Posts Tagged ‘rachel held evans’


Sexually Active…but not Promiscuous?

March 6, 2012

Rachel Held Evans holds court on opinions that are sometimes evangelical; and sometimes not. Which is why I like to visit her site. I like to stretch some of my more rigid beliefs.

That’s why when she responded this week to Rush Limbaugh’s rant against Sandra Fluke and her testimony before a Congressional Committee, I really wanted to see her opinion.

You can read Ms. Evan’s article here:

I don’t have any desire to get into a debate on what Limbaugh said. That’s too much work for me and I couldn’t care less about his opinion. However, Rachel Evans made a statement I could not pass by without comment. In addressing why Evangelicals have such an affinity for people like Rush Limbaugh, she feels he hits on three nerves with us. The third of these is Sex. In that part of the article, she states:

This attitude represents one of the most damaging and least-talked-about blind spots within evangelicalism—the one that refuses to acknowledge the fact that being sexually active does not make a woman a slut. 

Currently, evangelicals tend to force young adults, especially young women, into simplistic sexual categories. They are either “pure” or “impure,” “whole” or “damaged,” “virgins” or “sluts.” There does not seem to exist a vocabulary within evangelicalism with which to talk about men and women who are sexually active, but not promiscuous.

I am intrigued by this statement for several reasons. First, is she saying that it is acceptable to be sexually active as an unmarried Christian? Actually, she goes on to say she is just acknowledging that a significant percentage of young Evangelicals are sexually active. Or, is she saying there is need of a word that describes a person who is

  • unmarried
  • Evangelical Christian
  • sexually active
  • not a “slut”

I can assume by this she means a person who is only moderately sexually active, committed to one person at a time sexually and keeps below an acceptable number of partners.

I am curious what you think of this. For the record, I don’t believe we can ‘fudge’ on the biblical standard of “no sex before marriage”. But is there a difference between someone who can be referred to as a “slut” and someone who occasionally has sex before marriage?

The key problem I see is we are trying to define something by current societal standards instead of Truth that is overarching and universal. I don’t think coming up with words to define “demi-sluts”, “sometimes-studs”, or any other such category really addresses the most pertinent question.

Do you?

UPDATE: Ms Evans closed the comments section on this post. Let me just show you what she wrote:

 I’m going to go ahead and close the comment thread on this post because a few folks seem rather eager to prove my point there, and I’m tired of reading and deleting this stuff. (In just one day, through comments and email, I’ve personally been called a “slut”, a “whore,” a “feminazi,” a “whiny feminist and a “dirty tramp.” I expect a call from the president shortly.)  Of course, most of you have been wonderful, as always. Thanks so much for your insightful contributions to the conversation and for your support. I expect the trolls will clear out soon.

This just goes to show that people like to lay down labels and the more emotional they get, the harsher the labels.

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