Dads and hymen: two words that when put in the same sentence make most people cringe. However, as NBC news reported, this was not the case for 22 year old Brelyn Bowman, who at her wedding to Tim Bowman Jr., presented her father with a certificate of purity. At thirteen years old Bowman promised her father, Pastor Michael A. Freeman, that she would remain a virgin until her wedding night, and she wanted to prove to her father that she had kept her word.
On Instagram Bowman posted a picture of her and her father holding a certificate. The caption stated “I was able to present a certificate of purity to him signed by my doctor that my hymen was still intact.” Bowman stated that she wanted to show her family that she had stayed true to her values. Bowman explained that her “message is embracing purity…it’s all about how you honor yourself and your God.”
When Bowman and her husband returned back from their honeymoon, they found themselves in the middle of a social media uproar. Although some people showed their support, others discussed how what she did was “creepy” and “sexist.” The Bowman’s told reporters that they were just happy to have their message spread.
The problem with this message, however, is that it is so one sided, and not even completely accurate. In society, women are expected to remain sexually pure, and if they do not, they risk being judged and deemed slutty or a whore. Men on the other hand, are not judged as equally. When men have a higher number of sexual partners they are not looked down upon. In fact, many are praised for their sexual encounters.
Also, men do not have to have a medical examination done to prove they are a virgin, because there is no such test. Although Bowman had a doctor “verify” that she was a virgin, the only thing the doctor verified was the presence of a hymen, which is not a true determination of virginity. Some people are born without a hymen, some hymens never break, and some are broken during childhood during sports and other physical activities. The fact that Bowman had an intact hymen does not prove anything, except for the fact that she had an intact hymen. To argue that an intact hymen indicates virginity is false and dangerous. It excludes many people from ever obtaining virginity, and can falsely deem others a virgin.
Perhaps the biggest issue to come out of this whole ordeal is the fact that sexual activity is a private matter. Women should not have to prove that they have remained a virgin. In fact, a woman should not have to prove anything when it comes to her body.Women should not be expected to remain a virgin, and they should not be scrutinized for their choices. Most importantly, women should not have to put their sex life out into the public to be judged. Many women, like Bowman, save themselves for marriage, many others do not. It is none of the public’s business, and it is not society’s job to scrutinize others for the decisions they have made.