Water
But this, from Christian bloggers or authors, is acceptable?
Female Virginity = Horse Manure or Garbage / or Passe’ / Unimportant
I am not grasping the double standard here.
If you’re not happy with churches telling young women they are “used chewing gum” for being fornicators, why on earth would you feel it’s acceptable to turn around and say that virgins are “horse manure,” their virgin status is manure / garage, and to accuse them of being prideful?
Excerpts from that page:
by Sheila Gregoire
… Now, is it a good idea to wait until you’re married to have sex? Yes, it is. It’s certainly what God wants, but I believe He wants that for our good, not because He’s just making a rule.
That being said, virginity is not the be all and end all. And, in fact, ultimately virginity means nothing. It’s just a pile of horse manure.
….And that’s what I taught my girls. When you choose someone to marry, first and foremost, before everything else, choose someone who knows Jesus.
Because ultimately nothing else matters. And that’s why we need to change this conversation around virginity, as if we are born pure, but then we can mess up and never be pure again.
Purity, you see, is not something you can lose. Purity is something that you gain in Christ.
…It is not virginity that makes us pure. It is our relationship and position in Christ.
…I’ve answered the question on the blog before about “is it wrong to want to marry a virgin?”, and I think if I were to answer that today I’d be even more adamant. We’re looking at the wrong thing.
We’re focusing on past actions, rather than the present condition of someone’s heart.
Ultimately what makes someone a good marriage partner is not what they’ve done in the past, but who is controlling their life now.
…. The boxes don’t matter. They are a pile of dung compared to knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Let’s teach our kids how to recognize people who truly know Jesus, not how to run after virgins.
/// end quotes ///
Please do not compare my physical virginity to manure, to dung, to garbage.
Please do not suggest I am not worthy of love or a husband (‘no man should run after me because I’m a virgin’ – I was taught as a Christian girl by Christians that my (physical, actual, literal) virginity DOES matter, and that it matters to most Christian men and to God.
See also: (Link): Christians Punish and Shame You Later in Life for Following the Dating and Sex Advice They Gave You When You Were Younger)
I could’ve been like the 70% of Christian women that lady author said she polled for her book and committed fornication, the easy route, but I went the difficult route.
If it’s merely our “relationship with Jesus” that makes us pure, then we all might as well disregard biblical sexual ethics and have actual, honest to God, literal, pre-marital sex.
It’s this sort of Christian thinking that has changed my mind: should I ever get a steady boyfriend again (whether he is Christian or not), I do intend on having pre-marital sex with the guy.
I see no reason not to, since so many of these authors are insisting that my physical virginity means nothing.
Christians will often pay lip service to respecting adult virginity, but we can see from their actions and their rhetoric, that this is not so.
Regarding this portion:
We’re focusing on past actions, rather than the present condition of someone’s heart.
Ultimately what makes someone a good marriage partner is not what they’ve done in the past, but who is controlling their life now.
…Nothing matters except real character, and real character only comes from knowing Jesus.
/// end quote
Again, I see what the author is getting at, however, past behavior is often used – say, in job interviewing – to predict future behavior, and that can apply to dating, marriage, and other areas of life.
I am over the age of 45, was engaged in my early 30s, but am still a virgin. That should speak volumes of my sterling character, great morals, and self-discipline. That’s not bragging or “pride” on my part, I am merely describing my life as lived so far.
I was taught as a Christian kid that sex was for marriage only, that was God’s design for sexual activity, and I stuck to that. I walked the walk. I didn’t just claim to follow Jesus and just blow off his ethos for living and do whatever I wanted.
What would one conclude about a woman (or man) my age, especially one who claims she (or he) is a Christian, but yet who fornicated around like a dog in heat in her (or his) teens and older?
Jesus may forgive that person of his or her sexual past, but please, let’s not fool ourselves that such a person has the same proven track record of self discipline, morality, and devotion.
The book of James in the Bible says that faith without works (proof as shown by one’s actions) is a dead faith.
Your actions and behavior, whether we are talking about sex or something else, do in fact matter, even if Jesus forgives your sins.
How can one tell by meeting and observing another person if that person is a “true” Christian, if that person really “knows” Jesus?
If that person says he or she ‘knows’ Jesus, but that claim is not observable in their behavior, would you not suspect that they were lying or incorrect?
There’s a reason why, when a sexually transmitted disease out-breaks in large numbers, that doctors and the CDC ask patients to submit a list of everyone they’ve ever been with sexually – as they say, you have, in effect, had sex with every person your partner has had sex with in the past. This is one way in how STDs spread.
