Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

Giving pieces of your “heart” away

5 Comments

Caution: Explicit language.

When discussing dating and courtship, one of the most popular lines to defend courtship is the belief that when dating, you give pieces of your heart to each person you date. This belief is again based on a belief that all forms of dating mean that you “fall in love quickly”, that you end up having physical or sexual contact on the very first date and that you are certainly not finding a suitable spouse by dating.

Now obviously, the godly courtship doesn’t face any of these struggles – yet another belief. When courting, you’re not supposed to fall in love. It’s ok if there is a “spark”, but anything more wouldn’t lead you into a courtship simply because the danger of giving a piece of your heart to the “wrong” person is so big. So essentially, you should not be or fall in love with your courting partner.

I was raised in this belief and I was very strong in it. I was obsessed with guarding my heart, hoping it would please my parents, especially my dad. If I had to draw a picture of myself for you, imagine I’d be the princess sitting on a throne in a spotless white dress. My dad was a strong knight, guarding the gates to my castles, slaying every man who wasn’t clean enough for his taste. And even once he let somebody in, he was eager for the man to stay at the opposite side of the room, not letting him anywhere near me or my heart.

Only when the time of engagement comes a courting couple is allowed to actually try to start feeling something. But in some groups (not all of them), you’re still not allowed to touch. You can tell these couples by looking at them – a lot of times, they use some kind of device, like a stick or a piece of fabric, that they both hold on one end, as a replacement for holding hands. Every form of physical contact with the opposite gender is feared to “give something away”.

Now I can tell you from personal experience, the term “heart” is just a cover-up for something entirely different. Heart stands for virginity, better yet, for hymen. Essentially all the big fuss boils down to that. Any form of touching the other’s body is considered a harm to the girl’s heart/hymen.

As a young woman growing up, I had some “female problems”, nothing bad really but I felt like I should see a doctor just to make sure it’s all normal. My mother had huge issues talking to me about it, I couldn’t ask her a thing. I approached her with a lie, saying that I felt something was very wrong and I needed to see a doctor, knowing she wouldn’t let me go for the real reason. And yet, she denied me to see a gynecologist. I asked her why that was, and her answer was that there can’t be anything wrong “if the seal isn’t broken”. That was her euphemism for hymen. My seeing a doc would only lead to my “seal” being broken. And then what would I tell my husband? It would make me look like a liar. Every girl who’s not a virgin tells her husband that she isn’t “sealed” because of sports, the doctor or something else. Every guy knew that was the typical excuse. This conversation scared me. I was honestly afraid I had already broken my hymen by accident and would look like an adulteress. It cost me some sleepless nights and long prayer sessions.

I know they all say that the hymen isn’t what makes a girl a virgin. But while they say that, they mean the opposite.

Years ago I overheard a story my dad told my mom. It was about a guy and a girl who had just gotten married and were very unhappy. On their wedding night, he didn’t feel any resistance when breaking her “seal”, and neither was there any blood. The man felt robbed of this experience and was sure his wife actually wasn’t a virgin before marriage. He even thought of getting a divorce on the base of adultery. My dad felt sorry for the man, agreeing that he has a good enough reason to be divorced from his wife.

I started thinking about it and realized that it really wasn’t about the heart. All the planning of a wedding boiled down to defloration. What the bride should wear, something that was easily accessible and sexy at the same time. The fact that our weddings end at 10PM. That the place we spend our wedding nights at is usually in maximum half an hour distance. The fact that no christian fundamentalist man cares about planning the wedding, only about when and where the wedding night will be. I felt exploited. Back then I was courting Harry and I realized that the biggest virtue I had to offer wasn’t my meekness, my simple mind, my godliness, my biblical approach, nothing of that compared to my biggest virtue: I had an intact hymen.

At the end of the day, dating vs. courtship isn’t about the heart. It’s about the man opening a woman like a can of diet soda. If he doesn’t get to do that, it’s like somebody spit into your can of soda: You don’t drink it, you throw it away.

5 thoughts on “Giving pieces of your “heart” away

  1. I am shocked from reading your blog, and angry too. What has happened, here in my own country, right here, in my own faith community? I am so, so, so sorry for not taking a stand for the children when I came across this aberrant teaching in its beginnings. I just avoided the “nutjobs” buying and selling these ideas, when I should have been outspoken against it. Thank you for sharing your life with the world here at your blog. I ask your forgiveness for my silence. Though I am a woman, and considered liberal and probably worldly too, I should have spoken up for the children’s sake.

    • Thanks for your nice and loving comments, they are highly appriciated.
      I can tell you as much as speaking to them wouldn’t help. The fundamentalists have a range of mental problems themselves that they can’t fix. If somebody speaks out and tells them they are wrong in some aspect, they simply call the person “infested by worldliness and the devil” and cut all contact. If you were in their church, they’d probably leave the church even. They believe that being “different” in every aspect is “holy” and even the littlest influence from outside waters their holiness down.
      However, the amount of young people leaving their families and fundamentalism is rather high. I think that alone speaks for itself. And it would be much higher if it wasn’t so hard to contact them. I for my part wouldn’t have left if not for my connection to a former member of the movement.

  2. Wow – that is crazy! Really? I never heard of anything like this! How is this even remotely “Christian?” How are people allowed to bring kids up this way?

  3. I’m sorry your experience was so awful. That was terrible for you to have to go through. However, it’s a sweeping generalization to say that courtship vs dating isn’t about the heart but about the hymen. Being a father myself with a teen girl, I do not have any of the motivations/fears you mentioned guys having in this post. To me, it really is about the heart. Even non-Christians who date admit that they don’t want to go through too many serious relationships with the opposite sex b/c it’s too much heartbreak to keep going through.

    While I completely sympathize with you, your brush is a bit too broad to stamp on all courtship-favoring Christians.

  4. Im sorry Christians think that caging Christians who compliment ladies busts,cleavages and rears is a socalled “good” “idea”. Sexual socalled hassling law should have never been passed and that is a demon that should be exorcised. I can sympathize with you if you were not respected for the compliment you gave her about her bust and bustline

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