EBOOK READ Pure Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free

For Fear of Little Men yThanks to Touchstone and Netgalley for this ARC I grew up on the fringes of purity culture It wasn t part of my religious upbringing but I was pretty well acuainted with the movement as a teen in the 90 s Mostly I mocked it as I did most things associated with the Christian Right in those days Only after reading Klein s compassionate and empathetic book do I realize how wrong I was to write off purity culture as some innocuous chastity craze It has left deep scars on thousands Millions Only God knows how many livesAs a practicing Christian I am appalled by the lack of love shown in this movement just as I have been appalled when reading about the experiences of former Christian culture insiders like Vicky Beeching and Jennifer Knapp There is this attitude of us versus them an exclusivity I cannot reconcile with the Gospel Jesus preached And the shame that haunts so many adherents of this movement It is unfathomable to me that this guilt and shame has its roots in a cultural phenomenon that is supposed to be about waiting for True Love Maybe it s maturity or maybe after reading story after story of how negatively True Love Waits etc have impacted the lives of so many of my generation I do not find this chastity craze funny any It angers me It disappoints me It disheartens me But it doesn t make me laugh Klein s book about the purity movement and sexual shaming of girls within the powerful evangelical community in the US may focus on a worthy enough subject but the writing is so pedestrian and hyperbolic that I felt no desire to persist beyond the very lengthy 34 page introduction I ve read my share of undergraduate papers and this book put me in mind of them in spades clumsy prose unnecessary repetition and the sloppy use of uotations from witnesses and supposed experts Bren Brown for example that illustrate no particular point very well From the little I read was convinced that investing any time in warmed over social science thesis material would be foolish As I finished reading Pure the US Senate was concluding a day long hearing pitting the memoriesclaims of a previously obscure woman and the nominee for a life time appointment to the US Supreme Court The two may be different at one level andet related at another In the Senate hearings the uestion was who will Twig the Fairy and the Goblin Masquerade (Twig the Fairy you believe Too often down through the ages we believe the man and not the woman Could it be that we have different expectations for women than men If a woman is found to be sexually impure which might mean simply being at a party and drinking then we shouldn t be surprised when something untoward occurs In other words if something happened then it must be her fault If she flirts or wears a particular kind of clothing then she might be asking for it Time after time we ve heard that line both from politicians and from pulpitsPure takes us inside a movement that is widespread within evangelicalism that elevates sexual purity to such a high level that it ends up damaging women s lives The author of this book Linda Kay Klein grew up within this context The books is part autobiography but just as important it is based on multiples of interviews both with friends and others who were directed her way They tell their stories to the author who then relays them to us The book is at points graphic but how can we deal with issues sexuality and not expect to encounter rather graphic stories She tells of a movement that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s that taught inouth groups and from pulpits the importance of remaining sexually pure The goal was virginity till marriage The message given to Sanity is the Future of Wealth young women was that if they failed to live up to this standard they would be unwanted by men Their marriage prospects would be damaged because and this was a common metaphor who wants chewed gum Not only should aoung woman not engage sexually but she should not engage in any sexual thoughts These are unbecoming to woman There was another message given Young women should beware of being stumbling blocks to men She confesses that this warning about being a stumbling block was annoying to her as a junior high student who wanted desparately to please God The message she heards was that she and her friends were nothing than things over which men and boys could trip p 3 Over time the Purity movement became big business with purity rings books clothing and Among the buyers of these products was the government as apparently 2 billion dollars of federal money has been expended to support abstinence only programming She notes that this money has been distributed to community based organizations faith based organizations local andor state health departments and schools Only California did not accept federal funding for abstinence only education programming Churches of course made use of

This Material As Well The 
