More Purity Ball

by digby

Responding to the odd, disturbing nature of the Father-Daughter Purity Ball, about which I posted below, PZ Myers says:

"Daddies of the world, keep your hands off your daughter's sexuality, OK? Raise them to be independent and thoughtful and informed and able to make their own decisions, and then just trust them."

That sounds like common sense to me. Girls pledging to their dads to stay virginal in ritualistic ceremonies just doesn't seem like a healthy thing to do.

One of the commenters in the post below found pictures from one of the Balls. It's striking how young many of these girls are, some look to be no more than seven.

Apparently, this is common. Here's a testimonial from Generations of Light magazine:

"How can you measure the value of your eleven year old looking up into your eyes (as you clumsily learn the fox-trot together) with innocent, uncontainable joy, saying, 'Daddy, I'm so excited!' wrote Wesley Tullis in a letter describing his grateful participation. 'I have been involved with the Father-Daughter Ball for two years with my daughters, Sarah and Anna. It is impossible to convey what I have seen in their sweet spirits, their delicate, forming souls, as their daddy takes them out for their first, big dance. Their whole being absorbs my loving attention, resulting in a radiant sense of self-worth and identity. Think of it from their perspective: My daddy thinks I'm beautiful in my own unique way. My daddy is treating me with respect and honor. My daddy has taken time to be silly, and even made a fool of himself, learning how to dance. My daddy really loves me!"

I can understand why the little girls would want to do this. It's a chance to dress up and spend time with their father. If it were for another purpose, it might be sweet. But this is what that little girl is reading to her father from that card:

I pledge to remain sexually pure...until the day I give myself as a wedding gift to my husband. ... I know that God requires this of me.. that he loves me. and that he will reward me for my faithfulness.

And this is what Daddy says in turn:

I, (daughter’s name)’s father, choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity. I will be pure in my own life as a man, husband and father. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and pray over my daughter and as the high priest in my home. This covering will be used by God to influence generations to come.

He's the "high priest" in his home. Are we getting the picture?

I wondered in the earlier post about the lack of mother-son purity pledges. Commenter Llamajockey hits the nail on the head with this:

The truth is is that in most Red-State/Fundy households the Dad is just as obsessed if not more so with the possiblity of his young son being gay as with his daughter's virginity. Therefore teenage males feel an acute pressure beyond their already out of control hormones to prove their heterosexuality. That is why athletic over anything resembling academic or intellectual, acheivement is so highly prized. It improves the young man's standing in the eyes of the young females and reassures Dad his son can not be gay. However, with it comes a double edge, for the young man is now supposed to act the role of stud.

Virgin girls and studly boys. Can we all see the problem with this?