Kelly Ladd Bishop

Exploring issues of faith, culture, and spirituality with a focus on women in the church and world

It Was Never Really About Debt-free Virgins Without Tattoos

It Was Never Really About Debt-free Virgins Without Tattoos

There has been a blog post making its way around the internet about men preferring debt-free virgins without tattoos. I’m not going to link to it, because I see no reason to give the author more air time. She already has many thousands of followers who take in her toxic ideas regarding women, men, and marriage. I’ll just be referring to her as the “author” for the purposes of this post.

I wasn’t going to write a response to this post because, 1. It is such utter nonsense, I felt like it wasn’t worth addressing, and 2. There are a number of really good responses already out there on the interwebz. But this ridiculous post keeps being brought to my attention, so I will throw in my two cents.

First, the author opens by asking, “Do you know how much more attractive debt-free virgins (without tattoos) are to young men?” I assume this is why there are so many reality shows about this – Is anyone else watching season 9 of The Debt-Free Virgin Bachelorette Without Tattoos? No? Just me? Right. That’s because there is zero research or data to back up this statement. Sure, some men out there may have this preference, while others don’t, and many won’t care one way or the other. But none of that matters. The ultimate call of every Christian woman is to strive for what God prefers. My friend April Fiet pointed this out on twitter.

April was then told by men that she was defending “whorish women,” and was called a THOT (which stands for “that ho over there,” but is used as a general term meaning slut or whore). Nice, right? These aren’t the kind of men you should be hoping to attract, ladies. Just FYI.

Let me be clear, whether or not a certain man may prefer this type of woman (and most certainly all men do not), God does not have preferences. God loves every type of woman regardless of sexual history, financial situation, or body art (or lack thereof). So, if, like April, your goal is to live a life that pleases God, be assured that God is ready to have you, no matter who you are or where you’ve been.

But, as some people have pointed out, this original post wasn’t really about being a virgin, staying debt-free, or refraining from tattoos. Those were just the absurd frosting on the already ridiculous cake. This post was really a call for women to remain uneducated. There are lots of ways to go into debt that have nothing to do with college. She doesn’t address credit card debt, or medical bills, or car loans, or anything else. There are also ways to go to college without accruing debt. But she doesn’t address that either. So, her real message is, “don’t go to college, women, because you will learn to think for yourself, and no man wants to deal with that, because you will be so much harder to control.”

Here’s an actual quote from her post: “There are many more reasons why Christian young women should carefully consider whether or not they go to college, especially if they want to be wives and mothers someday. Secular universities teach against the God of the Bible and His ways. It’s far from what God calls women to be and do: it teaches them to be independent, loud, and immodest instead of having meek and quiet spirits.”

First, let’s talk about the part with which I agree. College (or any job training, certification, or technical training) teaches a woman to be independent. This is a good thing. I regularly hear from women who have left destructive or abusive marriages, who have been abandoned by husbands, who have been widowed, or have ended up single for other reasons. It wasn’t their plan or desire to be single and independent, but there they are, often with children. The knight in shining armor plan doesn’t always work out, and women need to be prepared for that possibility. It is real life, and it can be hard. It is terrifying to have children who depend on you, and no way to provide for them. It is terrifying to leave an abusive husband when you have no job qualifications or experience, and you are dependent on his income. It is terrifying to be so utterly dependent on others that you don’t know how to survive on your own. Gaining skills to be an independent adult is not a bad thing. It’s never a bad thing.

The rest of the author’s statement is not based in fact. I know, because I went to *gasp* a secular university – a rather large and diverse one. And to make things worse, I studied… hold on to your hats… science. I know. Just take a moment to breathe. But strangely enough, I walked onto that university campus a Christian, I studied evolution, and genetics, and physics, and chemistry, and molecular biology, and I walked out of that university a stronger Christian. That’s because I have faith in a God that is so big, and so creative, and so immutable, that a handful of cranky professors and a stack of over priced text books can only point to that greatness in their own way. My faith, and my God are not threatened by knowledge, they are illuminated by it.

