Rant from ’08
September 22, 2011 § 1 Comment
Here’s a rant I wrote in January of 2008. I find the subject matter to still be relevant. (Wish I’d saved links then. Damn.)
I like to read Feministing, a feminist blog, and today there was a post about an abstinence-only video that used duct tape as a metaphor for one’s body. The duct tape was being stuck to doors, walls, garbage cans, and a fat girl. It ended by saying “What if two clean pieces stuck together? They could stay together forever!” And that, dear friends, is the set up for a rant.
You see, when I went to WWVA, I had the pleasure of watching a speaker, Brad Henning, tell us for two or three hours how badly we need to stay virgins until we’re married. There were nine reasons and, though a Google search told me his name, I cannot find a list of the reasons. That’s okay though, right? I mean, how well a message gets through depends on how well it’s remembered, so let’s see what I remember. (Plus I have a news article and it’s refreshing my memory of his presentation a bit.)
But let’s start off with the duct tape metaphor. It is similar to the flower demonstration, where girls pull petals off a flower to symbolize how they “give away” pieces of themselves to everyone they have sex with until, when those damned dirty sluts finally get married, they have nothing but an ugly nub of a flower to give their husband. These two metaphors differ in the one key respect, however: the duct tape metaphor implies an exchange of dirtiness (the duct tape leaves behind some stickiness and picks up some dirt from the fat girl) while the flower metaphor makes no room for receiving something from your partners. Apparently, boys aren’t beautiful flowers with petals to give away.
(Andie, this reminds me, I keep meaning to ask you a favor. Will you draw me a picture of a Frankenstein Flower? I would love it very much, yes yes.)
The duct tape metaphor also has one other big point behind it, as you probably got from my synopsis of the video. Sex binds people together. Mr. Henning, in his talk to my and many other high schools, explained why. And it is so telling. So, so telling. I’m not certain I should share it, so telling it is. FINE. Sex can keep two virgins together forever because, so grateful are the two of them to be having sex, they’re willing to overlook flaws in their partner that might otherwise be a deal breaker. Yep. I guess it doesn’t matter as much if your husband beats you as long as you’re a virgin when you marry him. But, God forbid (really, he does!) one doesn’t have sex blinders on and so actually looks for someone who treats them well. [insert eye roll here]
I’m going to quote a paragraph of the news article I’m using to remind myself of his talk:
‘For example, Henning knows a now born-again Christian who claimed to have slept with more than 200 girls during one wild summer as a lifeguard. He told Henning the experience haunts him today, even though he is happily married. “He says, ‘You can’t fathom what it’s like to make love to the woman that you deeply love — and all you can see in your mind is 200 other women.”’
That was one of the biggest lies I was ever told growing up. “When you have sex, you always think of everyone else you’ve ever had sex with. Do you want a partner who is COMPARING YOU to the other people they’ve had sex with? Do you want to be thinking of OTHER PEOPLE while you’re having sex with your husband?” Talk about scaring kids. It’s a total lie, by the way, for any frightened virgins reading this. At the risk of sounding like a slut, I have trouble remembering everyone I’ve had sex with, let alone remembering THEM ALL every time I have sex with my husband. It’s complete and total bullshit.
I guess I’ll end my rant there. Shit like this just pisses me off.