This Mom Teaches Her Daughters That Virginity Doesn't Exist, And Her Reasons Are So Important
"How about instead of making the first time special, make sure it’s always special because that’s the bare minimum you deserve."
Cayce's video immediately went viral with over 2 million views. In it, she explains why she is raising her five daughters to believe that there is no such thing as virginity. "It is a patriarchal concept used to control women and serves no purpose — other than making women feel bad about ourselves. Just because some guy randomly sticks his penis in you at some point in your life does not change your worth, it does not change who you are, it doesn't do anything other than it happened. Sex is important. It's a big deal. It should always be a big deal. It has nothing to do with your first time...it's just ridiculous. The whole concept is ridiculous," she says in the video.
BuzzFeed spoke to Cayce, who said she thinks her video resonated with so many people because she said what a lot of people were thinking but didn’t know how to articulate. "I also think that there’s a large group of parents of young children who hadn’t thought that far ahead yet," she said.
The comments included a lot of sexual assault survivors. "We all have our own 'rape/assault/pressured into doing something I didn’t want' story. We can all empathize. For an entire society to tell you that your worth is tied to your virginity or purity, then have someone take that from you?! It’s heartbreaking and infuriating and makes me want to smash things. We are so fucking angry about all of this, and if I can make a single survivor feel better about themselves, then I’ve already succeeded," she said.
She also said the message in her video isn't just about virginity. "It’s about the way we force arbitrary rules on ourselves and our kids and miss the big picture. Instead, we could focus on education about pregnancy, STDs, self-worth. How about, instead of making the first time special, make sure it’s always special because that’s the bare minimum you deserve."
Cayce currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her five daughters who range in age from 7 to 16.
When it comes to teaching her kids about sex, Cayce doesn't wait to have that "one big talk." Instead, she has a lot of little conversations as they grow. "I start young, focusing on body autonomy — not having to hug someone or let a relative kiss them. I make sure they understand the technical names for the parts of their bodies. I want them to know that it’s OK to cause a scene if they feel threatened or even just scared," she said, pointing out that young kids are often taught to be quiet and "not cause a scene" when something they don't like happens.
As her girls get older, Cayce talks to them about different kinds of love and different kinds of families. "I deconstruct gender norms, like boys can wear pink or makeup if they want. I keep it simple — when questions about trans people come up, I tell them." Once her girls hit late elementary or early middle school, Cayce has bigger conversations with them. "We have a talk about consent, saying 'no' when they want to stop, respecting others’ boundaries, healthy and unhealthy forms of love, what being controlled looks like, and how to be a good partner. I also talk about gender fluidity, what that looks like and respecting pronouns," she added.
"Honestly, most kids have the ‘mechanics’ of sex figured out a lot earlier than most parents care to admit, but I make sure I can debunk stuff that’s not true and answer any questions they have as honestly as possible. Kids are going to take their cues from us — they're watching us all the time. If you’re uncomfortable and don’t want to talk about it, they’re less likely to come to you with questions, so take some time and analyze your own hang-ups as well," Cayce said.