I have very little to say about this article, other than:
1. Talking about condoms and safer sex is not the same thing as demonizing abstinence, and if you’re under that impression, I sure hope that you were a legacy admission to Harvard, because otherwise that’s just embarrassing.
2. You look dumb when you complain that “there is just one lifestyle that doesn’t get recognition” and that’s abstinence. Abstinence gets recognition to the tune of more than $140 million in federal funding every year. Abstinence is discussed constantly. It is brought up in every single sex ed program. It is the subject of Congressional investigations and debates. It is studied by researchers. It is discussed in the classroom, in churches, in homes, in the news, and on blogs. Abstinence-until-marriage is discussed perhaps more than any other lifestyle choice made my less than five percent of the population.
3. You look even dumber when you complain about how mean and alienating the comprehensive sex ed folks are, and then you say stuff like pre-marital sex “deeply compromises human dignity” and leads to “personal unhappiness and social harm.” I can recognize that it is hard to remain abstinent, especially in the face of a very sexualized culture. I appreciate and applaud the personal strength of individuals who decide abstinence in the best choice for them. But what I can’t support is the constant attacks on sexually active people. People who have sex do not feel a constant need to tell abstinent people that their human dignity has been compromised, or that they’re dirty, or that they are secretly unhappy, or that they’re headed for total life ruin. I can understand how abstinent people may feel like society regards them as freaks because it seems like everyone else is having sex, but, statistically, most adults do have sex before marriage. It doesn’t mean you’re a freak if you don’t, but it does mean you’re making a different choice than 95 percent of the population. You can’t really expect that the choices made by the overwhelming majority won’t be normalized; you can, however, expect that your choices be recognized and respected. Unfortunately, the most vocal abstinence crusaders don’t do that. They instead choose to tell the rest of us that we’re making bad decisions and that we’re compromising our dignity as human beings. That’s far more fucked up and judgmental than anything I’ve ever heard a sexually active person say about abstinent folks.
4. You are not Gandhi or Nelson Mandela for choosing not to have sex.
5. I’m glad you’ve given this a feminist analysis, and I think there are feminist reasons for making your own sexual choices, including abstinence. But thinking that dudes are going to talk about you in the locker room and believing that oral sex is “disgusting” are not great justifications for the no-sex stance. First, if you think all men are dogs who are going to do the locker-room play-by-play, what makes you want to marry one? And why do you think that your guy will change from scum into a prince the day he puts a ring on your finger? Second, what makes you think that the constant “Don’t think about sex!” message will actually make people not think about sex? It’s the old “pink elephant” game, isn’t it? Third, if your abstinence is based in feminist theory about controlling your own body and not giving it over to men, why are you against masturbation? Fourth, could you please just stop pretending that your abstinence is based in feminism and secularism? It’s pretty clear that it’s not, and your anti-masturbation stance isn’t the only clue. If your choices are religiously motivated, that’s fine — but you really don’t need to co-opt other movements to try to trick other people out of a condom-lovin’ fuck.
6. When you’re a dude who authors an article like this and you end it with a competition between the virgin and the whore and then conclude with a quote saying “most guys out there would rather end up with a girl like Janie [the virgin],” you do all involved a disservice.
- Would you pass abstinence-only education class? by Jill April 16, 2009
- No Sex For You! by zuzu April 17, 2006
- From the files of Captain Obvious… by Jill September 30, 2009
- So will re-claiming my status as a college freshman get me out of these law school loans? by Jill March 2, 2008
- Sorry babe, my cartel of virtue got hijacked by Jill October 23, 2006