Don't Take Your Daughter to the Virginity Prom

Those of you who know me know that I'm a pretty laid-back guy. I'm in favor of the idea that people should be free to do and believe whatever they want, so long as those beliefs don't require them to restrict the freedoms of other people. If you want to believe that God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh, fine-- so long as you don't try to get your religious beliefs taught as science, I don't necessarily have a problem with you. I'm sure some of my beliefs-- like, for example, The Love Boat is about ready for another comeback-- strike some people as dopey too. Live and let live.

Having said that, the entire concept of a Purity Ball freaks me out terribly, and this video posted at Feministing today really illustrates why. For those of you who don't know, the Purity Ball is like a prom for virgin girls. And their dads. But it's also kinda like a wedding. For virgin girls. And their dads.

Is your skin crawling a little already? I know mine is.

Bascially, these young women and their fathers go to this big, extravagant party. They wear expensive clothes, eat fancy food, and slow dance together. The father gives his little princess a ring, and in return the daughter swears to remain "pure" until her wedding night.

Look, don't get me wrong-- the abstence movement usually strikes me as being just hilarious. I love the fact that conservative Christians are making kids promise to abstain from sex, but then the kids keep finding loopholes. Did I say loopholes? I meant assholes-- studies have shown that kids who sign virginity pledges are more likely to engage in unprotected anal and oral sex than those who don't sign a pledge. Vaginal intercourse is wicked and sinful; ass-to-mouth, on the other hand...

Anyway, I usually find the abstinence movement good for a chuckle, but these Purity Ball people just make me nauseous, for a variety of reasons. They've taken the worst part of our most grotesquely opulent traditions-- prom and weddings-- and taken out the stuff that makes them worthwhile (secular music and drunken attempts at fornication once its over). Plus, there's the less-than-subtle issues of ownership involved here-- the woman's virginity needs to "belong" to a man; in the past, this was understood, but these days we need to trick high school girls into entering into a contract that clearly spells out that the vag belongs to Dad until some Promise Keeper-type comes along and puts you up in a house in the suburbs. In return, you get this ring.

Plus, it's a ceremony that appropriates the look and feel of a wedding or a prom... but it's for dads and their daughters. Seriously, watch the video. One guy actually explains that he has five daughters, and that he realized that he needs to stay close to them in this crazy, sexed-up world of ours, so, "We started to go out on dates." Ewwww!

Look, I don't have a daughter, but if I ever do, I'm sure I'm going to take an interest in her sex life in the same way that I'm going to take an interest in her friendships, her school work, her extracurricular activities, and other aspects of her life. That is to say, I would want any kid of mine to respect herself and make responsible decisions for herself. But that doesn't mean I get to put a chastity belt on her, and it doesn't mean that I get to emotionally blackmail her into pretending that she has a chastity belt on at all times, either. And I certainly wouldn't want my kid to look to me as a subsitute boyfriend until she's old enough to get engaged.

I think my feelings on this subject are well-reasoned, and that I've expressed myself clearly. So, to reward myself for my maturity and insight, I'm going to make this joke:

"There's nothing like holding balls to protect a young girl's maidenhood."


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