Purity balls keep dads faithful?

The events are designed to defend girls' virginity, but the fathers are the ones being saved from sin.

Topics: Sex, Broadsheet, Love and Sex,

We’ve written before about Generations of Light Ministries’ fantastically creepy “purity ball,” where fathers make a pledge to protect their young daughters’ hymens. But the New York Times’ coverage of the 2008 ball launched the event’s creepy quotient into the cosmos. Never before has the ball’s purpose been made so clear: It’s all about the dads.

The girls may dress up in glittery princess gowns, drape themselves in purity jewelry, make silent vows and place a white rose at the foot of a cross — but the fathers are the ones who actually make a purity pledge. Not the girls, whose “purity” is at issue, but their fathers. Each father signs a pledge reading, in part: “I will be pure in my own life as a man, husband and father. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and pray over my daughter and my family as the high priest in my home.”

You Might Also Like

Terry Lee, 54, who attended the ball with his 16-year-old daughter, told the Times: “It’s also good for me” — good for me! “It inspires me to be spiritual and moral in turn. If I’m holding them to such high standards, you can be sure I won’t be cheating on their mother.” So, when that apparently not-so-sacred pledge you make to your wife at the altar starts to wear off, it’s time to dangle another consecrated carrot in front of yourself? And what better motivator in a man’s personal pursuit of purity than … his daughter’s virginity? Indeed, the ball’s co-founder, Randy Wilson, told the Times: “I’ve heard from fathers that this challenged them, to guard their own eyes, for example.”

At this year’s ball, Wilson told the fathers: “Our daughters are waiting for us … They need to be rescued by you, their dad.” It seems to me the dads are the ones in need of rescuing.

Tracy Clark-Flory
Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Sonic

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.

    KFC

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.

    Interscope

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>