material as well The has had a listing influence on the lives of women for as Klein writes the purity movement teaches that every sexual activity from masturbation to kissing if it elicits tha special feeling can make one less pure p 12 In other words if a woman becomes aroused that is inappropriate As for guys well it s a different story I guess The book is composed of four movements three of which have four chapters The final movement has three The first movment focuses on the four purity culture stumbling blocks First if the purity culture doesn t work for Jelena '93 you thenou must be the problem not the movement Second is that girls and women must conform to particular gender roles to be acceptable to men Third unmarried girls and women are to maintain a sexless body mind and and heart to be pure This becomes difficult once a woman marries because now she is expected to turn on her sexuality to please her husband Fourth there is the systematic mishandling of sexual abuse cases and survivors the topic of the current Supreme Court nomination process These chapters are challenging and unsettling but those of the current Supreme Court nomination process These chapters are challenging and unsettling but those of who some experience within the evangelical sub culture recognize elements of this story to be true to our own experience Movements two and three focus on the stories that emerge out of these four stumbling blocks both inside and outside the church Klein brings to us stories of women who faced shame and some ultimately leaving the church She also shows how some broke free of the messaging both inside and outside the church The fourth section brings some closure showing how people have moved beyond these stumbling blocks As she notes in each section she begins with her own story Although I came of age within an. From a woman who has been there and back the first inside look at the devastating effects evangelical Christianity’s purity culture has had on a generation of oung women in a potent combination of journalism cultural commentary and memoirIn the 1990s a “purity industry” emerged out of the white evangelical Christian culture Purity rings purity pledges and purity balls came with a dangerous message girls are potential sexual “stumbling blocks” for boys and men and any expression of a girl’s sexuality could reflect the corruption of her character This message. Is only about control and about making women out to be objects not people an object that is first owned by her father and then by her husband It is outdated and cruel and has no place in our modern society It s time to teach our daughters that their ability to be good people depends on their being good people not on whether or not they re sexually active I didn t grow up evangelical but I completely understand this purity culture and I m glad people like Klein are writing about it The purity myth is another great book on the same theme I did not love the format of the book I wanted to hear in Klein s voice history of the movement and data or commentary Instead Klein just interviews a lot of ex evangelicals and then reproduces the interviews almost verbatim Some are very interesting and some just felt too long I really liked the way she identifies a sort of post traumatic stress syndrome or a neural wiring that links sex with shame in these cultures and how that can effect girls for their entire lives I would have loved data or expert commentary on that than what is provided This book is sad on two levels 1 The traumas experienced by so many women and the fact that distortion of Christian doctrine led to their abuse andor struggles in many cases driving them away from the church 2 The fundamental misunderstanding of Christianity demonstrated by the author Reading this my heart hurt for the women who were physically and emotionally manipulated and abused even as I winced through the unnecessarily graphic details of sexual exploits that indicated their freedom from the twisted vision of sexuality promoted in their evangelical upbringings The author repeatedly presents a false dichotomy between an oppressive legalistic and unbiblical view of women with a self I dnf d the book I m left feeling what kind of Christian cult is twisting women up like this Why can t men take responsibility for their own actions What world are they living in One minute the author is a preteen next she is 15 then 26 no she s 21 Everyone around her is busy reinforcing each other into the myth that a girl must protect men from their teenage hormonal selves or else be known as dirt a snotty tissue a slut a slag manipulative and evil The Pastor obviously a major player in this rigged game married his wife when she was carrying his twins for which she has never ceased to be ashamed He isn t he is of the mindset do as I say not as I doThere s another myth they all seem to believe in that God whispers to them what to do and that they must do it Couldn t be a product of Wow Shocking deeply empathic and meticulously researched Pure exposes a terrifying phenomenon in this country one that affects us all evangelical or not I was raised in an evangelical community that HHS s subscribed to purity culture I lost count of the times while reading this book I felt relief and horror that other people had the same feelings and experiences I did The book is well written well researched and well paced Highly recommend I couldn t put it down This is really really hard to review I am glad this book exists I think it s important for people within the evangelical movement to speak out against purity culture I genuinely hope women can read this and find some answers in it or at least know they are not alone However I also think this book failed in a lot of respectsI definitely have an interest in reading books about purity culture as I grew up in a conservative non denominational evangelical church and was subjected to Many Of The Same Lectures Klein Writes About Like How of the same lectures
