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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

What, if any, have been your experiences with purity balls?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38963points) June 27th, 2009

Do you know a family who’s been involved? Would you be interested in doing something like this with your daughter? Any opinions? And let’s keep it civil,

I, for one, hold the opinion along the lines of the one expressed here:

http://www.feministing.com/archives/009843.html

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

34 Answers

DeanV's avatar

Creepy. I expect a ton of jokes here, though. Mostly from the male side of fluther.

sandystrachan's avatar

NO, no and creepily weird .
Cant wait for these jokes .

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Okay, people, let’s have some discussion
why does it make you feel creeped out?

Facade's avatar

I’m sure the girls I went to elementary school with participated in something of that nature. From what I know of them, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them. Although I’m sure the girls can be abstinent without having a ball thrown for them.

DominicX's avatar

To me it seems awfully showy, unnecessary, and asinine. However, I don’t see a whole lot of harm it could do. If I had a daughter, I would not be interested in that. I don’t think the alternative to having “purity balls” is having sex at 12 (as the person in the article said).

And of course, the word “purity” is pretty pretentious. Not that that really has anything to do with it, but that probably explains some of the “creepy” feelings people are having.

sandystrachan's avatar

I trust my children and when they grow up, i would like to think i could still trust them . This is a little Hitler ish i think .

asmonet's avatar

They’re disturbing.
But I am entirely against them personally. I agree with the article you linked.

Kind of reminds me of child pageants. It’s a violation of childhood and impedes the development of healthy attitudes toward sex, gender and all kinds of relationships.

asmonet's avatar

Above answer edited as I changed me mind on one point.

tinyfaery's avatar

This isn’t just creepy but demented and outdated. Girls no longer belong to men; a girl has a life outside of her role as daughter and wife/mother. The fact that the virginity of a girl belongs to her father until he gives it to her husband reeks of preverted sexuality and ownership. Ewwww.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Never been to one.
I don’t think abstinance only is a healthy way to teach anyone about sex. We treat sex as such a taboo that it keeps us from being objective. That breeds ignorance and suffering.

DeanV's avatar

I was going to answer, but then @tinyfaery said it so much better. She about summed it up.

SuperMouse's avatar

My father never held the key to my heart, literally or figuratively and that vision was gross and misogynistic and frankly a bit incestuous. I think it is horrifying for fathers to lead their daughters to believe that it is up to them to approve of who they date and who they marry. I think it is horrifying that these girls believe that in order to have the approval of the most important man in their life, they have to let this man make decisions for them and do what this man tells them to do with their love and even their sexuality. In the end that is likely to send the exact opposite of the intended message.

tinyfaery's avatar

@SuperMouse said it even better.

Jeruba's avatar

<shudder> It took me several minutes of looking at the linked post to figure out that this meant “balls” in the sense of “large formal parties with dancing.” On seeing the phrase, I was picturing some sort of bizarre chastity device such as Ben-Wa balls with teeth.

Encouragement of premarital chastity is fine, and certainly girls should be taught to value their bodies. I can’t see the current wave of promiscuity as a good thing. Maybe teaching selectivity and discimination along with the judicious use of contraceptives would be more to the point. But the more guilt is heaped on the idea of sex, the harder it may be to feel okay with it once you are married. How did something that was bad and dirty yesterday become right and beautiful today? I’ll warrant there is many a young woman who has been confused by this and had trouble in her marriage as a result.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Silliness. In my families, once a girl has her first period then there is a serious talk about pregnancy and about choosing men very carefully. After that, it’s all how you choose to live and any consequences.

asmonet's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence: You can get pregnant before your first period.

Doesn’t sound like a great policy. You should really have it before.

Ivan's avatar

My only experience with them is the hilarious episode of “The Goode Family” about them.

Tinyfaery hit it on the head. Not only is the idea of abstinence-only outdated, they have to throw in this insulting homage to the ownership of women, as if a woman belongs to her father until her wedding day when he passes her along to the husband.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@asmonet: ewww but that might explain those old century child brides ;p

SuperMouse's avatar

@Jeruba I was thinking the same thing when I clicked on this thread. I’m really glad I’m not the only whose mind went there.

augustlan's avatar

What a horrible idea. Such a throwback to the days of women as property!

@Jeruba “Ben-Wa balls with teeth”... priceless!

cyn's avatar

wierd…

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m glad I never had any daughters. My two sons and my grandsons apparently got most of their information elsewhere, since I don’t recall any specific discussions.

peyton_farquhar's avatar

Did anyone else notice the incestuous sexual overtones in that picture in the article?

Jeruba's avatar

Gawd, yes. I would be squirming if I were the mother of those girls.

cookieman's avatar

I love my daughter, but I have no interest in owning her virginity (or her mind, or her body, or her future…). She’s a flippin’ human being for twinkie’s sake.

I can only imagine these things are dreamed up by the most self-loathing, sexually repressed, insecure people around. Throw in a heaping helping of religious self-importance and ya got yerself a chastity ho-down.

Jeruba's avatar

Ho-down, @cprevite. Nice.

peyton_farquhar's avatar

GA @cprevite for for twinkie’s sake.
I think that if there are to be purity balls for girls there should be some sort of equivalent for boys, just to level the playing feild. Like soft serve ice cream socials.

wundayatta's avatar

I wonder if any of the girls in these things actually take them seriously. I know that if my daughter went to one, it would be as an excuse to dress up, but not because anyone was listening to the message. Some people just take themselves way too seriously.

Unfortunately, since so many people can’t keep such vows anyway, it just ends up putting a larger burden of guilt and secrecy on people. As if we need more than we already have. But you knew that already. SNAFU.

bea2345's avatar

My first reaction was “Tchah!” And why only for girls?

Jeruba's avatar

…and “tchah” means…?

bea2345's avatar

Nothing complimentary to the promoters of purity balls. It is hard to explain the irritation, disenchantment and sheer disgust raised by the Time report. This is hardly what my aunts, grandmothers and other feminists toiled for. As for “purity” – to misquote C.S. Lewis, your purity is not worth much if your own weapons cannot preserve it. Our girls have to be taught to say no, no and no again, and yes, yes, yes, when they want, when they are ready.

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