Say hello to virtue signaling 2.0: women penning articles (or youtube videos) claiming to be chaste until marriage, professing to want to be a “trad wife,” or otherwise signaling supposed sexual purity. “I’m 25 and won’t have sex until I’m married” blares a typical article in The Guardian. No doubt you’ve seen the avalanche of “femcel” articles. I won’t belabor the point. The phenom is real and it’s getting tired at this point.
But if you look closer, you notice a thing or two. First of all, the phenomenon is almost entirely centered on white women. White women writers with white women profile pics are writing long treatises about how monkishly they practice their serene sexual purity, each claiming to have been virginal for years or decades longer than the last.
And when you scratch the surface of this odd chastity revival, it becomes clear that it’s all actually rooted in deeply ingrained anti-Black sentiment and insecurities stemming from lost white privilege.
Let me explain.
First of all, it’s important to understand that white women have historically been cast (falsely) as the most desirable and sexually pure, while Black women have been sexualized and fetishized. Degradation of Black women’s bodies in turn fueled the racist belief that Black women are more sexually attainable (or “easy”) than others. It’s no surprise that white women were able to put on even more false airs of purity in sheer contrast.
But in recent years, as society becomes more diverse and we wash away the stale and pale with vibrant folks from all over, white women can no longer hold onto the same level of “default desirability” as they once did. This has led to a sense of insecurity among many white women, who often feel threatened by the attractiveness of Black women — the “queens” of this new diverse hierarchy.
We also can’t discount the role played by white women suddenly having access to beautiful men of color from all kinds of cultures, which has resulted in many of them going on a decades-long sexual rumspringa. It is well known in bro culture that even socially inept young Latin and Black guys have been able to collect as many white booty calls as a white boy has Pokemon cards. What’s more, thanks to the serendipitous ascent of consumer camera technology, it has all been on public display for everyone to see — and judge.
The dubious honor of being known as the “easiest lay” no longer belongs to Black women, to put it that way.
We are now on the afterparty stage of this generational orgy, and for some white women doing the walk of shame, hangover has set in. Many of them have turned to the conceit of chastity.
Chastity signaling is of course just a way for white women to try to reclaim their lost sexual purity and desirability. It’s a cope strategy.
But the hypocrisy of white women professing to be into chastity culture becomes even more apparent when we consider another recent trend of a far more lugubrious nature. I am talking about social awareness around white women engaging in sexual practices with their dogs, as seen in the popular meme “white girls fuck dogs.”
You can’t exist on the internet without frequently bumping into this meme. From influencers to Facebook grannies to 12-year-old gamers; they’re all giggling knowingly when some riff on the “white girl fuck dogs” melody is rendered unto their social media feeds. Heightened awareness around these white female sexual practices has helped to turbocharge the panicked collective sense of embarrassment and sexual insecurity we are now seeing in white women at large.
So let’s be clear: the resurgence in chastity culture among white women is not about morality or sexual purity. It is a desperate attempt for white women to reclaim sexual desirability and high status airs of purity previously afforded to them by white supremacy. It’s a desperate attempt to hold onto their crumbling position of privilege.
More importantly, white women have to acknowledge that chastity itself is not and can inherently never be a virtue. The origins of the idea of chastity can be traced back to the ancient world, where it was used as a way to control the sexual behavior of women, especially in regards to marriage and procreation. In many cultures, a woman’s worth was often determined by her ability to remain chaste until marriage, and any deviation from this norm was met with severe punishment.
But it’s not just the concept of chastity itself that is problematic, it’s the way it has been weaponized by white cishet patriarchy to maintain power and control over women. By imposing strict rules and expectations around sexual behavior, white cishet patriarchy has been able to divide and conquer different races of women, ensuring that they remain under their control.
Chastity is also used to otherize and ostracize those who do not conform to traditional gender roles. Trans and gender non-conforming individuals have often been targeted by chastity for their perceived lack of it, as their non-conformity is seen as a threat to the rigid gender norms imposed by white cishet patriarchy.
We need to reject this outdated and harmful notion and work towards a more inclusive and equitable society, and it has to start with white women giving up the conceit previously afforded to them by white supremacy. It is time for white women to recognize that chastity culture is not the answer to anything, and to stop using it as a weapon against Black women.
We are now a society that is becoming Blacker and more beautiful, and that doesn’t tolerate white mediocrity. We can’t, and won’t, let the oppressive falsehood of chastity worm itself back into the good graces of any kind of polite company.
So say it with me and say it loud: chastity is just another word for anti-Black. Instead of trying to make chastity fashionable again, white women would be better served by acknowledging their insecurities over attractiveness and privilege and addressing each of them in a healthy way.
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