Monday, February 05, 2007

Am I The Only One Creeped Out by Purity Balls?

So IsThatLatin sent me a link to this article on the Glamour website about the new phenomena of purity balls, wherein daughter pledge to their fathers they will stay "pure" until they marry. Eek. This is considered "father-daughter" bonding. I think it is just plain sick. I cannot imagine publicly declaring to my father that I will "protect my flower."

Lisa Wilson, the wife of one of the founders of these purity balls, reasons:

“I believe if girls feel beautiful and cherished by their fathers, they don’t go looking for love from random guys.”

I don't know where to begin. First of all, what's wrong with "looking for love from random guys?" Can't a girl get some play? The whole premise that sex is purely a for procreation or marital bonding is freaky. And, why assume that feeling beautiful and cherished is mutually exclusive with wanting to get some play? Lastly, can you get more "patriarchal" than purity balls? Goodness gracious: the father is the only man allowed to be of any importance in the daughter's life until she marries? And, the father possesses her sexuality?

IsThatLatin pointed out to me in her email that it seems we should have a homologous ball for sons. How about a "I'll Zip it Up"-until-I-am-married pledge? After all, you can tell women to put on that chasity belt all you want, but if the men are left to their sexual predatory nature then, well, the purity pledge seems a bit useless. It is like trying to end Domestic Violence purely by giving women the strenght to leave an abusive relationship. You might have helped one woman getting the crap beat out of her, but you haven't really made a serious dent in the problem. You have to stop the perpetrators from beating the crap out of their wives/girlfriends in the first place.

This analogy only holds if what we are dealing with is sexual encounters in which young women feel manipulated and used. Sure, maybe a few of these women/young girls pledging their purity to their fathers will avoid the pain of being lied to/manipulated/or used by a guy. But, you haven't gotten at the root of the problem: that men lie/manipulate/use women.