Purity rings are common among some Christian denominations. Young girls receive them as a symbol, a sort of reminder to abstain from sexual activity until marriage.
The practice is controversial, as it reinforces patriarchal and paternal notions of female sexuality.
A Denver-based pastor and author, Nadia Bolz-Weber, is asking people to mail her their old purity rings for a project.
ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm inviting women to mail in their purity rings for a massive art project. @SweetBirdStudio is collaborating with me to melt them into a sculpture of a vagina, click here to join in and get your certificate of impurity! https://t.co/tbaJJdbxeJ #shamelessbook
— Nadia Bolz-Weber (@Sarcasticluther) November 26, 2018
Bolz-Weber is creating this project as part of a promotion for her new book, Shameless. It is a Christian perspective on reclaiming women’s bodies and sexuality.
She explained to Huffington Post:
“This thing about women that the church has tried to hide and control and that is a canvas on which other people can write their own righteousness ― it’s actually ours. …This part of me is mine and I get to determine what is good for it and if it’s beautiful and how I use it in the world.”
Bolz-Weber is the pastor at the House for All Sinners and Saints., a congregation she fouded as a progressive and LGBTQ-friendly Christian place of worship. She explained that many Christian women have been told that their “purity” and “holiness” are linked, whereas Bolz-Weber feels that holiness is intrinsic and cannot be bestowed or taken away by another person or an action. Therefore, someone’s ‘purity’ has nothing to do with how they are seen in God’s eyes.
“To me, to be able to have the self-determination to take symbols and words and actions that might have harmed me at a different time in life and to reclaim and redefine and rework those into something healing and humorous ― that’s a powerful thing.”
People were here for this project.
hahahahah I freaking love you.
— F.E.Feeley Jr (@fefeeleyjr) November 26, 2018
I could not possibly love this more.
— Nina Restieri (@momAgenda) November 29, 2018
This has got to be the very best idea for those things yet.
— HolyTroublemakers (@HolyTroubleBook) November 26, 2018
This is so fucking awesome
— Alison (@alison967) November 26, 2018
Others wished they still had their purity rings so they could take part in the project.
Dammit, I threw mine into a lake 🤦♀️
— Courtney (@cstegs33) November 26, 2018
What if I superglued mine to my vibrator awhile ago? What to do?
— Reverend Jes Kast (@JesKast) November 27, 2018
man I threw mine in a lake. 🙁
— Kat Coffin (@KatinOxford) November 26, 2018
Threw mine away almost immediately. I love this.
— mrsmanwatkar (@mrsmanwatkar) November 26, 2018
I pawned mine otherwise I would send it!!
— Kate (@mftkate) November 26, 2018
And many were down to send theirs in.
@Sarcasticluther mine is silver, not gold. Do you still want it? Would love to donate it if so
— Danielle Burnett (@danilikes2sail) November 29, 2018
oh my gods, i love this. i will be contributing.
— (((InfamousQBert))) (@InfamousQBert) November 29, 2018
Ever since this idea was born I’ve been SO hoping it would happen!! Mine is on its way!!
— Meg 🏳️🌈 (@BookworminNerd) November 26, 2018