Most daughters give their dad a big hug and a kiss on the cheek on their wedding day. But when Brelyn Bowman tied the know on October 10 she gave her father proof that her hymen was still intact. The bride had a “certificate of purity” drawn up by her doctor, proving that she was indeed still a virgin. She then halted the celebrations to gift her dad with the, er, present, who told Buzzfeed he was “surprised but happy” by the public declaration of his daughter’s virginity. Calling her father, Pastor Mike Freeman, her “first love” Bowman took to Instagram to share her decision with the world. “I was able to present a certificate of purity to him signed by my doctor that my hymen was still intact,” she wrote.
Bowman also mentioned the covenant that Pastor Freeman had his two daughters and son sign when they were all 13 years old, promising not to have sex before marriage. Bowman’s post quickly went viral, and in poured all manner of mixed reactions with many Instagram users applauding Bowman for sticking to her decision to remain a virgin until getting married. After all, it is her decision and hers alone. And her father’s, by all accounts. But by the looks of things, there appear to be far more haters, attacking Bowman and her father for keeping up such old fashioned traditions – and sparking a global online discussion on the subject. “A woman’s virginity is her most prized possession,” one commenter wrote. “Advanced degree? Great career? Those things are meaningless if you’ve ever fooled around.” Another wrote, “Our value as a person has nothing to do with your hymen or how many people you’ve had sex with. What on earth does her dad want with a certificate of her virginity? Was he going to stone her to death otherwise?”
Some people also point out that whether or not a hymen’s intact isn’t actually a measure of virginity. Women are born with different amounts of hymenal tissue, so it’s difficult to tell if the amount you have is an indicator of whether or not you’ve had sex. And others wondered why Bowman’s new husband, who’s also a Christian, didn’t have to prove anything. But as there’s no medical test to verify whether or not a man’s still a virgin, everyone just had to take the groom’s word for it. Bowman’s been very vocal about her passion for purity on her social media