This trailer is for a movie about a woman’s decision to pursue “courtship” instead of dating in order to find a husband and how her “spiritual parents” help her do this when her natural parents won’t. If you’re unfamiliar with this kind of pairing off Joshua Harris-style, this is a good introduction.
Obviously, there are all kinds of problems here. Why isn’t a woman capable of choosing her own partner in marriage? How come a simple kiss is given such outrageous importance? Why is this woman being treated like a teenager, heck, why is she acting like a teenager? She’s in her thirties but acts like a high school senior! What does Ron mean when he says, “it is abnormal for a girl to leave her home and go off into the world and start living her own life.” I guess I know what he means, but how does he get away with saying it? Why is he referring to an adult woman as a girl?
But that isn’t the thing I find really disturbing about this video. The disturbing thing comes at the end when Kelly describes what she’s really waiting for, a man to tell her she’s beautiful, that she’s loved and known and wanted. It makes me really sad to hear her say it like that. I don’t think that if she found a great husband this way, one who told her everyday that she’s beautiful, loved, known, and wanted that she’d believe it.
Did you see the pain and longing in her face when she said that? Breaks my heart. She doesn’t feel that way now. She doesn’t feel secure in being beautiful and lovable. She doesn’t feel deeply understood or desired. Her pain calls out the purity movement for one of it’s biggest lies.
The purity movement likes to consider itself the only approach to dating and relationships that actually looks out for the good of women. It’s all talk about pretty pretty princesses of God and daughters of the most high who will get to wear white on their wedding day (listen guys, you may not know this, but there aren’t actually purity fashion police who douse not-so-virgin-brides who dare to wear white in paint, there’s no purity PETA). The purity movement does a lot of talking about how being emotionally or physically intimate (we’re talking anything past hand-holding here) is damaging, permanently, to a woman’s psyche. The purity movement wants you to believe that they respect, value, understand, and love Christian women because God respects, values, understands, and loves Christian women. Sound a little like what Kelly wants? Sounds like she’s not getting it.
The purity movement does not respect women, it sidesteps their own reason and judgement and substitutes a parent’s. The purity movement does not value women, it seeks to control their minds and bodies for a patriarchal agenda. The purity movement does not understand women, it tells them how they should feel regardless of their actual circumstances. The purity movement does not love women, it uses them for the convenience, pride, and pleasure of men.
It’s great to be told that you’re beautiful, loved, known, and wanted. There’s nothing wrong with wanting that, and getting it, from a spouse. But if Kelly can’t believe that she’s beautiful to God and loved and known by God,like the purity movement tells her, how will she ever be fulfilled by a mere man saying those things to her? Sounds like she might be internalizing the subtle messages of the purity movement. The ones that say she’s dirty and used-up and gross for having given away her first kiss and that she’s not able to live an independent life without offending God. How would you feel if you were told that Ron was in a better position to make decisions about your love life than you? That would make me feel pretty bad.
I am honestly concerned about Kelly. She seems like a smart and able adult but she is abdicating her responsibility in one of the most important choices in her life. A woman finds fulfillment the exact same way that a man does, by understanding and trusting in herself, by pursuing her very best in all things, and finding friends and family that she can mutually love. Kelly needs to embrace her own life as her own and respect her own mind and gut. I think she’s got it in her.