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Certificate of Purity: Symbolic or Demeaning?

Little did Brelyn Bowman know that her actions would become so popular on social media and cause quite the deliberation. Bowman along with her two siblings promised their father (who is also a Pastor) that they would save themselves until marriage. On her wedding day she decided to give her father a “certificate of purity”, which signified that she upheld the covenant she made with her father at age 13. Bowman went to the doctor to prove that her hymen was still intact, therefore confirming her virginity. By scrolling through her Instagram page one will find a post of Bowman and her father. She refers to him as her “first love” where she explains her covenant with her father and passion for God.

Her actions sparked discussions on two ends, one that supports the certificate and the other that claims it endorses medieval treatment of women.

 The bride is not at fault here, her decision to present her father with the certificate clearly meant a lot to her. She should be able to enjoy her moment as a loving daughter and a newlywed. However, light must be shed on to the continued “medieval treatment” of women even in the 21st century.  

A womens value should not be based solely on her virginity. Women all around the world contain high level degrees, uphold leading government positions, and complete many incredible feats. But if she is no longer a virgin before marriage, she is ultimately cast aside and seen as flawed”. This view is not held by all people, however it is still readily maintained today. We need to recognize that we are no longer of a time that categorizes women based on their virginity. This will only glorify the negative repercussions of patriarchal society that determines what a womens value is. No women should feel bad if they’ve engaged in any sexual behaviors; the only reason why women feel immoral is because society labels them as “tainted” or as “sluts”. This view only increases the amount of oppression women receive. 

 Whether you are for or against the presentation of a “certificate of purity” to ones father or any loved one, we must keep in mind that women do not owe it to anyone but themselves to remain virginal. 

Pictured below is Bowman and her father with the certificate. 

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