If you saw Sunday night’s episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, you know there was a lot of talk about sex. From Kandi Koated Nights to Gregg’s alleged infidelity, the topic was on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Perhaps the most shocking element of this episode was when Kim Zolciak bought her daughter Brielle a $3,000 abstinence ring. The kicker? This was all Brielle’s idea – but, instead of deciding to wait until marriage, like most girls who receive a purity ring, she vowed to wait until she was 18 years old.
WTF? Why 18? Some seniors in high school are 18. Although Brielle is – at age 13 – way too young to be having sex in my opinion, 18 seems like such a random number. Kim disagreed with age 18 and wanted her daughter to wait until age 20. What’s the big difference between 18 and 20? At 18, she could be a senior in high school, and at 20, she could be a sophomore in college. I guess a lot of maturing takes place in those two years, but what if Brielle doesn’t go to college and continues to live at home, as if she was still in high school? There are certainly some 18-year-olds who are more mature and responsible than some 20-year-olds. Herein lies the problem in the purity movement: a girl’s entire worth is being evaluated on the status of her virginity. And virginity is entirely subjective.
For most women of the purity movement, they won’t even kiss before marriage. According to The Sunday Times, “one in six girls aged between 12 and 18 is estimated to have taken a ‘purity’ pledge.” These girls are typically presented with a ring resembling an engagement ring by their fathers at a Purity Ball; the daughters take the fathers as “dates” and then the father promises to safeguard his daughter’s virginity until she is married. The purity ring symbolizes that promise.