Purity Versus Virginity

We cannot avoid the fact that a life of partying and drinking is a recipe for disaster.

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By Charmaine Mabotja

Out of the abundance of knowledge results the understanding that ideas tend to be nuanced rather than straightforward. Although it’s good to abstain from sex, purity is more than just abstaining from sexual intercourse.

Society has held onto the belief that purity is about how someone conducts themselves. It is said that a virgin is someone who has never had sexual intercourse but purity has to do with morality – it is about spiritual cleanliness. Those who are pure are dignified persons and are held to a standard.

This however does not imply, that virgins are dignified people. As a matter of fact, most people abstaining from sexual intercourse are found to be wilder than those who don’t.

I grew up in an environment where young people partook of drugs and alcohol.  The community dismissed their behaviour as being synonymous with perversion and prostitution.

This type of lifestyle is not exactly acceptable but to conclude that one’s irresponsible conduct of dignity is subject to sexual immorality is unfair. Our communities now have a tendency to allow their prejudices to cloud their understanding.

An old friend of mine, who has experienced such ill-treatment from society, shared her thoughts.

“I have friends that enjoy going out, having relationships and indulging in fashion and [the] good life. However we still uphold abstaining [from] sex. How people view us depends on their system of belief, but honestly it’s in the society’s mind-set to write us off when they immediately see us with bum short and crop tops” Phomello Kutama explained.

Although Kutama, admitted to clubbing (which some might say is ungodly), she insisted that she is all about fun and fashion and that she is responsible when it comes to sex. She still parties and loves her “weird fashion.”

A lady from the Potter’s House Church, Noxolo Zulu, insisted that virginity in itself is a lifestyle. “Can a man take up fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Therefore we can’t continue being virgins if we continue availing ourselves to [an] unprofitable lifestyle”, she said.

We cannot avoid the fact that a life of partying and drinking is a recipe for disaster. The effects of drugs and alcohol leave people vulnerable to making bad decisions   often related to sex. However, the fact that someone is addicted to an irresponsible lifestyle is not sufficient grounds to assume that they are sexually irresponsible.

Charmaine Mabotja is a final year Journalism student at the University of Johannesburg. 

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