When I left that university, I did another crazy thing. I went to seminary. I was so in love with the God of physics and genetics, that I wanted to dive into his word, and serve his people. So, I spent more time getting more education. Ugh, I know. I’m probably totally impossible to control at this point. Well, I hope that’s true. Because none of us, male nor female, were created to be controlled. We were created to love, and thrive, and serve, and flourish. We were created to explore the depths of the knowledge of God, the wonders of his creation, the beauty of his image bearers, and the wisdom of his word.

Then, my story gets really crazy. After seminary… I got married. And I had kids.

That’s right, I got an education, learned about a whole bunch of stuff, worked a full-time job, got married, and had kids. I’ve spent seasons working full-time, I’ve spent seasons at home full-time, I’ve spent seasons working part-time, and I’ve spent seasons working from home. You might be thinking…. Wait… that’s not possible. But here I am. And, in fact, I happen to personally know dozens and dozens of other women who went to college, got married, and had children. I also know dozens of women who went to college, did not get married or did not have children, (whether by choice or by circumstance), but still grew deeper in their Christian faith, and are reaching the world with God’s love every day. The world is full of amazing, educated, Godly women!

The author’s list of reasons Christian women shouldn’t go to college includes:

  • “The husband will need to take years teaching his wife the correct way to act, think, and live since college taught them every possible way that is wrong.”
  • “They will start having babies later in life. That is if they can still conceive naturally.” (Is college worth having less children? I will never understand how women prefer careers over having precious babies.)”
  • “They lost a handful of years of experience learning to cook large meals and learning how to work in the garden. College kids don’t cook. If they do, it’s typically for themselves.”

I honestly feel like this list isn’t worth addressing. But here it is anyway:

  • College doesn’t teach you every possible way that is wrong, and a husband is not responsible for teaching a wife the correct way to act. I could say volumes more on this. Here’s a post I wrote about mutuality in marriage.
  • There’s nothing wrong with having babies later in life. Starting early is no guarantee of fertility. Feeling called to a career isn’t wrong, and just because this author doesn’t understand that call or desire, that doesn’t make it wrong. Not everyone desires children. Plus, most women graduate college around the age of 22, that is not exactly over-the-hill.
  • I’m sorry – what? I’m not even sure where to go with this, so I’ll just say, it’s never too late to learn to cook large meals and work in the garden… if that’s what you want to do.

This post is designed to scare women. It is designed to threaten them with singleness if they dare get out of line and think for themselves. But singleness is not a bad thing! And this isn’t how God works! We are not promised a spouse if we will just get in line and act a certain way. That’s just not how any of this works.

Women, here’s my closing message to you: Worry about pleasing God, not men. Learn to be independent, even if you never have to be. Dive into knowledge and learning. Master a skill. Explore God’s world and God’s word. Be strong and courageous. Fulfill your God-given potential. Know that God loves you no matter what your circumstances are. You are wonderfully made, and amazingly gifted. Tell another woman today that she is strong and courageous. Because she is. You are. We all are.

God prefers YOU.

If you need help leaving an abusive relationship, contact the national domestic abuse hotline: or 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224

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4 thoughts on “It Was Never Really About Debt-free Virgins Without Tattoos

  1. Thank you, Kelly. I saw that sad post. I grew up in that woman’s culture and survived 28 years of childhood domestic abuse, including 24 years of sexual abuse starting at about 3-4 years old. I agree with everything you said here. I strongly, firmly believe that the sole reason I am still alive today is because my Abba called me to faith at 3 years old. I would’ve likely successfully committed suicide by now if not for my Abba.

    1. Thanks for sharing Kati! I’m so glad you’re here and that you were able to be free of that situation. It breaks my heart, and breaks the heart of God. This type of teaching leads down some very dark and destructive roads.

  2. I might add, “the author” has a bachelor’s degree, so she’s more of a “do as I say, not as I do” person.

    1. Ugh. Not surprising. Often the women who give this type of advice are in a completely different set of circumstances than the women receiving it. They can afford to spout this nonsense without considering the affect it might have on someone else’s life!

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