Chastity, Virtue or Burden

Wikipedia

Chastity also known as the state of being Chaste.

For those who struggle with this somewhat archaic definition what we are really talking about here is abstaining from all forms of sexual intercourse. To put it simply NO SEX.

Let’s get this out of the way first both genders can be chaste. All the Abrahamic religions reserve sex for marriage only. Many of the Eastern religions include cloistered monasteries, vows of chastity and view marriage as sacred. There are varying degrees to which all of the different religions define, preach and act on Chastity within society.

It is a rare man today, who wants to date a chaste woman. It is a rare woman today who

makes it out of her teens a virgin. Do we have two-caste system, a double standard? Women who are datable and women who are marriageable? Haven’t we advanced beyond the Victorian Age where “good” women were presumed to have no sexual desires? It does make you wonder why we laud the man famous for his promiscuity while still demanding women retain their purity.

Slut, horrifying word when applied to young girls beginning to express themselves and define whom they will be in the future. Chastity stripped by acts of violence, does this count against you? I have often

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wondered whether rape and loss of that all-important proof of virginity is the only consideration for being unchaste. From the age of 11 to 15, my classmates hung Slut around my neck as a Scarlet Letter, not because I had earned it by my acts but because others stripped me of my Virginity in a brutal and senseless act and there was no adult to defend me.

Did this make me unchaste?

My peers defined me in my formative years my first marriage at 15, thereafter. Though my much older husband knew the circumstances of my lost hymen, he blamed me anyway. His anger resulted in closed fists and harsh words leaving scars I carry even today. That I entered our marriage lacking said proof of chastity, made me less in his eyes, made me untrustworthy. Despite the circumstances of my loss, I was branded with Slut across my forehead in neon red, on this he and my mother agreed though they had never met.

Am I a Slut because I am normal and have pursued normal sexual relationships whether within marriage or not? Does any society have the right to judge me, especially if I do not agree to the labeling based on a set of religious / societal rules I do not subscribe to? I am nearly in my mid-fifties; I have had more than one husband and certainly a couple of other partners worthy to share my bed over the course of my lifetime. My Chastity is comfortably compromised, or is it?

How should I really judge myself against what I consider an archaic definition of the Virtue of Chastity? I know that I am a woman integrity, I have remained true to the vows and promises I have made to each partner I have had over my lifetime. That I have taken a different route and chosen different paths no dispute. The struggle to define Chastity as a Virtue in terms that make sense to me, as a woman though, that remains an open question.

Having not concluded my search for answers, I will continue the pursuit of the Virtue of Chastity for the twenty-first century woman tomorrow.

Comments

  1. Antigone's Clamor says:

    Society is truly unfair to women. What happened to you still happens today! If a woman is raped or seduced, she is branded as a slut/whore, and that isn’t right. If it’s not consensual, then it’s not her fault.

    I actually read an interesting book called “Faking Faith”. The protagonist is ostracized from her classmates because of an unfortunate sexting incident. She wasn’t really informed, made a mistake, and paid for it tenfold.

    • Yes, I know it still happens today it is one of the reasons I took on Chastity first. Of the 7 Virtues I think it is the most difficult for most of us to get our heads wrapped around. As I work my way through Part II, I find myself flummoxed by the very real dividing line we have drawn around ‘good and bad’ girls in our society. Even worse though how these definitions hurt young girls. I know what it did to me 40 years ago, but I think it might be even worse today.

      Thanks for stopping in and I hope you will come back.

  2. riatarded says:

    People judged you just because of this? Wow… People really have nothing better to do then!
    It’s a choice you make and as long as you are not hurting anyone you can do what you like.
    No one can ever fully understand you, as long as you are happy with who you are then that’s all that matters:)

    • People judged in 1968 not for a choice I made, but rather for a choice that was made for me and then for the choices the adults around me made not to prosecute. Children can be cruel creatures. The ramifications and long-term affects of these events though changed how I viewed the world and myself for many years. Thus the exploration of the “Virtues” as they apply to us in everyday life.

      • I spoke to a girl a few weeks ago, she was raped by a close relative yet people labellled her as a slut. What is this world coming to?

  3. I gotta go with Red on this one. Chastity is a state of being, not a Virtue. I’m not even sure chastity is a desirable state of being.

    • Ah, but I am not arguing the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ of the Virtues, only their existence in our vernacular and sub-conscious. Thus how we are affected by them over time. The Virtues exist as a standard across nearly all the philosophical states, religion adopted and added to them. Society absorbed them and to good or bad we have applied them. My exploration of them, both within my life and as a social phenomenon simply intends to ferret out how they impact us.

  4. I believe that when you love a person, you would love them as the person as they are but not because whether they are virgins or not. I believe that we are all free and entitled to express what we feel and who to give ourselves to love as long as we do not hurt or harm anyone as well as ourselves. I believe that everything that’s coming into our life we are attracting into our life. And it’s attracted to us by virtue of the images we are holding in our mind. It’s what we are thinking. Whatever is going on in our mind we are attracting to us. “Secret” http://thesecret.tv/

    No. You are not a slut. You are just being the loving person as you are. You are a woman of Integrity. 🙂

    • So do I today. Those events are 40 years in the past now. The certainly affected my outlook though and removed my rose colored glasses for ever and ever amen! How I worked through to my current views, well that was a winding road and part of what drew me to the exploration of the Virtues.

  5. Ah but staying to the idea of seven virtues and their application to modern society (hint how they affect us) then we have to look this through the prism of impacts.

    I suspect my conclusions might be similar but for slightly different reasons.

  6. No. Society has no right to judge you, me or anyone else for that matter. Consequently, no. You are definitely not a slut. You did not make promiscuous choices and held monogamous or otherwise as the relationships were defined by the consenting partners.

    No. Chastity is not a virtue. It is a lifestyle choice which is is as individual as a fingerprint. In order to subscribe to chastity as a virtue, one would have to subscribe to the idea sex is a regulated, only voluntary action. In fact, it is neither.

    Furthermore, to be considered moral for forgoing a natural human function and accepted form of emotional expression is repugnant. There is no significant, overt or even implied “morality” to a chaste life, unless one holds the belief sex is morally objectionable, which is again a matter of choice and not supported by societal norms or morals, stereotyping aside.

    As archaic as the concept of chastity appears in the scientific light of the chemical and emotional contributors to sex, it is unreasonable to apply “virtue” to chastity. The short form, it is inappropriate to subscribe society to a matter of choice and judge the members for failing to make the choice in accordance with what is certainly a now-irrelevant definition.

    Red…for more than my hair on this one.

    • Archaic maybe Red, nonetheless still a very real part of our social structure today. Something we see everyday as rape victims are put on trial and their offenders set free.

      Natural? Yes, indeed it is. Accepted? Only for those brave enough to say they don’t accept social constraints on their life choices. Certainly today it is easier for adult women to do so than ever before, thankfully. This was not always so and still today the double standard does exist and is felt, to deny it is to ignore how women are treated by the courts, on the streets of the city and in the workplace.

Trackbacks

  1. […] those of you who travel in my blogging circles, you may have seen me at Val’s blog discussing chastity (With a week full of sex, whodathunkit?). Or did you see me at Lorre Lee’s commenting on […]

  2. […] those of you who travel in my blogging circles, you may have seen me at Val’s blog discussing chastity (With a week full of sex, whodathunkit?). Or did you see me at Lorre Lee’s commenting on […]

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