Klein Writes About Like How 
writes about like how is chewing gum and no one wants to chew gum a bunch of people have chewed ugh I hate even typing out that garbage Klein starts out the book strong with an introduction where she explains her biases and how she went about her research including who she picked for interviews Unlike Text Me When You Get Home a book about female friendships that virtually only contained interviews with white women but pretended to be about all female friendships I appreciate that Klein lays out exactly why her research was primarily about white women instead of pretending it was universal Klein is strongest when the book is most like a memoir in fact I think it would have been better to throw out the idea of scholarly research and just write it as a memoir with interviews from people in her past also an avenue I think Kayleen Schaefer should have pursued with Text Me The interviews Klein does are heartbreaking and show exactly how horrible purity culture is and how much it damages women It s uncommon for me to read critiues about purity from someone who lived it most of the time it s from feminists outside of the evangelical religion But the interviews start to get tedious Every woman has her own story and I fully believe it s incredibly important for them to feel they have a voice and deserve to be heard But after a while I started to think what is the point of this The women s stories might have been better put in a blog format because having to read the intense suffering of each women is emotionally exhausting Every woman also appeared to be still suffering from the effects and et still involved in the church in some aspect and still had faith in god which is interesting to say the least There s really no hope shown in the individual situations for these women The last section of the book was where I really ended up getting upset I can excuse the depressing factor of the interviews as just needing a bit editing but I don t feel I can excuse how much Klein advocates for continued faith in the evangelical religion At no point whatsoever does Klein hint that anyone might gain some peace by leaving the religion that torments them I am truly happy for Klein that she has been able to reconcile her hatred of purity culture with her faith that says the opposite but it s uite irresponsible to act like culture with her faith that says the opposite but it s uite irresponsible to act like only option for women who reject it is just church albeit progressive church She never entertains the notion that perhaps for some women getting out of the religion completely may be the healing that they need I just find it incredibly disappointing that she decided to spend the last few chapters proselytizing I m not going to go into a lengthy theology debate in a Goodreads reviews but it s laughable how Klein refuses to acknowledge that the Bible is sexist She acts as if the blame for purity culture rests solely on individuals in the church claiming that the Bible verses church leaders will uote are all taken out of context Oh honey Uestion the purity based sexual ethic She contacted How to Restore Your Bmw Motorcycle Twins 1950-1969 young women she knew asking if they were coping with the same shame induced issues she was These intimate conversations developed into a twelveear uest that took her across the country and into the lives of women raised in similar religious communities a journey that facilitated her own healing and led her to churches that are seeking a new way to reconcile sexuality and spirituality Sexual shame is by no means confined to evangelical culture; Pure is a powerful wake up call about our society’s subjugation of women. Evangelical subculture that predates the Purity Movement as it emerged in the 1980s I can see many of the precursors emerging in my own experience I remember the messaging we got We were told to be sexually pure but we struggled with that Keep Faerie your minds clean and clear While we were told masturbation was wrong apparently it was widespread among my male friends As for my female friends that wasn t a topic to which I was privy I do know that the girls were constantly told to be careful so as not to be a stumbling block Apparently we were of weak minds and spirits and thus the girls in our group needed to be careful with how they dressed I remember going to camp and the girls had to wear t shirts over their swim suits even if they were one piece suits Our experiences might have presaged what came later but it does appear that the messaging became unbearable and destructive as it became not only a religious thing but a business There were no purity rings that I remember I believe that Linda Kay Klein has done us an important favor by telling this story Not only because it uncovers an evangelical subculture but uncovers a culture that holds women to a different standard from men and seems to encourage disbelief when women share stories of embarrassment abuse assault and rape After all they must have done something to warrant itBy shining a light on this subculture she shines a light on our culture as a whole Women are not stumbling blocks They need not feel shame about their bodies or their sexuality It s time for us to have the difficult conversations that might enlighten us all I say this as one who has struggled myself with these uestions She writes stories about women as a way of liberation from