" /> The Dangers Of Purity & Assigned Gender Roles - A Holiday Message For Kirk Cameron

The Dangers Of Purity & Assigned Gender Roles – A Holiday Message For Kirk Cameron

Kirk-Cameron

Heya Kirk,

I used to watch you on Growing Pains. I liked that show.

Now I see you have become an Evangelical and you enjoy using your celebrity to spread your message. I will not fault you for that – after all, we live in a country that was founded on religious freedom. This means freedom of and from religion.

The problem I have with your message is that it stems from a patriarchal attitude where males are superior to females. Yeah, BIG problem with that. For instance, your praise of  purity without also including comprehensive sex education is dangerous and very irresponsible.

If you teach purity and ALSO teach comprehensive sex education, you allow children to decide which actions to take based on facts when they are out in the world and faced with difficult decisions. You empower them to think for themselves instead of telling them how to behave. When you only teach abstinence and throw around judgment without teaching the reality of human sexuality, children run the risk of something like this happening: I Waited Until My Wedding Night To Lose My Virginity And I Wish I Hadn’t 

The church taught me that sex was for married people. Extramarital sex was sinful and dirty and I would go to Hell if I did it. I learned that as a girl, I had a responsibility to my future husband to remain pure for him.”

A purity-only message suggests that sex is shameful.  It also teaches young people that a woman’s value is only between her legs. It teaches boys to see girls as sex objects and not whole human beings who have more to offer the world than babies and motherhood.

It is not surprising that when kids are only taught that they should save their virginity because their father or the church says so,  we see an increase in sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancies and young people choosing to have sex because they are rebelling or feel insecure, as opposed to making decisions based on true desire and an informed education.

A 19-year-old woman who identified as a virgin said, “No one ever told me you could contract an STD by [having] oral sex. I thought I was being responsible, because I was saving myself for marriage…I come from a very religious background, and that’s what I was taught. Good girls don’t practice safe sex; they don’t have sex until marriage.”

In fact, teen pregnancies are highest in the states with abstinence only policies.

Statistics don’t lie and no amount of prayer or good will can change this.

You see Kirk, sex isn’t dirty – and when it is with the right person, not only can it be loving and wonderful, it can also be FUN! Woohoo. Orgasms are a gift – a playground in our pants, if you will – and no one gets to dictate how we achieve them. Not even you.

You are not with your kids 24/7. Didn’t Sarah and Todd Palin preach & teach abstinence-only?  Levi Johnston convinced daughter Bristol to go all the way. That’s how teens are. They have raging hormones and they want to be accepted and loved. The back seat of a car on a Saturday night is universal and no matter how much you want to shield your children from reality, they will have to make up their own minds in the heat of the moment, when YOU are not around. It’s like that Meat Loaf song, Paradise By The Dashboard Light. Isn’t it better to arm your children with the facts rather then set them up to make poor decisions based on insecurity, rebellion and/or lack of information?

And another thing:

You recently made a video where you instructed women how to behave during the Christmas holiday season, and as a result have come under fire. You didn’t insist that women stay home but your message is very clear – that a woman’s place is in the home. You assume that moms are the “keepers of the home.”  What about dads being the keepers of the home? With that statement, you are actually suggesting that a gender role is attached to who stays home and who works. Hello 1950!  I am a modern liberal feminist and I have no problem at all if a woman chooses to be a stay-at-home-mom. That is a difficult job and is worthy of praise. I also praise dads who choose to stay at home with the kids while the mom goes out and works to support the family. Both are equally admirable.  Of course with our current rate of inflation and the status of our economy, it often takes both parents working to provide all of the necessary components that make a happy and healthy home – and even then –  it can be difficult to make ends meet. Your instruction also excludes single parents and the LGBT community.  You often cite how Jesus would behave in any given situation, and I am going to go out on a limb and guess that Jesus would also want single parent families and the LGBT community to feel included during the holiday season, and maybe he would explain to you that while praising moms is a good thing, excluding other kinds of families and focusing only on moms as the keepers of the home is so very yesteryear and not very neighborly.

So while you have the benefit of a comfortable cash flow and the luxury of only one spouse having to work, you might want to remember that your experience is not the experience of everyone else in the world.

I do wish you and your family a very happy holiday season and I hope that you take some time to reflect on some of your past choices and realize that not everyone lives in a closed-minded, judgmental, puritanical fantasy world like you do.

Warm regards,

Kimberley A. Johnson

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Kimberley Johnson

Kimberley A. Johnson (BIO) is the author of AMERICAN WOMAN: The Poll Dance & The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or follow her on FB
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