Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chastity Balls?!?!

First, An excerpt from the article by Jocelyne Zablit:

" WASHINGTON (AFP) - It has all the ingredients of a wedding. The proud tuxedo-clad father, the frosted white cake, the limousines and an exchange of vows.
But there is no groom and the girl in the long gown is no bride. She's daddy's little girl, there to take a vow of chastity.
In what is becoming a trend among conservative Christians in the United States, girls as young as nine are pledging to their fathers to remain virgins until they wed, in elaborate ceremonies dubbed "Purity Balls."
The gala affairs are intended to celebrate the father-daughter relationship.
The highlight is when the fathers and daughters exchange vows, with dad signing a covenant to protect his daughter's chastity by living an unblemished life and the daughter promising not to have sex until marriage.
Many fathers at the ceremonies also slip "purity rings" around the finger of their misty-eyed daughters or offer them "chastity bracelets" and other jewelry that the girls can entrust to their husbands on their wedding night."

I read this article with a mouthful of vomit I was trying to swallow down. This new trend of "Chastity Balls" offends me as a incest survivor, woman, and pragmatist.
First, from the the incest and woman standpoint. I was the victim of father-daughter incest. My "father" (Sperm Donor) always tried to make me promise to always be "daddy's little girl" and never pay attention to boys at all, except him. HE stated that daughters were always the property of their fathers until marriage, when they became the property of their husbands, usually hand picked by daddy. The fact that there are pseudo-weddings being held between fathers and daughters promising to keep a vital part of the girl's self, her virginity, until marriage, is sickening. Making a promise to their fathers to keep their virginity for their father's sake until marriage is perverse. I consider a girl's sexuality part of her own being. It should be her decision when and whom to give it to based on her informed decision after sex education about birth control ands STDS from BOTH parents and school.

As a feminist, it smacks of male ownership and hypocrisy. Virginity is being treated like a commodity to be bought and sold. It's not a dowry her father should be able to hand out. The times where any part of a girls person should be promised to their father is long gone. Oh, by the way, are there Son-Mother Chastity balls? Is anyone teaching the boys in this that they should be virgins until marriage? The same age old double standard society should be getting away from is still being reinforced by these balls.
As for being a pragmatist, the virginity promise won't work in the long run. The girl's average age for these ceremonies is somewhere around 9-12 years. I'm sorry, no young girl can possibly know what she will do at 15 or 16. The girl will be a different person by that time. And there seems to be a marked forgetting of human nature and peer pressure. A study from Yale and Harvard University discovered that 88 % of pledgers have sex before marriage anyway. These same 88% were also more likely to have more partners and less pregnancy and STD protection than their peers, and less likely to seek medical treatment out of guilt if they do catch something or get pregnant.

I was a virgin until I was 24, and lost it to the man I would eventually marry. Not because I had a sacred promise to keep my virginity, but because I was so traumatised from past abuse from my father I that was scared to have sex or even be sexual. The fact that this is the 21st century and this is going on simply stuns me. So much for progress.