March 16, 2006

Why I Saved My First Kiss for Marriage

In honor of the small group of men who have made abortion illegal in South Dakota, the Abstinence Clearinghouse is sponsoring A Celebration of Purity for Daughters and Fathers , April 7 in Sioux Falls. This organization, which supports state anti-abortion legislation, opposes all birth control efforts of any kind, and fights against women's choices in health care, is ecstatic with the new law. For them, it lays the groundwork for overturning Roe v Wade. And because the anti-abortion movement has always been about controlling women, this group also works against any family planning because its idea of contraception is indoctrinating young women against kissing before marriage. Yes, I said "kissing" before marriage.

Here is the message on the brochure promoting the Purity Ball 2006:

Studies show fathers hold the key to a better future for their daughters. Showing your love today will help her be a better-adjusted person, with a successful life and family tomorrow. This night is a dinner and ballroom dance event which celebrates your "little girl" and her gift of sexual purity. This night will help you impress upon your daughter that abstinence until marriage is the expected standard of behavior. It is a lifechanging, life-shaping experience!

Who should attend?

This event is for fathers and daughters aged 11 and older. Stepfathers, uncles, godfathers, grandfathers and other significant male figures may bring the young lady in their life.

Think about that. All these men, some of them "significant male figures" (does that mean brothers, boyfriends, pastors?) are bringing their "little girls" to a dance to celebrate (perhaps "worship" is a better word) her "gift of sexual purity." I don't know about you, but that gives me the creeps. (As a friend of mine has noted, for the astonishingly large number of girls who have been abused by fathers, step-fathers, uncles, brothers, grandfathers, godfathers, and other significant males, the idea of all these men bringing their 11-years olds to a "Purity Ball" that focuses on their little girl sexuality is quite more than creepy.)

Amber Davidson is the keynote speaker whose address is entitled Why I Saved My First Kiss for Marriage. Apparently, abstinence now includes kissing. No more cute little boys kissing little girls on the cheek at birthday parties. No more making out anywhere at all for anyone not married. It's a world of imagination and a perversion of reality that boggles the mind.

I wonder if anyone at this conference is going to answer the question I can't seem to get an answer for from anti-abortion activists: namely, if they are successful in overturning Roe v Wade, what kind of criminal penalties do they propose for all the tens of thousands of women who will continue to find ways to have abortions, in violation of federal and state laws? I doubt the subject will even come up.

Will any of these daughters ask their father why a young woman who is raped by her father or uncle or brother or grandfather, or even by a stranger, should be forced to carry such a fetus to term, why she should have no choice, why men do the choosing for her?

Will any of these daughters ask their fathers, or uncles, or grandfathers about why young men are not being held responsible for their behavior, why young men don't have purity balls?

Will any of these daughters wonder why their mother was not invited to celebrate their sexual purity? why the men in their lives have left out the very person on whom most 11-year old girls depend?

Will any of these girls ask why it is mostly men who are telling them what they can do with their bodies, how they should behave, and what kinds of health choices they can make?

Organizations like Abstinence Clearinghouse are the ones which will rejoice when Roe v Wade is overturned. It is one of the organizations which will find comfort in a world where girls and women are behaving as they should in a patriarchal dominated society. "Purity" will be the driving force in a world where girls and women are judged harshly for not conforming, a world where intact hymens are sacrosanct, where men are able to direct their daughter's lives and development to suit their own aims, where "purity" will be the only measurement of young women's lives. A world not unlike the one the Taliban built.

It is not an accident that organizations like Abstinence Clearinghouse concentrats its efforts on young women, not young men. Even the artwork on their main page reflects this focus: a pretty young woman, large and clear, with an unfocused smaller young male image in the background. There is the female, right up front. She is the one responsible, she is, foremost, the one who must conform and carry the pure and chaste image. It's also revealing how they have a website with a link, for members only, to what they call their War Room, sounding much like any fundamentalist jihadist organization. Their war on women is as real as it gets. Their advertising slogan says Networking people for abstinence, but it is clear their target is girls, not "people."

This is the fundamentalist Christian idea of how to make society work. If you can control the women, in this case girls, you can make the Christian family (read: the American family) work the way they think it should.

