Tuesday, 22 July 2008

The Purity Ball Makes My Skin Crawl!!

This week's Time magazine arrived yesterday with this little nugget meriting a three page spread. The idea behind these cockeyed cotillions is for fathers and daughters to make pledges to one another to preserve the young women's "purity" until such time as released by marriage. The thought process is archaic enough to make one wonder why any strong, independent young woman would allow for "daddy" to hold the key to the chastity belt, but the philosophy degenerates even further when it is understood that girls as young as four years of age are participating in a ritual about their virginity!! The story takes on an air of just plain creepy when many of the anecdotes are discussed.

Kylie Miraldi has come from California to celebrate her 18th birthday tonight. She'll be going to San Jose State on a volleyball scholarship next year. Her father, who looks a little like Superman, is on the dance floor with one of her sisters; he turns out to be Dean Miraldi, a former offensive lineman with the Philadelphia Eagles. When Kylie was 13, her parents took her on a hike in Lake Tahoe, Calif. "We discussed what it means to be a teenager in today's world," she says. They gave her a charm for her bracelet--a lock in the shape of a heart. Her father has the key. "On my wedding day, he'll give it to my husband," she explains. "It's a symbol of my father giving up the covering of my heart, protecting me, since it means my husband is now the protector. He becomes like the shield to my heart, to love me as I'm supposed to be loved.

While I am certain that there is no parent out there that would like to think that their young daughters are engaging in sexual activity before they are physically and emotionally prepared to do so, since when is it okay to define a girl's self worth and esteem on whether or not she is sexually active? Isn't it possible that there is a better way for fathers to become engaged in their daughter's lives without becoming defenders of their "purity"? Maybe if frank and honest talks about sexual activity, birth control and emotional commitment replaced archaic philosophies of abstinence and sex as filth, there would be less involvement in this Ozzie and Harriet ritual!! And honestly, where is the male responsibility in all of this? I don't see Time glorifying the virtue of the boy's virginity and their mother's escorting them to some strange dance complete with unnerving symbolism. Is that because a girl's virginity is something to be protected and then gifted, while a boy's virginity is something to overcome on the road to manhood? Women are not chattel to be bartered. The idea that these dances are happening in 2008 is disturbing at best and positively creepy at it's worst!


  1. Couple that with an article in last week's Post (or maybe it was the Star) about the rise in surgeries to "restore virginity". Yes, that means women who should know better by now are also buying in!

  2. This lock & key business is the 21st century version of the chastity belt -- just another reminder of how so many women are still considered chattel, the property of daddy or hubby. Casting the male in the role of protector of the female's "sexual purity" is unfair to both sexes and an insult to women. Those of us who are capable of and accustomed to defining and defending our own moral choices owe it to these young women to teach them how to do the same.

  3. for each his own, i think it is awsome for a father to love his daughter this much! And more so a daughter to love her father this much. Espcially with all the sin, sexually transmitted diseases and the list goes on and on and on and on... you get it.