Brelyn Bowman presented her dad with a purity certificate to prove she kept her promise to abstain from fornication until marriage in an archaic wedding ritual women on the web hope won’t catch on.
Salon reports that Bowman made the promise at the age of 13 when she signed a “commitment contract” to “abstain from fornication (rubbing and petting) but keep myself until I am united in marriage to the young man that God is preparing for me,” thoughtfully cosigned by her parents.
On Oct. 10, Bowman’s day of matrimony came to pass when she married gospel singer Tim Bowman, Jr. in front of 3,500 guests.
During the reception, Bowman called her father Dr. Michael A. Freeman, the founder and pastor of Spirit of Faith Christian Center, to the stage.
“I was totally unaware of what was about to take place,” Freeman tells Buzzfeed. “During the remarks, she shared that she wanted to honor me by not allowing any man to touch her before her husband.”
Forget honoring yourself.
Bowman presented her dad with the certificate and snapped a selfie to plaster the daddy-daughter moment on Instagram.
She later posted another picture, this time of her daddy-daughter dance, and captioned the post, “Dancing with my first love! I was able to present a certificate of purity to him signed by my doctor that my hymen was still intact. Also the covenant he gave me when I was 13.”
I’d love to meet this doctor who has intact-hymen certificates taking up drawer space in his office. The man, along with countless other health professionals, have blatantly chosen to ignore the inexact science of virginity.
The age-old fallacy that an unimpaired hymen equates virginity has been disproven, but this hasn’t stopped inattentive sexists from promoting the dangerous lie.
Washington, D.C.-based pediatric gynecologist Rachel Kastl-Casey tells Slate that “there’s no way to actually confirm virginity. What you find (upon examination) is not going to 100 percent correlate with what has happened in the past. … It can’t be proven.”
That’s because the thin tissue can wear away prior to intercourse, and not all women who experience penetrative sex for the first time promptly tear their hymens. Although rare, girls can even be born without hymens.
And we won’t go into the other loopholes.
Unfortunately, “keeping the faith” and “honor one’s father and mother” have been used as justifications to traffic this young woman’s body. Bowman isn’t the first, and surely won’t be the last, to adhere to such a misconstrued moral compass.
I applaud Bowman for her sexual abstinence (though it can’t be proven) – it’s wondering where her father is going to hang the record of her vagina’s integrity that leaves me feeling nauseated.
Freeman tells Buzzfeed that all his children – one boy and two girls – signed similar covenants. His older daughter, Brittany, gave him a purity certificate at her wedding six years ago, which inspired Bowman to present her own certificate, Buzzfeed reports.
“My sister, who was a virgin when she got married, did the same thing,” Bowman says. “And she was an example for me, so now I can be an example for others.”
But the Instagram universe was well aware of Bowman’s proud lifestyle prior to her wedding day.
She posted a photo of her ring and future hubby three weeks prior to the special day, captioning the shot “I GOT A RING, without giving up my *ting*!” And added, “If he can’t wait for you then HE’s not worth it!” Amen. “Why would he buy the car if he can test drive it at will?”
Hold it! She almost managed to get through an entire female-empowerment post without tainting it with sexual objectification.
Bowman may have decided to confer the certificate of her own volition, but the fact that we’re still appraising women as assets in the 21st century and denying science and social equality to do it continues to prove dangerous for women, including those who naively adhere to the double standard.
What do you think of this commitment contract?
Photo courtesy of Salon.com