Outside of religious circles, chastity until marriage has become a little-practiced virtue, but saving your body for a committed person is very much in line with feminist thought, says Anna Broadway, who after a religious upbringing has remained a virgin well into her twenties. “Because the Bible presents sex as intended for marriage, I was taught that sexual abstinence before marriage was an expectation similar to telling the truth or not stealing. … Regrettably, I don’t recall any counsel on how to announce those boundaries or speak up when things got too far.”
What’s the Big Idea?
It is when Anna began to put her lessons into practice—telling would-be sexual partners that she was uncomfortable kissing and touching, and that having sex was out of the question—that she began to consider feminism as a label she could possibly apply to herself. While our (male dominated) culture tends to prefer the brand of feminist who teaches empowerment through sexual liberation, Anna believes that the most essential teaching of any feminist is to promote the unity of emotional feeling and action. If girls are truly comfortable with casual sexual partners, fine. If not, that’s fine too, and our culture should support their decision.