Depending on who you talk to, “purity” is either a wonderful word to describe a high concept, or a toxic word used to oppress people (most often women).
For myself, I believe that purity is a good thing, but that ‘purity culture’ is a form of gender based violence. My ideas are summarised in the purity section (statements #81-90) in my 95 statements on hope, sexuality and consent.
Meanwhile, I see toxic purity culture underpinning practices such as child marriage, rape, FGM and ‘honour’ based abuse. Posts on this page focus on these topics and they are all categorised as moonlight content.
About those scary laws in Deuteronomy 22:13-29
In case you forgot, this passage has six laws:
- Verses 13-19 are about a bridegroom slandering his bride, saying she wasn’t a virgin
- Verses 20-21 are about a newlywed daughter being stoned to death by her parents
- Verse 22 is about a man and a married woman caught in adultery
- Verses 23-24 are about a man and a betrothed virgin having sex in a city
- Verses 25-27 are about a man raping a betrothed virgin in the countryside
- Verses 28-29 are about a man having sex with an unbetrothed virgin
- Proving My Virginity: Deuteronomy, Pap Smears, and the Hymen Myth
- The prodigal and prostitutes – and the surprise gender-flip in Jesus’s parable
- Five things worth knowing about the woman in the city who ‘did not cry out’. On Deuteronomy 22:23-24 (and 25-27)
- Five things I’d explain to a teenage girl if she asked about Deuteronomy 22:13-21 (assuming she has the courage to)
- Honour, not sex. Why applying Deuteronomy 22 is more complex than you thought. And why this matters.
- How I used to interpret Deuteronomy 22:13-21, and how I explain it now (in fewer than 500 words)
- About that virginity test in Deuteronomy 22: it’s not what you think
- Why do I care so much about the Old Testament rape laws?
- Let’s talk about that Deuteronomy 22 law where a girl marries her rapist. Because it’s not about marriage or sex.