How social media ridicules nuns

Posted by ntendeni
I am a 4th year Bachelor of Journalism student from Rhodes University. I have do
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on Monday, 28 May 2012
in Digital Blogs

While nuns are seen as the epitome of holiness by some devoted Christians, they have also become objects of ridicule on Facebook. One of them is a painting of a standing nun being “banged” hard, doggy-style by a Catholic priest.

The whole idea of a woman who abandons the pleasures of the earth to dedicate her life to prayer and servitude is comical to some.

One of the groups NUNS, describes nuns as athletes, running a sort of a race from society to God. The group’s intentions are easy to see on their pictures. Not only does the profile picture show a nun looking funny, stupid and nerdy; some pictures uploaded by some of the 1261 followers include gays dressed as nuns and a meme asking: "How do you get a nun pregnant?"

[T]he saying "as dry as a nuns c**t" has more followers with 27494. One of the pictures is a meme called “NUNS: They have tits too”, which shows a woman in a nun’s garment, a religious clothing called “a habit”, opening the chest area to show that nuns can have sexy breasts too.

Waking up after a night out with a mouth as dry as a Nun's fanny! serves the same purpose. It has the same profile picture as “NUNS” and also includes the same “banging doggy-style standing” painting as the first group. Some of its pictures include a nun reading a book on a bench, not being aware of the other two nuns behind her who want to drop snow from a bucket on her head by surprise and evil-looking nuns with guns.

"Can't find a man: have a relationship with God" - By Goblinite at

Nuns are also becoming vehicles of humour in famous memes. Since they are isolated members of society, a lot about them and what happens behind their scenes remains unknown. There is a lot left to the imagination and some people use this imagination to exaggerate what they think exists or does not exist, as a vehicle of humour for social media memes.

The part that people find most difficult to understand about nuns is their sexuality. Not many people in society can imagine living their whole lives without sex or giving it up at some point in their lives forever. Nuns’ devotion to never have sex in their lives is an idea that is so strange to some in society, that they make ridicule of it.

Oprah’s exclusive interview with nuns is one of few that give us access to information about their lives. “Aspiring Nuns Report for God’s Duty”, reveals that they will never have sex, own possessions such as make-up and jewellery, will never own money and will be isolated from society for the rest of their lives.

According to the video, as soon as they enter the convent, they are not allowed to use cellphones, computers or internet and their only communication with the outside world is through letters to their parents, since they will never go back home again. They are not even allowed to call home once they start training as nuns. One of them, Jennifer, 19, from Canton, Ohio admitted to having to give up on Facebook  to devote her whole life to what she believes is a calling from God.

When asked if they ever had sexual desires by Oprah, other nuns on her show admitted that, like chocolate, they did crave sex but just because they crave it does not mean that that they must have it. Craving something and not having it is not going to make anyone die. They explained that it was assumed by society that they were repressed since they did not have sex but this was not the case to them.

What was interesting about all these memes was that only Christian nuns were ridiculed. There were no ridicules of other nuns from religions such as Taoism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism. It was also interesting that these ridicules were on nuns, the females, and none were on the monks, the males. This might be due to the fact that the most popular depictions of nuns in popular culture and the media are of Christian nuns and not monks. It might also be due to the increasing hate to the Catholic Church as its dark history and sex abuse cases become more exposed. 

One thing is for sure, as long as nuns remain an isolated mystery from society, people’s misunderstandings of them will be turned into vehicles of ridicule and catch phrases like the group on Facebook called "You're as pointless as a condom in a nuns purse!"

Related links:

1. Catholic League Slams The Three Stooges for Portrayal of Nuns:
2. Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandal: Vatican Investigates 7 Legion Of Christ Priests For Allegedly Assaulting Minors:
I am a 4th year Bachelor of Journalism student from Rhodes University. I have done print writing, radio, digital media and broadcast communication before but I thought that it would be a great idea if I just specialised on new media this last year of my degree. I have always found religion an interesting topic especially in this present time where freedom of speech and a right to choose religion are used to justify deviation away from traditional beliefs. The rise of social media means that people are freer than ever to expose, criticise, point out or scrutinise traditional religious practices. This would not be as easy if we were still living in an era where one had to get permission from legacy media and had to be a professional before getting a voice on television, radio or print. I am excited not only to write about how social media is being used as a tool to spread traditional religious beliefs, but is also being used for counter-action by non-conformists.


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