Cayce LaCorte went viral on TikTok for sharing her thoughts on how virginity is a social construct created to oppress women.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 3, 2021. It has since been updated.
Trigger warning: Mentions of sexual assault.
There are a lot of weird and wonderful things in the world of TikTok, but there is also a lot of education taking place on the platform. Recently, TikTok user Nevadashareef asked parents to share something healthy they teach their children that others deem strange. Cayce LaCorte, a mother of two daughters, happened to see the video and decided to share her unconventional lesson, and soon went viral. Before she knew it, she had amassed more than 2 million views. As LaCorte revealed, she teaches her daughters that virginity is nothing but "a patriarchal concept" that serves no real purpose, BuzzFeed reports.
"It is a patriarchal concept used to control women and serves no purpose—other than making women feel bad about ourselves," she states in her TikTok video. "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 does not do anything other than it happened. Sex is important. It is a big deal. It should always be a big deal. It has nothing to do with your first time... It is just ridiculous. The whole concept is ridiculous." Indeed, it is.
The mother continues, "I get a lot of crap from other moms saying, 'Oh well, do you think that will make your daughters promiscuous? Don't you think?' And I am like, 'No, I am raising them to be good people and have solid foundations and make their own choices and make smart, intelligent choices—not because some book says not to.'" Here, she was referring to the Bible. Evidently, her video resonated with dozens of individuals, particularly women and survivors of sexual assault. "By your standards, I am not soiled," one TikTok user wrote in the comments section. "I am worth it."
In an interview with BuzzFeed, LaCorte explained that she believed so many people resonated with her video as she simply stated what a lot of people were thinking but never had the language or space to articulate. She said, "I also think that there’s a large group of parents of young children who hadn’t thought that far ahead yet." She also addressed the comments she received from sexual assault survivors. "We all have our own 'rape/assault/pressured into doing something I didn’t want' story," the mom shared. "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 f*cking angry about all of this, and if I can make a single survivor feel better about themselves, then I’ve already succeeded."
To her, the message in her video is not just about virginity, but about a range of other things tied to morality as well. LaCorte stated, "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." Instead of having one big sex talk with her daughters, the mother has chosen to take things one small step at a time. "I start young, focusing on body autonomy—not having to hug someone or let a relative kiss them," she revealed. "I make sure they understand the technical names for the parts of their bodies. I want them to know that it’s okay to cause a scene if they feel threatened or even just scared."
As for the haters, those who disagree with her, she simply does not have the time to care. "If people disagree or think I’m wrong, then they can keep on doing what parents have been doing for hundreds of years and somehow expect things to get better," LaCorte affirmed. "It’s not my job to change their minds. I want to focus on the people who want to hear me out and try things a different way." She concluded with some ideas for parents who want to hear her out: "For those who are intrigued by this, just keep an open mind. Ask questions. Think before you speak or judge, and be the person your kids come to and lean on when they need help or guidance. Please remember to talk at their age level and keep it light, funny even. My girls have grown up hearing me rant (with humor, of course, nothing too scary) about the patriarchy and how women are portrayed on TV and in movies. This isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing. It’s an overall approach to how we discuss things with our kids in general."