This month’s Australian edition of Marie Claire has Jessica Simpson on the cover, and features a couple of gems on her decision to remain a virgin for her husband. This one I particularly loved:
For me personally, virginity is something I want to save for marriage. I think that’s the best wedding gift anyone could give.
I’m willing to accept that those are Christian values which deserve my respect even if I don’t agree with them, but I assume Nick Lachey wasn’t a virgin? He certainly never said as much so I’ll assume that he wasn’t.
Isn’t this a case of double-standards? I mean, fair enough that the Christian movement promotes chastity until marriage, but shouldn’t it apply to both men and women? I hear plenty of women proclaiming they’ll be virgins until they marry – even among my own girlfriends (granted, we all went quiet on that subject about eight years ago) but no men. I can’t exactly see teenage boys loudly proclaiming that they won’t have sex until their wedding night, that they’re saving their virginity for their equally-virginal wives.
One of the things that gets hammered into journalism students is defamatory/inflammatory language, and if it seems acceptable to refer to something in popular slang words regardless of how insensitive they might seem, to apply the same standard to a slightly different scenario. For example, most journalists would considered it acceptable to refer to someone with a mental illness as “˜crazy’, but would balk at calling a gay person a ‘faggot’. I use this principle a lot when it comes to gender issues; take a deeply entrenched societal expectation that everyone agrees is perfectly acceptable and reverse the genders. What do you mean, women can’t indulge in emotionally void relationships? What do you mean, it’s not cool for men to be virgins? Not so acceptable now, huh?
Christian women themselves seem to exacerbate the problem by not expecting men to adhere to the same standards. Ten bucks says that if Christian men were expected to also remain virgins until they married, they would either rethink the practicality of anyone maintaining their virginity until they marry, or make a greater effort to commit themselves to all Christian values, not just the ones they like. In short, I believe men play around and happily commit to double standards because they can, because women are too conditioned to think they deserve their men meet the same standards they do to go out and demand those standards be met – or that they get to meet the same standards men do.
And of course the irony is not lost on me that, newly divorced after three years of marriage, Simpson probably held onto her virginity far longer than she was married to the guy who took it. That seems to undermine the whole idea of “˜I’m saving my virginity for the man I’ll spend the rest of my life with’.
Of all the double standards concerning men and women, this one shits me the most. Basically, women are still considered “˜good role models’ if they remain virgins until they marry, but for men no such standards apply. And unless such standards apply, women can’t even argue that “˜it saves us from STDs’ ‘coz being a virgin ain’t gonna help you much if your husband was running around with God knows who before they went to bed with you.
I realise there ARE plenty of men out there who remain virgins (by choice) until they marry, but there seem to be plenty more who are happy to enjoy the knowledge their wives and girlfriends have been with no-one else without meeting that same standard themselves.