Friday, April 24, 2009

Purity Balls

I'm discovering truly scary things from Valenti's Book The Purity Myth. Turns out that there is such a thing as "purity balls." In 2006, more than 1,400 of these federally funded freak shows were held around the US. This is what happens during these events:

"Fathers escort their daughters to these promlike balls, where at some point. . . the girls recite a pledge vowing to be chaste until marriage, and name their fathers as the "keepers" of their virginity until a husband takes their place."

The reciting of the virginity pledge is often accompanied by a girl giving her father a little pink box (honest to God!). The fathers of these poor creatures, in turn, recite a pledge that goes as follows:

"I, [daughter's name]'s father, choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity."

Cover?? For some strange reason, Valenti refers to these insane practices as "pseudo-incestuous." It's hard for me to see what is "pseudo" about them. These are fully incestuous rituals.

Now, there is a similar type of event for young men and their mothers. It is called an integrity ball. The young men are not expected to pledge their virginity to their mothers. Instead, they promise "not to sully someone's daughter or future wife."

Isn't it just totally bizarre that the taxpayers end up funding this idiocy? If some weird people (this is the mildest sounding expression I could find for them) want to participate in these purity/integrity balls, good for them. But why should the taxpayers foot the bill for this?


Anonymous said...

---and name their fathers as the "keepers" of their virginity until a husband takes their place...

This sounds hilarious too... Husbands as keepers of virginity? Taking place of the fathers in this respect? Weren't husbands supposed to... you know... at least for procreation?..

Jesus will be not so special if all those ball participants will experience immaculate conception...

Anonymous said...

I know! They don't even notice the inherent contradictions of this silliness. :-)

Clarissa said...

"Jesus will be not so special if all those ball participants will experience immaculate conception..."

This is too funny. LOL. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Another option, not requiring immaculate conceptions, will be the following:
On their wedding nights the brides will LOSE their virginity, but then the husbands/keepers will GAIN it... Therefore, husbands will become virgins :). Or double virgins, if they were serious about their own "integrity balls" :) :)

Clarissa said...

This totally makes sense. If you lose something, chances are somebody else will find it. :-)

Anonymous said...

Just saw this as I was reading up on purity balls (fascinating though frightening institutions). What makes me angriest is that in the integrity balls the men are not asked to keep their own "purity" but instead not to dirty women. as though women's virginity were more 'sacred' than men's and that it is worse for a woman to lose her virginity than for a man. also "someone's daughter or future wife" as a phrase is insulting. NOT that he won't "sully" women in general, but only women who belong to men- either a father or husband. b/c without being the property of men women are not worth anything.