My mom’s childhood friend loves to talk about my mother’s wedding day. She was a beautician when I was growing up, so in the times that I would visit her shop, she’d share the story. “And when they opened the doors to the church, I just cried. It was so beautiful because I knew your mother had done things the right way.”
“The right way” meant my mother married my father as a virgin.
There was no announcement about my mother’s sexual history before the ceremony, the people who knew her just knew her story.
But in this day of sharing and over-sharing, an announcement of purity is not so uncommon. And honestly, to some extent, I get it. In our sex-crazed society, there is nothing easy about abstaining. And I fully believe it’s an accomplishment that should be celebrated. Still, there’s something a little odd about the ways in which people choose to make these announcements, particularly at wedding ceremonies and receptions, in front of a crowd of people or on social media, when virtually anyone could stumble upon it.
This weekend, The Shade Room, reposted an Instagram post from a daughter and her father as they shared a dance at her wedding reception. The image was very sweet but the caption gave some people, including myself, pause.
Yes, this woman presented a certificate to her father, proving that her hymen was still in tact.
Again, setting a spiritual goal and achieving it is to absolutely be commended but there’s something strange about this.
First, it seems a mere conversation like, “Daddy, I’m still a virgin.” Or “Dad, I kept my promise” would have sufficed. I would hope her father could believe her word rather than require purity papers. Still, if it was her desire to actually prove her virginity to her father, then that’s certainly her choice. There’s just something about it that translates as antiquated, harkening back to the days when fathers gave their daughters away as goods or property and therefore they had to be in “tip top” condition, including an unexplored vagina and an unbroken hymen.
And while I understand this woman might be using her story and her journey as a way to witness and encourage others like her, announcing to the internet that her hymen was still in tact on the night of her wedding is just too much information.
To be frank, such declarations tend to make your guests envision you and your new spouse having sex for the first time, wondering whether or not it’ll be painful, quick, enjoyable, stressful, spiritual, magical or perfect. Either way, it’s a visual many would rather not have to consider.
More than anything I think what bristles me the most about this situation is that fact that the decision to award her father with the certificate is not only a little strange but also a bit backwards. Making a commitment to sexual purity should be a covenant entered into with God and perhaps to honor your spouse. At the end of the day, whether they were the catalyst or not, the decision has actually very little to do with one’s parents. I strongly believe that God honors any and all pure-hearted sacrifices made in an attempt to be closer to Him. And the great thing about God is that He already knows whether you’ve held up your end of the bargain or not, there’s no need for proof, papers or Instagram posts.
What do you think about presenting purity papers to your father on your wedding day? To all the virgins out there, is this something you would consider to prove that you had been true to your word?