Pre-marital sexual behavior CAN impact later relationships, see these links (I have more examples on the blog, but I am not linking to them all here):
So, I wouldn’t be so quick or cavalier to write off someone’s sexual past as though it means nothing, and just because they are a nice person who found Jesus at a later date.
I do usually find much of Mrs. Gregoire’s writing very good, and I agree with much of it, but I believe the attempt at correcting the awfulness of the Lori Alexander post was rather mis-guided.
Please don’t bash, diminish, or downplay actual virginity in a crusade to counter-act the extreme pro-virginity views such as those promulgated by the Lori Alexanders of the world.
(Link): I’m A Christian Who Doesn’t Agree “Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos” – from True Love Dates blog
by Debra Fileta
…Among many other faulty beliefs outlined in this infuriating article, a Christian woman should “carefully consider if she should go to college” – because “college teaches women to be independent, loud, and immodest”.
I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but at the end of the day, the entirety of the article is a message of gender inequality that is perpetuated within the walls of some minority churches – that devastatingly end up speaking for the whole.
Sadly, it is a poor reflection of the Christian church at large, and an even poorer reflection of the Jesus we serve.
…If an uneducated, completely dependent woman with no opinions or ideas is what these so-called men prefer in a woman, then I say….RUN AWAY LADIES!!!RUN AWAY!!!
But interestingly enough, some of the traits she listed as negative (education and independence), according to the many men I have interacted with through my research and surveys are the very (Link):traits that real men are looking for in a woman.
Not only that, but I am a firm believer that our past may impact us, but it doesn’t DEFINE US. Whether it’s debt, or sexual sins and struggles…the list of qualities mentioned in this article leave absolutely no room for grace, mercy and redemption, which are the exact things my Jesus is all about.
I don’t think anyone would disagree that debt and sexual baggage are things we don’t want to take into marriage. In my book Choosing Marriage, I talk in detail about how our financial decisions and sexual past can cause stress in a marriage and outline some ways to deal with those struggles.
But the way this statement is presented in this [Alexander] article is painting a picture that a woman is only valuable or desirable when she is a virgin and debt-free.
Why such a strong emphasis on what a Christian woman should be, with little to no emphasis on what men should be? If anything, men and women alike should be called to a higher standard in how we deal with our money and how we honor our sexuality. It’s not a one way street and to make it so is taking an important concept and completely missing the mark.
… God’s calling on a Christian woman’s life is not a one-size-fits all approach, and to put that on a woman is a harmful and shame-filled approach. A woman’s place isn’t in “the home”, her place is wherever God has called her to be
From The Every Mom blog, which I assume is a Christian blog:
by Jenny Rapson
That article [by Lori Alexander] is full of condescending judgment, not at all based in scripture. It made me angry, but more than that, it made me scared. My chest tightened in anxiety as I read it.
Listen, I do want to make one thing clear. I do believe that God calls us to wait until we are married to have sex, that we are made to be united sexually with just one person. But if you’ve not followed that plan? You are NOT damaged goods. God can and will redeem your sexuality if you let Him. And your virginity or lack therefof does NOT determine your worth to a future spouse, or to ANYONE.
… I was a tattoo-less virgin when I married, but I did have some student loan debt. My husband saw only my heart, and it is my God who gave him the eyes to see me with. (P.S. his credit card debt he brought into our marriage made him no less attractive in my eyes.)
Some Secular Reactions
Of course, due to Lori Alexander’s “Debt Free Virgin” post, Non-Christians think that Lori Alexander (and by extension, all Christians) are absolute sexist wack-a-doodles and nuts.
(Link): ‘Men Prefer Debt Free Virgins Without Tattoos’ from Scary Mommy blog
There are many more web pages out there about Lori Alexander’s “Debt Free Virgin” post, both secular and Christian, but I am not linking to them all. I could spend the next 2 – 3 hours tracking them all down and listing them, that is how viral her obnoxious post went.
~ END ~
At any rate: secular culture already de-values adult virginity; secularists mistakenly think having sex is the, or “a,” rite of passage-hood into adulthood, and secularists (Link): already mock women who choose to remain abstinent.
I therefore don’t also need to see Christians, and betraying what their own Bible teaches on sexual ethics, doing the same, even if it’s to correct a sexist blogger such as Lori Alexander. The Bible does (Link): call people to remain virgins until marriage.
There is nothing wrong with remaining a virgin, either.
The problem is not within virginity itself, or even with a wish or a preference to marry another virgin if one marries, nor is there a problem with respecting and advocating for virginity.
The problem rests, rather, with Christians, such as Lori Alexander, who hold (Link): gender complementarian views about women, where they often have some very fanatical views about sexuality, and where they expect virginity from women, but not so much from men.
(Link): Secular Liberal Feminist 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