Sunday, March 04, 2007

My baby needs a chastity belt.

I just read an article in Oprah magazine about "purity balls" and I am thinking it has got to be a joke. Really. Am I the only one who sees something deeply disturbing about this?
Fathers and daughters sign pledges together. The father's pledge talks about protecting his daughter, being her authority in the area of sexual purity, and being the high priest of his home. The daughter promises to stay a virgin (pure) until marriage. The mother.... hmmm. I don't know what her role is. I personally think sexuality would be more appropriately discussed between a girl and her mother, but what do I know. Mummies and little boys don't need "purity pledges" apparently. This is all about girls and their daddies. Oh. My. God.
Now, I have nothing against virginity. In fact, I plan on my own daughter being a virgin until she's in her late 40's. I think sex is given and taken far too freely. However, I hope that when my children decide to have sex (excuse me while I go throw up a little) they make the choice on their own, using their own sense of morals, values, and commitment. If Girl Terror comes to her father and asks if she should "do it" with Little Johnny, I will wonder if she is smart enough to be loose in the world. If Boy Terror calls me up and asks if now is a good time to sleep with his girlfriend, I will run screaming and shrieking to the liquor store.
I hope that throughout their lives we will teach them how to act, and what love is all about, and respect for themselves. I hope they will have the confidence to make major decisions, knowing that the way they were raised has created wonderful, intelligent people.
Choosing to have (or not have) sex is a very personal thing. Thought processes change over time, circumstances can alter opinions, and no one can know years in advance exactly when, who, or where will be the "perfect" one.
When my daughter take that big step, (again I want to throw up, or at least curl up in the fetal position and plug my ears) I hope that she is happy. I hope she makes wise decisions. And most of all, I hope that her father and I are the furthest thing from her mind.


Anonymous said...

Americans are soooo weird about sex. So very, very weird. So weird that in their efforts to protect against the evil that is sex, they sometimes become just a little... twisted.

I've heard of these before, and yes, it seems just a little off. From the parental side, a huge invasion of the child's privacy. And from the child's side, a continuing infantilization of their psyche.

I saw that some of the girls are quite young. I can see an 11-year-old going to this and being excited at getting to play princess for a night with her daddy. But a 17-year-old, who is old enough to be aware of her sexuality? To have him stand in the place of a boyfriend and concern himself to that degree with her sex life?

That's not just a teeny bit ooky?

Like you, the thing that struck me is WHERE ARE THE MOTHERS?

Anonymous said...

My teenager daughters are 16,18 & 20 and they are still virgins. They tell me that they just have not met the right person they want to have sex with yet. I do not believe that they will be virgins until they marry, but we have always spoke very honestly with them concerning anything. If they ask me or their father a question we have honest with them.

Anonymous said...

So, so, so creepy. I'm sure that those who organize these kinds of things are trying only to have the best of intentions, but this really seems like a good way to insure that your daughter will need therapy in the future.

From a feminist viewpoint, (not that I really see myself that way) I agree, WHERE ARE THE MOMMIES? I firmly believe that the double standard of insisting on a girl's "purity" while encouraging young men to sow their wild oats is both unfair and demeaning. Virginity in a daughter has always been a commodity in a patriarchal society. To tell your daughter that her virginity matters more than anything else about her reduces her to less than a person.

That being said, I do agree that sex is often given to freely, and for the wrong reasons. I see my job as a mother of both a boy and a girl to teach them to respect themselves and the ones they love enough to have sex for the right reasons. (i.e. not out of any sense that they have to do it to "be popular" or "make someone love them" or in place of love.) In other words, my hope is that they both grow to be healthy, happy, well-adjusted adult human beings, whether or not they have sex before marriage.

Dreama said...

chastity balls..balls? Something about this deeply disturbs me and makes me think these fathers have other plans for their daughters...something sinister...of course, that is likely my overactive suspicious mind that comes with being a child protection social worker...

Personally, I do think it is a conversation between MOTHER and daughter, and that FATHER should be having some words with his SON about not trying crack the cherry of every teenage girl he comes across. It has become so much of a mission with many young men over the years.

I thought I was a young hip mother, who had an open relationship with her daughter and could take it all in stride, until one day when my daughter asked me if it was okay for her and her boyfriend of 1.5 years to stop using condoms because he doesn't like how they feel. TheN I wanted to throw up and run to the liquor store. She was about 16 at the time...of course, I told her absolutely not, because she would be the stupid one after they break up only to find out he cheated on her with someone who had an STI or AIDS...which is close to what did happen...he cheated on her wih a skanky girl and got into IV drugs. I would have preferred to see her remain a virgin until ast least 18 or 19 years old...but teenagers are run by their hormones much of the time, not by their brains...

I am curious though...did Oprah sanction this practice of chastity balls?

Azgreeneyes said...

LALALALALALALALALA! I have my hands in my ears, I can't even think of my kids being -active- yet! But I hope that when they are, they can ask either of us any questions. I want them to be able to make informed decisions, and at the very least to be prepared in case one day their decision is, 'yes, let's.'

Anonymous said...

And remember, our government is helping fund these purity balls. Many of the churches promoting this stuff are Reconstructionist denominations. Reconstructionists follow the teachings of John Rousas Rushdoony and Gary North, and their goal is to eventually take over America and install their brand of faith as the state religion.

Here are a couple of websites that will show you what these folks really believe:

And, here is a link for VisionForum, a HUGE promoter of the Purity Ball concept and one of America's leading homeschooling curriculum companies. VisionForum is run by Doug Phillips, son of ex-Reagan cabinet member Howard Phillips and pastor of Boerne Christian Assembly, a hyper-patriarchal Reconstructionist congregation where women are relegated to virtual slavery in their own homes, denied higher education, are not permitted to participate in prayer in the church services, make prayer requests in church, or even receive communion unless it is served to them by their husband or another male member of the congregation.

The Phillipses are quite the father and son team, too -- Howard Phillips is the founder of the Constitution Party, whose 2004 presidential nominee was League of the South member Michael Peroutka. While the Constitution Party courted the votes of the League of the South (identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) and other neoConfederate groups in 2004, Howard's son, Pastor Doug, was hard at work garnering the Christian vote, encouraging his congregation to vote for Peroutka and warning them that they were not spiritually "at liberty" to vote for the Bush or Kerry because of their unBiblical stances on key issues.

And our government is funding father-daughter dinner dances for these groups. Sweet.

Anonymous said...

Today's blog reading has been the shock & awe calibre, this post (or the link) included. And the info from 2nd anonymous is equally appalling (and I have some reading to do later) if not a little fascinating in a car wreck sort of way.

Don't get me wrong, my future children (regardless of gender) will be having sex only when they are eligible for AARP (heh) but a Chastity BALL?