“Little girls pledge their submission to the phallocentric ideals of Christianity by promising their pussies to Jesus. Bonus points on the swords!” Creepy Slideshow here
Oy, virginity and abstinence and purity – hot topics indeed. Purity Balls are the newest Christian Conservative form of cultivating moral aspects in young girls. In a nut shell, daughters get all dolled up, and attend a ball with their Daddies. Dancing and frivolities ensue, and then after a speech, the little girls “give” their virginities to their Daddies for safekeeping, and promise to remain pure. Some lucky little ladies are even given ‘lock’ pendants on a chain. Daddies hold the key, until the hand it off with the husband…. (And how does that transaction transpire?? “Ok son, here’s the key to my daughter’s hymen. Enjoy her! She’s a real beauty. She kicks a bit in reverse, but just remember to rotate those tires and change her oil every 10,000 miles!”)
Creepiness aside, doesn’t this Daddy/Daughter thing just reinforce the uncomfortable rift between Daddy’s and Daughters?? (I felt far more comfortable talking to my Mom about that stuff than my Dad, and I know I’m not alone there.) But my main beef with the abstinence campaign, besides the cold hard FACT that it just isn’t working, is that the campaign fails to put the same responsibilities on young boys, and in this case the mothers. Where are the Mom’s here? Are we trying to reinforce this women as fragile flowers idea? How does giving Mom an active role in the moral shaping of her own children hurt them? Well, it would certainly shake the submissive image of the dutiful wife that the Christian Conservative movement wants to breed and uphold! Choice quotes and snarky retorts below:
“Fathers, our daughters are waiting for us,” Mr. Wilson, 49, told the men. “They are desperately waiting for us in a culture that lures them into the murky waters of exploitation. They need to be rescued by you, their dad.”
Ah, yes, the rescuing. Women are weak, and in need of rescuing, by men. Not by themselves, heavens no! Let’s not teach autonomy, or the strengths of making good choices for yourself, especially because we want to perpetuate Daddy issues:
“Something I need from dad is affirmation, being told I’m beautiful,” said Jordyn Wilson, 19, another daughter of Randy and Lisa. “If we don’t get it from home, we will go out to the culture and get it from them.”
Honey, if you need your Daddy to affirm your beauty, you’re already buying into it. Get yourself a hand mirror, and go to town.
The dancing continued past the ball’s official end at midnight. Mr. Wilson had to tell people to go home. The fathers took their flushed and sometimes sleepy girls toward the exit. But one father took his two young daughters for a walk around the hotel’s dark, glassy lake.
Ummm, ew? Journalistic cliffhanger. But back to the moral double standard. Purity Balls for sons? Nope. And if you think I’m just jumping on my oh so comfy soap box, a quick Google Reader search for abstinence education brought up these hits:
“Your body is a wrapped lollipop. When you have sex with a man, he unwraps your lollipop and sucks on it. It may feel great at the time, but, unfortunately, when he’s done with you, all you have left for your next partner is a poorly wrapped, saliva-fouled sucker.” Darren Washington at the 8th Abstinence Clearinghouse Conference.
“You are like a beautiful rose. Each time you engage in premarital sex, a precious petal is stripped away. Don’t leave your future husband holding a bare stem. Abstain.”
From the website- “Abstinence helps to ensure a more successful future, avoid STDs and to avoid possible life-long dependency on the welfare system.” And here I thought it was the lack of well-paid jobs that make women poor–turns out it’s just the absence of a hymen. (Does that mean if I get hymen restoration surgery that my income will magically increase? Sweet!)
The thought of a diamond in my vag makes me laugh. If I had known my hymen was a diamond I would have made a kick ass floating necklace years ago.
Joking aside, abstinence does NOTHING to promote self-worth in a young girl. It reinforces the idea that the only intrinsic value a girl has, lies hidden between her legs, and when that is gone they are nothing but a “useless stem”, or a “saliva fouled sucker”. Not only is it misogynist, but it oppresses sexuality. All that emphasis on virginity and purity being EVERYTHING is very hard to recover from if you “stumble” with your promise, or if you are the victim of a rape or incest.
And as the oppositional defiant child I was/am, I would like to state that while I have unpure thoughts, I have my fair share of purely sexual thoughts as well. Sometimes they involve Patrick Dempsey. JK.
Via NY Times