The professor was unusually animated this one particular fall morning.
He was giving his signature spirited lecture where instructed men from ‘good homes’ avoid dating and most assuredly never—ever —marry someone from a bad home background.
In particular he was honing on the “preacher boys.” Preacher boys should never date or marry someone who was sexually abused because she will make a terrible pastors wife. He went on to tell a tales of former promising preacher’s who had married such stained women. According the professor the reason these ministries ended in absolute failure was because of the former preacher picking a woman with a bad background.
At one point this professor was no longer merely pacing back and forth at the front of the classroom. He had climbed atop the wooden desk located the front of the classroom. As he spoke of these promising preachers boys ministries being destroyed, he jumped up and on his desk to further drive home his point—-women from bad background make preachers worthless.
I just won’t date one of those “preacher boys” as I don’t want to be responsible for ruining one of those called to serve God in the ministry, I thought.
The professor hopped down off of the desk, removed a white handkerchief, paused just long enough to wipe the sweat from his brow.
Then he started talking to those male students who weren’t even ever considering the ministry.
He warned the other young men had better be just as careful.
He made a point of stating although most of the time it wasn’t the girls fault if she is violated, all young men–no matter what they were considering their future vocation avoid getting into relationships with young ladies who weren’t virgins. The reason her virginity was lost didn’t matter. This is the basis of for what some in Christian fundamentalism teach as the “Strange Woman” doctrine.
Looked thoughtful for a few seconds….
Stated, “I’ll be right back.” He exited the classroom and soon returned with coffee cup with the University logo in his hand.
He walked up and down each aisle as he showed each student, both male and female, the pure clean cool water inside his cup.
The professor stopped a few of times to ask a male student to take a drink of the cold water the professor had just filled the cup from the water fountain outside the classroom door.
The professor made a dramatic statements about how pure the water was as the male student he asked obediently took a sip.
The professor never offered his pure water to any of the female students.
Suddenly, the professor ran from the classroom once again.
He soon returned. His cup refilled.
He quickly crossed the classroom. Over to the window sill.
There on the window sill sat a small potted plant. In dramatic fashion he placed a small amount of dirt in the cup he’d just refilled.
Next he offered the contents of his mug with the University logo to two male students sitting in the front row.
He told the class is what it is like to have sex with a girl who isn’t a virgin for whatever reason. “It’s like drinking a cup of dirt-filled water.”
I can’t begin to count the number of young men whose first question wasn’t “Would you like to go on a date with me?” Instead their first question was, “Are you a virgin?”
For nearly 3 semesters I would could feel my face redden from embarrassment at the question, but I had enough self-respect to not answer such a question.
One day, I thought to myself, “I’ve had enough of this. I’m just going to tell the truth.”
The next semester anytime a potential date asked me if I were a still a virgin. I’d respond, “Nope.”
Most of those who didn’t immediately move on to “pure” girls, were a little too interested in the details. I turned down the latter as potential suitors.
Walter Freemont was the professor’s name. He had just shamed me over and over again for 50 minutes.
The shame didn’t last just for as long as his 50 minute lecture in the 1980’s, the shame lasted decades.
No, he didn’t call me out by name, but he shamed me. At this time I was so ashamed I didn’t talk about this lecture to anyone. I lived thinking I was alone in my shame. Over the years since that time, I’ve learned he gave the very similar lectures every semester while he taught at Bob Jones University and shamed 100’s of young women.
He also was the one who made male students think it was appropriate to question if a woman was a virgin before the first date.Freemont’s books can still be purchased.
Bob Wood was the Executive Vice-President of the Bob Jones University for twenty-nine years. He was known to counsel abuse survivors. Stuff Fundies Like posted a video of Bob Wood teaching how to counsel the hurting.
BJU has made no attempt to distance itself from Wood’s remarks in the nearly twenty years since this video was made; as of 2012 the video was still sold here (pdf)
It matters not if these men’s intentions are/were well intended. This needs to end. While I am the last to defend Jim Berg. Berg has just expanded upon what he was taught at the feet of men such as Walter Freemont and Bob Wood.
Jim Berg is the last man Bob Jones University should have teaching counseling to its seminary students.