Why the "Sexually Pure Good Girl" Is a BS Myth That Screws Both Women and Men
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Valeriy Lebedev
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
Everyone else on earth is as annoyed with "purity" as I am, right? The idea that there are two kinds of women—"good girls" and everyone else, and one of them is good for fucking and the other one is good for marriage and never the twain shall meet and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz? How is this fulfilling for anyone? Enough.
I came across two things this week that hurt to read. The first was a dumb collection of dumb shit written by a dummy, entitled " Why Good Girls Have Become As Extinct As Unicorns" (NSFW). In it, the anonymous male author explains that modern women are disgusting sluts who deserve to be taken advantage of, so if you manage to find a "good girl" (ideally by grooming her from kindergarten onward), you should legally cleave to her and imprison her in your bungalow posthaste before some other dude snatches up "your" prize. You can always cheat on her later when she gets "boring," which she definitely will, because she's not a person, she's just a vagina. This is "the mindset of men in the 21st century." Deal with it, ladies.
The second painful thing I read today—an utterly gutting counterpoint to the first—was a speech by kidnapping and rape survivor Elizabeth Smart. Speaking at a Johns Hopkins human trafficking forum, Smart explained why she didn't try to run from her captors, or even cry for help when they took her out in public:
Smart said she "felt so dirty and so filthy" after she was raped by her captor, and she understands why someone wouldn't run "because of that alone."
Smart spoke at a Johns Hopkins human trafficking forum, saying she was raised in a religious household and recalled a school teacher who spoke once about abstinence and compared sex to chewing gum.
"I thought, 'Oh, my gosh, I'm that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum, you throw it away.' And that's how easy it is to feel like you know longer have worth, you know longer have value," Smart said. "Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value."
Smart's reluctance to fight for her freedom isn't the cause of her rape or her harrowing 9-month imprisonment (her captors hold those distinctions entirely), but it's possible that she might have been rescued sooner had she not been socialized to believe dangerous ideas about female virtue and worth. Smart, understandably, internalized the things she had been taught all her life: that her value was inextricable from her "purity," that a woman without value had no reason to live, and, more obliquely, that her life and her body weren't really her own anyway. So what was the point? Why live? Why fight? The myth of female purity—the idea that "good girls have become as extinct as unicorns"—could very easily have contributed to years more sexual slavery for Elizabeth Smart. Or her death.
Fuck all of that.
Girls and women, if no one has ever told you this before, or if you just have trouble believing it: you are good, you are whole, you are yours. You do not exist to please men, and your value as a human being is not contingent upon your sexual capital. "Purity" is a lie. Do not even worry about any of this garbage, because it's about as real as a fucking unicorn. And like my Nana always used to say, "Never take life advice from a grown man who believes that unicorns are 'extinct.'"