shame She calls the church to account not to destroy faith but to restore it Thanks be to God Shame noun A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour Oxford English Dictionary Linda Kay Klein was an evangelical Christian who endured the indoctrination of purity during her teens leaving her with a feeling of shame over her body her femininity and her sexuality She is not the only one There are many manyoung people who have been indoctrinated with this insane notion of purity over the last 30 ears The evangelical church teaches that sex outside of marriage is a sin and even having sexual thoughts or urges is sinful Many do not even allow hand holding between a female and male even if they are dating or engaged Girls are taught that their bodies are a temptation to men and as such they should take every precaution to not show parts of her body and thus lead a man astray Apparently even seeing a knee is enough to set a man on a wrong and dangerous course in some of these churches including the ones I was brought up in It is the woman s responsibility to ensure the man does not have evil sexual thoughts and she certainly should never feel them or she is a whore a Jezebel Females are taught that they should only have sexual thoughts for her husband after they are married It is her duty as a Christian woman to give the gift of virginity and a pure body to her husbandUnfortunately for many women by the time they are married they have been shamed so much by their own bodies and sexuality that they are unable to even have sex with their husbands let alone anyone else without a feeling of deep shame and guilt They are left with anxiety over the sex act unable to enjoy it and even finding it painful to endure Instead of teaching oung people how to respect their bodies and others and how to protect themselves against STDs and pregnancy they are taught the abstinence only method Indeed even the US government has allocated over 2 billion dollars to the purity industry over the last couple of decades promoting this agenda in many public schools across the nation The effect is not that oung people have less sex and less teenage pregnancy They actually have the same amount of sex and beginning at the same age as their peers who are given a healthy well rounded sex education The effect the purity movement does have is teen pregnancy STDs and shame especially on the part of females In Pure Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free Naomi Kay Klein recounts her own indoctrination in the purity movement how it affected her and how she eventually came to see how dangerous it is and to break free from the clutches of indoctrinationShe tells not just her story but that of several others who were raised this way At times it felt a bit monotonous as the stories were all similar I disliked her saying people have PTSD Posttraumatic Stress Disorder because of the shaming As explained by the American Psychiatric Association PTSD can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster a serious accident a terrorist act warcombat rape or other violent personal assault Being shamed does not put the person at bodily risk and does not trigger PTSD It does leave it s mark on the individual though and some of the symptoms are the same or similar to PTSD However just because they share some symptoms does not mean they are the same There is a move to create a new psychiatric DISORDER COINED BY DR MARLENE WINELL AS RELIGIOUS TRAUMA coined by Dr Marlene Winell as Religious Trauma and defined as the condition experienced by people who are struggling with leaving an authoritarian dogmatic religion and coping with the damage of indoctrination This would be helpful for mental health professionals to identify and treat the symptoms brought about by such indoctrination Another instance of mis identified disorder in this book is that of DID Dissociative Identity Disorder The woman Ms Klein spoke with may indeed have it but the Symptoms She It As she described as not those of DID If ou are going to name psychiatric disorders in a book Cinnamon and Elephants: Sri Lanka and the Netherlands from 1600 (Rijksmuseum country series) you need to first know what they are and present them accurately That bitch aside I did mostly enjoy this book I think it is an important one to bring awareness to the enduring effect of the Purity Movement I think it could be helpful for those who were brought up this way to see they are not alone in their struggles and shame Perhaps reading this book can help them identify and heal their own issues that developed from being brought up this way and taught to be ashamed of their femininity and sexuality It could be of interest to those raised outside of the movement too One thing is clear this system does not work and does nothing but harmoung women It. Traumatized many girls resulting in anxiety fear and experiences that mimicked the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and trapped them in a cycle of shame This is the sex education Linda Kay Klein grew up with Fearing being marked a Jezebel Klein broke up with her high school boyfriend because she thought God told her to and took pregnancy tests though she was a virgin terrified that any sexual activity would be punished with an out of wedlock pregnancy When the Valkea kuin lumi youth pastor of her church was convicted of sexual enticement of a twelveear old girl Klein began to.

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