Why Purity is Not A One-Way Street

(Photo by Selma Komisky)

Why Purity is Not A One-Way Street

By Daniel Daugherty

“Alright guys, thanks for coming out to youth group tonight! Tonight we’re gonna be talking about purity. So girls, you are gonna stay here with Melissa so your boot camp. And guys, we’re gonna go out to the parking lot and play spikeball.”

Chances are, some of you have had a youth group or class sound a little bit like that. The girls get a whole big lecture and the guys just get to go off and goof around for an hour. At school, the dress codes are a lot more intense for females than they are for males. I looked up different dress code rules from schools I was familiar with, and guess what. Each one was putting more pressure on the girls.

Now I do understand that women and girls do get sexualized more than men do, and it’s a sad truth. But then why do some of these places tell the girls, “it’s so you aren’t distracting the boys.” That sentence hurts, even as a guy. Because it’s saying that it’s a women’s job to make sure she isn’t “distracting” the men around her with what she is wearing.

The theme of this month’s issue is “Rewritten,” rewriting what purity culture says and it’s standards. I feel like for guys, we need to actually write some standards for ourselves. We shouldn’t be holding women up to these standards of dressing modestly if we aren’t going to have standards to be looking at them in a respectful way. It’s a two-way street. We can’t just pass all the responsibility onto our female coworkers, classmates, partners, etc.

God made women in His image, just like He made us guys. Shouldn’t we remember that and treat them as such?