I’m PURE, so I respect the opposite gender!

I am a Christian. I will admit that. I will say it with pride. I believe in Jesus Christ, and I believe he saved me.

I will also say I am not a virgin. I lost my virginity at 17 years old to a guy who I shouldn’t have ever talked to, but what’s done is done. I have no regret.

So, needless to say, I LOATHE going onto Facebook to see my “friends” talk about how being pure makes them GREAT followers of Christ. But hey, I live in a small town, and many people in this town don’t really see the big picture.

But what really irks me? Whenever I hear thrown into the mix “I don’t have sex with women unless they’re my wife, thus I don’t treat women like objects!” Why does this piss me off? Because you CAN, in fact, treat a woman like an object WITHOUT having sex with them.
In fact, the boyfriend I lost my virginity to? He was my fifth boyfriend. That means I’ve been in relationships with other guys that I haven’t had sex with. How did those go?
Well, my first boyfriend sexually assaulted me in a theater. We were watching a movie, and he grabbed my hand and put it on his penis. He also made me take off my shirt so he could take a picture. Hey, we didn’t have sex!

Okay, maybe that’s a BAD example. After all, while we didn’t have sex, we also had sexual encounters. But don’t worry, I’ve got PLENTY more.

Well, being a woman who likes to learn, works hard, has opinions, and likes to voice them, I’ve been “put in my place” a good amount of times. I’m going to stick to the ones I’ve heard from men who consider themselves Christians. “Go back to the kitchen, the men are talking.” “Women are only good for three things: cooking, cleaning and (cue teacher walking in room)” “Why don’t you go play with your cats?”*

Again, these were from men who considered themselves Christians. In fact, one time, my first boyfriend and I were debating whether gay people should be allowed to have kids with the future quarterback who uttered quote #2 at a church camp. I, who grew up with a lesbian couple as family friends, and frequently spent nights at their house, was being quite reasonable on my stance. But nothing I was saying was being heard, because he was only answering to my boyfriend.** I, a women, clearly should not be listened to unless it’s on matters like clothing, or soap operas. No, the topic of whether or not people should be able to have kids regardless of their sexuality is man talk. Did I mention this happened at a CHURCH camp?

Oh hey, what’s the number 1 trait in domestic abusers? Possessiveness? As in literally treating your significant other as YOUR object, instead of your lover? I shouldn’t have to mention this, because it’s pretty clear, but: Domestic abuse affects ALL types of people, regardless of their gender, race, sexuality, RELIGION, or social class. Being someone who read just about anything they could get their hands on, including “Social Issues: Domestic Abuse” books from the library^, if I had a nickle for every time I read this sentence, I would’ve bought a mansion by Lake Union in Seattle, hired a cleaning lady, and have retired.

Finally, as of right now, I have a boyfriend. We have sex. Does this mean he treats me like an object? If by “treats me like an object” you mean “complimenting just as much, if not more, on smarts than looks” or “calling as often as possible, to talk about things, like our day or politics or philosophy”, then yes. He does treat me like an object. What an ass.

If you do choose to wait until marriage to have sex, more power to you. I don’t care if you’re abstinent until marriage or 5 o’clock, as long as you are doing it safe and consensually and are mentally and emotionally ready, I respect your choice. However, I do not respect downing other people’s personal decisions as “antiquated” or “disgusting and immoral”, or anything else you want to toss in there.

Or, I guess I’ll sum it up: I respect your decision, but please respect mine. Don’t make me feel like I’m trash, and I won’t complain.

*I have dogs, by the way.
**His completely logical arguments that only men are capable of making “It’s just wrong. What if they like, molest them?” Wow, such intelligence.
^Look, I don’t know, I had this weird fascination with it when I was in middle school. Maybe I just couldn’t fathom why someone would beat someone they love and wanted to try and get an understanding of it, maybe I thought by reading up on it, I’d be safeguarded against it (and yet, at 17, I had an emotionally abusive boyfriend. Huh.)

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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