By using metaphors that objectify women and girls, we are following the example set by our larger society. While we may not be plastering up images of Victorias Secret models, we are placing the bodies of girls, and with that, the value of their virginity, onto a pedestal. We are reducing women to objects, which may be used and disposed of when their “value” declines.
By a youth pastor telling a group of girls that their value is less because of sex, much like a “chewed up piece of gum,” that individual is guilty of objectifying women, and following in the steps of this world. As others before me have noted, this model of objectification feeds into rape culture.
Please, let that sink in.
When we reduce women to disposable objects or objects of any kind, we are diminishing their humanity. We are taking away their autonomy, their individual will by comparing them to inanimate objects without power. Its easier for a perpetrator to exert force over a victim if the victims body has been objectified. When we, as members of the Church, use these reductive object lessons, we are participating and enabling a destructive culture against the bodies of girls and women.
“Purity culture” needs to be redeemed, and this begins with the Church.