It is because of an evangelical culture awash in this kind of teaching that Kavanaugh’s series of assaults can be excused as youthful indiscretions. Men are expected to slip up and violate their purity, and it’s all okay as long as their penis didn’t actually enter a vagina. It is his future wife’s duty to forgive, and no one else should pass judgment on sins that are in the past.
The language of consent is not a language that evangelicals or their heroes speak.
It is the evangelical MO to ignore the testimony of women.
The impetus to protect oneself fell on the girl. The impetus to say no fell on the girl. The work, the labor, of purity: it was all girls’.
And if she failed in this — if she sparked a boy’s lust (let alone a girl’s — the compulsory heterosexuality of this message deserves an entire post in and of itself) — the failure was hers. And she had not only failed herself, and her “Christian brother,” but God. It was a sin, but a particularly grievous sort of one. For even though the actual bible teaches that all sins may be forgiven, or that all sins are equal before the eyes of God, under evangelism, there is no sin more horrifying than sexual impurity. (I truly believe this — spousal abuse, pedophilia, even murder, all of it pales to the way the church talks about the wages of sexual sin).
Source: the shame is ours
“While each of these sources had varying nuances on how and why premarital sex could and should be avoided, one of the central tenets was that men could not be counted on to control themselves. The responsibility to avoid sex would fall squarely on female shoulders. This only worked because, in this belief system, women do not experience sexual desire.”
As a teen girl, grown men would tell me with a chuckle that I simply could not understand “what teenage boys are like.”
Never did these men pause to wonder what it is like to be a teenage girl.
The assumption was that the female virgin simply did not desire sex. If someone did express sexual desire (a very bold thing to admit to) she was told that it was not sex that she desired, but the “emotional closeness.” Men enjoyed sex. Women enjoyed cuddling afterward.
Of course, all of that shame and ignorance about sex is supposed to simply melt away as an Evangelical woman says her wedding vows. Instantly sex goes from forbidden to mandatory. (Is there anything more antithetical to desire than obligation?)
Evangelical Purity Culture is an exercise in controlling female sexual desire.