A Hilarious, NSFW Takedown of Purity Culture

No, seriously, don’t turn this thing on anywhere that your coworkers, kids or mother may hear.

(Of course, it’s more than likely that your mother knows all about this stuff. And, depending on their age, so do your kids. And that’s the thought you wish I hadn’t put in your head for the day.)


So.
Amused reactions:

1) Why yes, keeping to a vow of chastity is much easier when you don’t have a partner. Imagine that.

2) Kids, if you can’t figure out a way to have sex with an aspirin in between your knees, you’re not very inventive.

3) Come on, kids, if you’re going to go this far into “Letter of the Law, Not the Spirit” territory, take that extra step and discover lube. Since you’re not using condoms anyway (which is unwise in itself, btw), some Vaseline might change some of those facial expressions you’re making in the last verse, and even some hand lotion (while far from ideal) is better than nothing.

4) Why would God need wings?

Serious reaction:

This is funny as hell, but I must admit that it’s something of a guilty pleasure. I suspect that Garfunkel & Oates had to deal with arrogant, sanctimonious little twits like those depicted in the video in their own youth, and they’re getting a bit of revenge. In doing so, they’re going after the low-hanging fruit. As annoying as said arrogant, sanctimonious little twits might be, they’re the victims of the Purity Culture, not its architects.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, “purity culture” has two definitions. In the broader sense, “purity culture” is just the aspect of our culture that considers girls and women to be devalued if they have sex. This is the part of our culture that jokes about fathers obsessively protecting their daughter’s virginity (and laughs because it’s true), considers sex to be a man’s “conquest” of a woman, and has teenage girls fretting about how far they can go with their boyfriends before they become sluts.

The Purity Culture, a Christian subculture that is disturbingly focused on female virginity, is a bit more extreme.  I recommend that you read the archive on the subject by Libby Anne at Love, Joy, Feminism for an exhaustive explanation from someone who lived it.  For those who don’t have the time – or the heart – to read all of the horror stories she has to tell, suffice it to say that this exaggerated focus on one particular “sin” has a spectrum of effects that range from the merely disturbing, such as Purity Balls (dances that girls attend with their fathers, where they pledge to their father and their God that they will remain virgins until marriage, at which point they are given a “Purity Ring” as a sign of that pledge.  Squickish resemblance to marriage proposal is entirely intentional), to the unhealthy (arranged marriages, marriages at eighteen or so followed immediately by children – that’s part of the reason the girls in the video are so protective of their boyfriends; those boys are actually their Future Husbands), to the horrific (sexual abusers keeping their victims in relationships with them because the victims are now “ruined” and no one else will want them).

And all of that, of course, is in addition to the baseline stuff, like the ignorance of sexual health and the unsafe practices resulting therefrom that are the very topic of this video.

By either definition, Purity Culture is highly toxic and deserves a sound mocking.  To paraphrase Mel Brooks, demagogues are good at shouting and moral denunciations, but they have no defense against laughter.  Still, the characters we see are victims of the purity culture (both definitions) perhaps more than anyone.  Of course, they’re also working hard to perpetuate it, and they’re jealously slut-shaming every girl in the vicinity, even though we have no indication that those girls have engaged in even as much sexual activity as our protagonists have, or have any interest whatsoever in the protagonists’ boyfriends.

All of which is true to life.

Maybe they deserve a little mocking…I dunno.  That’s what makes it a guilty pleasure, I suppose.

 

 

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