Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A man's experience in purity culture

Most discussion on purity culture has centered around women, probably because purity culture itself appears to focus on women. Women are held accountable for a man's stumblings, and women are the ones most devalued on the basis of their virginity status. And it's been mostly women who have been the loudest voices speaking out against the harmful messages of the purity movement. But men have suffered, too. The same messages that told women their worth was determined by how they've been touched by a man told men that they were uncontrollable sexual freaks and rapists at heart.

There's a really good post over at Homeschoolers Anonymous that describes the confusion and guilt experienced by one man when he was taught that he was something he didn't feel he was. I recommend reading the whole thing. An excerpt:

But really, what I took to heart from all this talk about how obsessed men were with sex was not just that there was a rapist inside of me. It was that apparently I had a broken rapist inside of me. Because, honestly, I never felt so overwhelmed by semi-exposed skin that I couldn’t control myself. I spent years thinking there was something wrong with me. Men were supposed to “stumble” when they saw a midriff, or a shoulder, or too much leg. But I never “stumbled” like that — meaning, I never saw a midriff and went home and masturbated about it.

So I decided when I was sixteen that I must be gay.

In retrospect, that only made me feel worse.

Because men never made me “stumble,” either.

Because I’m not gay.

I was actually straight. And as far as straight people go, I was actually normal, too. Apparently normal people — straight or gay or whatever you are — don’t obsess about sex as much as homeschooling parents do.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this. I had no idea a site like Homeschoolers Anonymous even existed... I definitely needed this!