main idea: Recognizing the patriarchy and its role in perpetuating inequalities by visiting some of its more harmful habits.
This is about patriarchy, purity culture (and the toxicity thereof), and how we talk to and teach our kids about boundaries (sexual or otherwise).
Let’s start with a few truths:
- Patriarchy is a social construct that values men over women, boys over girls, and relegates women and children to the lesser position after Father and Husband. It is not Christian — it exists in non-Christian culture; it is not American — it exists in Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and European cultures as well.
- To identify patriarchy and want to reject it, in your home, your relationships, and especially with your children, does not mean you do not value men, love your male partners, friends, and children, or that you want to be asexual or homosexual.
- Patriarchy is not just damaging to women and girls, it is the source of toxic masculinity, it puts an unfair burden on men to provide, lead, and make decisions on their own, without the benefit of partnership with their wives.
That said, there are a dozen manifestations of patriarchy that are so damaging as to be handicapping to children. In this episode we are taking on one specific one, courtesy of our guest, Cayce LaCorte, whose viral TikTok rant on virginity being a construct of the patriarchy got her noticed by, among others, Buzzfeed.
Welcome, Cayce, to the show.
Cayce’s video was in response to a TikTok question asking what’s something about the way you raise your kids that people think is weird but you think is good and healthy. Cayce’s response: There’s no such thing as virginity.
So, setting aside the biological idea of virginity — has the person has sexual intercourse? — the point you’re making is about a girl child’s worth in purity culture being tied to her sexual experience or intentional lackthereof.
This article takes a look at the idea of purity culture for Asian American Christian women in the wake of the Atlanta massage salon shootings. It speaks to the faith communities that value purity — specifically sexual purity — as a pathway to God, and saving oneself for a husband as something God wants and expects of you. Just wow. We’re not going to attack Christianity, we’re going to attack any ANY doctrine that makes women less based solely on the fact that they are women. And if your church does that, you oughta take another look. Just sayin.
This article talks about the pressure parents (not just Dad) put on their daughters with promise rings and the idea that protecting one’s purity was a duty and something a girl didn’t have a choice about. Her own body. She didn’t have a choice. I can’t even with this (Kasie said, rolling her eyes). Again, this is not an attack on parents who want to help their children make smart choice, who want them to understand what’s at stake in a mature physical relationship, who want to have an open dialogue with them about what consequences might exist for sexual intercourse. This attack is for parents who, in lieu of having difficult conversations about the complexity of sexual relationships, instead tie their daughters down with promises to remain pure until they get married. When, presumably, their spouse can have that conversation. Oh. For. Fuck’s. Sake.
Lastly, dress code. Yikes. This article has an awesome quote that sums this inequality up:
“Men’s attire is used to demonstrate social power, responsibility and achievement – whilst women’s clothing is designed to draw attention to moral and physical development.”
Competence and control are seen as masculine traits and women’s clothing and style are not designed to communicate such things (consider Clinton’s pantsuits and Merkel’s short hair). Further from the article:
“The association of long hair and with beauty and the sexualization of feminine outfits enforces an artificial binary between femininity and professionalism.”
This is likely to be a hot discussion tonight. Share your comments on FB and YouTube and let’s get to the bottom of this thing.