Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Somewhere Freud is nodding knowingly
and the rest of us are left thinking...what the f*ck....

Would you pledge your virginity to your father?!

No?! Me neither...and my father never would have asked. We never would have attended a Purity Ball. Nope. Not us. But a growing number of young women and their fathers are.

It’s like a wedding but with a twist: Young women exchange rings, take vows and enjoy a first dance…with their dads. “Purity balls” are the next big thing in the save-it-till-marriage movement

It isn't my place to tell people how to parent their children. I'm also not against abstinence. Sure, I think it is the most ridiculous sexual education policy there is (except for maybe attaching condom instructions to the package with a staple) but I'm not against it. I am against fathers who "vow to protect their daughter's purity." Fathers should protect their daughters. Sure! So should mothers. They should protect their children from kidnappers. And uncooked chicken. And open flames. They should educate their children. Educate them about sex. Contraception. And maybe even abstinence. But they shouldn't "marry" their daughters. They really shouldn't coerce their four-year old daughter to sign a "purity pledge."

You know why? Because that's freaky. And patriarchal. And pledges are no substitute for education. And support. And a well balanced dad-daughter relationship.

Read the story. And then shudder.



Blogger erika said...

scary. my question: what to dads do if their daughter does not keep her "vow". she got her big fancy party, so what is supposed to stop her from doing the deed after the fact. i am not sure but somehow i don't think there are any "take backs"... in either situation.

Blogger bethany said...

We talked about this in person, but I'll comment here as well. I found this apalling too. And the OTHER thing that bothers me is the mixing of female purity with religious piety. I thought the author's anecdote about her experience with telling her boyfriend her virginity was a gift was really telling. This stuff is troubling because of the weird freudian stuff, the way women can't make their own choices and mistakes in the area of relationships, and the way prizing feminine "purity" creates serious problems for healthy sexual relationships WITHIN marriage.

Blogger QuakerDave said...

What, no chastity belts?

Dad would have the key, of course.

Blogger bethany said...

the more I thought about this the worse I realized it is - the women don't actually even MAKE a promise - that would actually give them a tiny bit of agency. They "witness" as their fathers promise to "protect their purity." That's just apalling.

Blogger kristen said...

That is a really great point...I have been relfecting about that as well (since you pointed it out). I'm also REALLY REALLY bothered by the lack of the "abstinence" movement to address male purity. GRRR.

Blogger Lesley said...

I went to read the article and couldn't make it past page 1 of 7. Yuck.

Blogger Pumpkin said...

Good grief, frightening just doesn't cover it, talk about 'emotional blackmail...and by the way, what century are we living in????

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