wapo headlinethe Washington Post

The Catholic Church and feminist activists have always had a troubled relationship. However, a writer named Kate Bryan believes she’s found a happy medium.

In an article with The Washington Post’s "Acts of Faith" column, Bryan describes how living as a 32-year-old virgin has allowed her to live the "feminist dream." She describes how she had originally planned to be married at the age of 25 and have 12 children, one for each of the disciples in the Bible.

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In her article, Bryan addresses why she has abstained from sex despite temptation, stating, “I believe that I’m living a fuller, better life because of my commitment to sexual integrity. I spend all day, every day doing the things that I want to do, because I’m not wasting my time worrying about waking up next to a stranger, contracting a sexually transmitted infection or missing a period."

She later writes that because she doesn’t need to worry about STIs or an unwanted pregnancy, that she is, therefore, living the "feminist dream."

Guy Shaking his head 

How do I even begin to explain Bryan’s skewed view of feminism? There is nothing wrong with people who choose to wait to have sex until marriage, but the culture surrounding purity and virginity is about as far from feminist as it gets. Purity culture teaches women that they do not have ownership over their own bodies, that in losing your virginity you lose part of yourself, that penetrative sex is the end-all, be-all, and that wanting sex is something shameful.

Kayne Shaking His Head

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But my own personal politics aside, Bryan abstaining from sex is not the reason that she cannot call herself a feminist. She cannot call herself a feminist because her definition of feminism insults and demeans other women. Her condescencion and shaming towards women who choose to have sex — or, as Bryan puts it, be "mastered by physical desires" — is apparent, with phrases like "a condom doesn’t protect the heart."

Bryan says that she is living the "feminist dream" by not having to worry about STIs and unwanted pregnancies, yet feminism is not about shaming women for having sex — or not having it. The whole point of feminism is to obtain gender equality, and part of gender equality is allowing women to do whatever the fuck they want with their own bodies — whether that means never having sex, or having sex every damn day. 

Judge Judy Face Palm

So, no, Kate Bryan, you are not living the so-called "feminist dream" because you clearly have not been paying attention to what it means to be a feminist. Feminism isn’t about one lifestyle being better than another, it’s about equality, awareness, and education of real women’s issues within the modern world. And if you are still hung up on what it means to be a feminist, you’re lucky, because you came to the right place.

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