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Good Lord December 14, 2007

Posted by Michelle, with dignity in Uncategorized.

Something that I’ve really taken issue with in the past few years is the emergence of a sort of counter-culture religious revival.

I know I’ve blogged about Barlow Girl before. They’re sort of a counter-culture band, countering the focus on sex in society. My only issue with their message is that the woman must keep herself pure and clothed to keep her man holy. Now. Men are just as capable of keeping themselves “pure” as women. (Boys and girls, too. Because that’s the age group this is targeting.) Now, in my opinion, telling adolescent girls that it’s their responsibility to keep the boys around them pure. It takes all responsibility away from the boys, and places it all on the girls. If the girls dress provocatively, and the boys try to be “impure”, then it’s the girls responsibility – her fault. I think this is just taking that “original sin” concept a little too far. Don’t focus on the women to keep the men pure. Focus on the men to keep the men pure, and the women to keep women pure. Don’t place it all on the girls. That’s a lot of responsibility to place on a 13 year old girl.

This other phenomenon, these Purity Balls. I read an article in a Glamour awhile back about this woman who pledged her purity to her father when she was a teenager. This woman had recently been married (she was 22 when the article was written), and her father had picked out the man she was to marry. They courted, didn’t even kiss, because of the pledge she made to her father. I’m all for strong father figures….

Well, I recently saw the same girl with her father on TV discussing Purity Balls, this event where Dads take their daughters to sign a covenant between them – that he will guard her virginity, and that she will protect her purity. What kills me is when they started talking about “She is submitting to my authority, and I will pass that authority on to her future husband.”

I’m all for saving yourself for an important person in your life. Everyone knows that I did. It was the right decision for us. Is the right decision for everyone? Probably not.

The man behind purity balls (haha, I said balls) claims that this is his reaction to a culture in which the “father figure is optional.” Apparently, if you don’t have a father figure, you’re gonna give it up to everybody. But, is it necessary for fathers to make their daughters pledge THEM their virginity? My father didn’t make me pledge him my virginity? Was I a model of courting and purity? Nope. But, the husband and I waited until we were married (and we were 23 and 24 when we were married).

I think it’s more than just a little creepy. What’s even more creepy is that the original reason for preserving a woman’s virginity was to make it clear who the man’s heirs were. The protection of a woman’s virginity wasn’t a religious or pure reason, it was to make sure that the man she was given to knew where his assets were going when/if he died. It wasn’t because a disembodied voice came down and gave some old tired guy some rules to write on a piece of rock. That culture needed a way to keep up with property.

In this day and age, I do agree that young people need a little more guidance from older people. I think that if young people had more guidance, we would see a decline in some adolescent issues. But, for a man to be able to stand up and say “Here is this ball where my daughter submits to my absolute authority over her virginity, and will then submit to her husband’s absolute authority.”

I think it’s a lot creepy.



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