The other day I explored the Virtue of Chastity as it applied to my own life; this left me with open questions. Keeping in mind, I have not personally defined Chastity as Virtue, simply accepted the original seven Virtues as existing in our lexicon and as social standards from which to begin my exploration. (Part One).
How times have changed, or have they? There was a time when Virginity was sacrosanct, Chastity not a commodity to be traded for popularity or acceptance.
Today the gray areas young people draw cause me to cringe; oral sex is acceptable because it isn’t real sex. Sexting isn’t crossing that line into pornography, unless you are caught. Popularity is traded for the number of partners acquired without trading your Virginity, the only thing you save for True Love. Public displays of sexual favors are not off limits so long as it is between friends. The rules change to accommodate a new morality that places emphasis on Chastity only as it applies to Virginity itself, yet even this is flung to the wind in favor of the need for affection and acceptance.
Girls as young as twelve are giving birth to the next generation. One of the most popular
shows on daytime television Maury, who has coined the phrase “you are not the Father” while “you the baby’s daddy” is sung viciously by the daily parade of witless women and clueless men who reproduce without restraint or regard. Another popular show is Teen Mom, which follows the misadventures of teenage mothers as they swim the turbulent water of motherhood, welfare and adult relationships with the teenage fathers of their children. We watch fascinated by these forays into other people’s lives, on the one hand publically condemning their choices while on the other making them celebrities by our puerile fascination.
As I sit sipping my Latte at the local Starbucks, I watch a gaggle of young girls dressed as if they were heading over to the local stroll. I know, terribly judgmental nevertheless with short shorts, midriff tops and make-up plastered on with spatula this is the first impression. Their voices grate on the middle ear, fevered giggles over some boy or other as they call each other ‘slut’ and ‘ho’ affectionately, as if these names have no meaning or force. The persistent beat of music coming from their IPhone repeats the ugly undercurrents, the language of devaluation, ‘ho’, ‘bitch’, ‘slut’, while these future women bounce and titter.
As I watched these young girls, guessing their ages not more than fourteen, my responses were as follows:
- Do your mother / father know you are out in public dressed like that?
- Do you have the self-awareness to realize what you are agreeing to when you listen to that music and accept that language, those names?
- Do you know you cannot reclaim names and make them less or different from what they fundamentally are?
I wanted to snatch all of them wash their faces and take them to their homes; frankly I was afraid of what I would find.
Have we traded some fundamental self-awareness of our core being as women? Indeed, is Chastity an archaic and troublesome Virtue best left in the past now that we have discovered independence and been granted our liberties?
My personal exploration of this subject is leading me down a twisting path. I will finish Chastity as a Virtue in Part III.