Quite a lot of us have gotten into the habit of asking those for whom we're getting a gift, "What would you like?" Time was, the only thing more gauche than asking that question was answering it, other than with one of the perennially acceptable evasions: "That you be happy" and "World peace." These days, it's as commonplace as teenage acne. Worse, the asker almost always responds by presenting the item requested. It leads me to wonder why the giver would bother to wrap such a gift.
Some of us still like to receive presents whose nature we won't know until we've unwrapped them. Besides that, there's a certain charm in knowing you're the one who'll open the package.
Why yes, this is about sex. However did you guess?
In a recent interview on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” 29-year-old American hurdler Lolo Jones told Mary Carillo that Olympic qualifying is nowhere near as difficult as her struggle to remain a virgin until marriage. Jones said she publicized her vow of chastity because she wants other girls who have made the same decision to know that they are not alone and that it’s not easy.
“I just don’t believe in it.” Jones said. “It’s just a gift I want to give my husband. But please understand this journey has been hard. There’s virgins out there and I want to let them know that it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life; harder than training for the Olympics; harder than graduating from college has been to stay a virgin before marriage. I’ve been tempted, I’ve had plenty of opportunities.”
My personal philosophy in life is to live and let live. So if Jones’ decision is right for her, then not only do I say more power to her, but I am impressed that she has neither succumbed to the pressure nor the temptation.
However, my respect for Jones’ decision has one big “but,” and that is because of one little sentence: “It’s just a gift I want to give my husband.”
Virginity, by definition, is simply the state of a person who has not engaged in sexual intercourse. But we all know that there are many more implications to it than that, especially for women. Most traditional societies, cultures and religions place a high value on a woman’s virginity aka her chastity. So much so that it is tightly bound to her worth and her perceived self-worth.
With this archaic notion of “value” placed on a woman’s virginity comes the belief that exclusive rights to her womb should be saved for the highest bidder; that it is a commodity to be bought (in most cases by her husband) and sold (usually by her father). And if she gives it away or, God forbid, it is taken from her, she loses value as a woman and as a human being.
If Jones had said “I want to share my first experience with a man who loves me and is committed to me; and who I love and am committed to,” I would’ve tipped my hat to her and been on my merrily unchaste way. If she had said, “I’m doing this for myself, because I only want to be with one man,” I would’ve thought, “Do your thing, sister.”
Instead, she perpetuated the vulgar notion that a woman’s virginity is proprietary. And she did it in the spirit of setting a good example.
Had enough? I certainly hope so; the rest is even worse.
Columnist Alexandra Gekas certainly took a lot of words to suffix her opening "live and let live" declaration with "but only if you do it for my preferred reasons."
This is typical of the gender-war feminist in our time. The promotion of the "I am woman, hear me roar, and you scuzzy men have no place in my decision making" pseudo-ethic is the number-one priority on their hate parade. They're becoming a wee bit more adroit about sliding around their contempt for men, and for women who still admire and respect men, but the sentiments among what my friend Duyen calls "the angry ugly-girl annex of the Left" are what they've always been.
I have no problem with a woman who comes to her marital bed having already experienced sex. (Yes, I know that puts me at odds with the teachings of my Church, but the Church has been wrong before. We'll settle it at the Last Judgment.) But I also believe that a woman who seeks a particular sort of mate, and who is sensible of what such a man values, is serving both of them by attempting to meet those values. A suitor who wants a virginal bride has just as much right to his preferences as any woman has to hers -- including a woman who's preserving her virginity to attract such a man.
So what really animates the ranting of columnist Gekas above? Quite simply, an iron determination that no woman shall forgo any kind or degree of self-indulgence for a man's sake. This is the pure quill, the 200-proof self-absorbed misandrist pseudo-feminism that's attempted to displace equity feminism for several decades.
I would cross the street to avoid such a woman, no matter how physically attractive she is.
I admire Lolo Jones even more for her "extra" reason for remaining a virgin -- that "other girls who have made the same decision to know that they are not alone and that it’s not easy" -- than for her core reason. The entire edifice of women's publications has striven fanatically to reduce sex to a mere vehicle for pleasure. Yet some of us -- many of us, actually -- still consider the sex act more important for its emotional implications than for its immediate satisfactions. As I wrote long ago, giving yourself physically to another person requires that you lower your defenses completely. You must accept a degree of vulnerability that exists elsewhere only for a soldier under live fire. In doing so, you make a statement to your lover of a uniquely touching kind: "I trust you with everything I am and everything I have."
A woman who presents her husband with her unopened body on their marriage bed couples that statement to another: "I have never trusted anyone else this much. You, and my feelings for you, are unprecedented."
Only a complete churl could fail to be pierced through the heart by such a declaration.
The most important lesson any decent man can absorb about the gender-war feminist mindset is that it regards him as unimportant at best, the enemy at worst. A woman in thrall to that mindset cannot commit herself to a man in an unconditional, un-retractable way. Should she ever see him as an impediment to something she wants, his priority in her considerations will be nil; she will address him solely as an obstacle. Columnists such as Alexandra Gekas will be her sources for counsel in getting what she wants, and for solace when she fails to get it.