A Prince George’s County, Maryland, bride is facing backlash after the above father-daughter dance photo from her wedding went viral, in which she writes that she presented her pastor father with a certificate from her doctor proving that her hymen was still intact, having successfully saved her virginity for marriage. Brelyn Bowman explained to Good Day DC this week why she decided to sign a pledge at just 13 to remain a virgin until marriage, as well as her father’s reaction to the certificate.
“He was so excited because it’s not nothing he required. He didn’t ask, ‘I need you to go and present this.’ It was something because I kept my word,” said Brelyn Bowman. “My sister, who was a virgin when she got married, did the same thing. And she was an example for me, so now I can be an example for others.”
After her Instagram photo went viral, it’s not surprising that Bowman experienced a great deal of backlash over the gift to her father. Aside from the fact that it seems wildly inappropriate for the father of a grown woman to have anything to do with the state of his daughter’s hymen, many have pointed out that an intact hymen is does not necessarily mean that someone is a virgin, as it’s not uncommon for a young woman to tear her hymen in other ways besides sexual intercourse.
For his part, Bowman’s father, the Rev. Dr. Mike Freeman, has stood by his daughter and responded to the “negativity” with a photo of his own. Of course, whatever decisions people make about their bodies is their own damn business ultimately, but setting unfair or irrational standards for women is not a great message to send, either.
(Via Good Day DC)