Who sits on the Advisory Council of the Abstinence Clearinghouse? Beverly LaHaye of Concerned Women of America, Heather E. Cirmo of Family Research Council, and Peter Brandt, of Focus on the Family are among the many right-wing, fundamentalist, Christian and dogmatic leaders of organizations that work against women's rights.

Isn't it time that Americans, who believe in democracy and freedom, send a message to these reactionary forces that we will not allow them to wage war on women's rights and legislate their religious beliefs? The anti-abortion movement in this country has always been about controlling women. This "Purity Ball" is an outrageous example of a male patriarchy at work.

14 comments:

rc/vt said...

Purity ball? For eleven-year old girls and their male relatives? At first it seemed merely creepy, but when you consider the data that 3 of 4 children in this country experience some form of sexual abuse during childhood, the creepiness escalates into outrage. How many of those dancing men have already had their hands down the underpants of 75% of those little girls? Virtually no little eleven-year-old girl outs an abusing uncle; many decades (and years of counseling) later, she may find her voice and name her abuser, even then risking her family's disbelief or rejection.

Having been one of those little girls, I can assure you that having to dance and make nice in public with an abusing uncle will add to the cascade of psychological injuries these little girls will have to carry for life.

Ugly, ugly, ugly.

DecemberFlower said...

Perverse. D:

Lloydyboy said...

It might interest you to know that the lady who runs the 'Abstinence Clearinghouse', Leslee Unruh, also operates the 'Alpha Center' in Sioux Falls -- an outfit that purports (in its ads) to provide "abortion information," in addition to STD and pregnancy testing, to scared young girls.
Mrs. Unruh has said that she anticipates a lot of new business because of South Dakota's just-passed law. She'll be selling the babies that would otherwise have been aborted throught Alpha's adoption sideline. Blond-haired, blue-eyed Norwegian and German (the primary nationalities in South Dakota) babies fetch top dollar.
Mrs. Unruh has got quite a racket going. She's also received a couple million dollar grant from the Feds to develop abstinence materials for schools that want to push 'abstinence-only' brain-washing ("education") on kids. Now she's getting orders from those schools. She's raking in the buck$. Big time.
I was going to post a joke entry. Something like "These girls are going to have to watch out for daddy's other ball," but I couldn't help but get serious.
L.G.
Sioux Falls, SD

Anonymous said...

I went to this with my daughter and there was nothing "creepy" about it.

I always find it interesting how some people will comment on something they don't have a clue about.

Your opinions might actually be valid if you would have attended this event...but since you didn't you really don't know what was said.

I think it's great that fathers are willing to set an example and be involved in their children's lives.

I'm sure you've complained about "dead beat dads" in the past...yet when a group of men with integrity do something quite the opposite and get involved, you critisize that as well.

Stephen McArthur said...

Dear Anonymous -- Why is it that I don't believe you? Could it be the lack of your conviction sufficient to identify yourself? Do you live in South Dakota?

The interesting thing is that you mused that my opinions might be valid if I had attended the event, but you didn't address any of my opinions other than the fact this event made me felt creepy.

But you did not address any of my opinions in your comment, which I also found revealing.

If you are,indeed, a father who went to this event, then tell us more about what went on. How many men and their daughters/nieces/granddaughters attended? What was said by the speakers? Who were they? If it was such a wonderful event for you, tell us more. But don't just write an anonymous comment attacking me and leave it at that.

It is, indeed, important that more fathers, more men, get involved with their daughters lives, but even more especially with their sons lives. It's the sons who need alot more help than the daughters.

progressivegrannie said...

This was very creepy. I spent years and years trying to get my niece's friend to go to the police to report her abuse by her father. I can't imagine if she had been subjected to the pressure to have her Dad take her to a "purity ball." The idea disgusts me. However, this girl and all her sisters (3 of them) finally pressed charges, when their father began abusing their daughters. Sad how long it took, but justice prevailed. This was in rural Nebraska.
Excellent post on this blog. Thank you so much for such a timely, and astute post on this blog.
Recommended reading: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.
Be strong sisters! Peace be with you.

Pirate Dan said...

Personally, I thihnk this is AWESOME! Think about it. What are the four most awful words in the English language that, in turn, yield the hottest results? Yes, the hottest words in the English language that aren't actually hot in and of themselves, they are hot for the results they eventually produce. That's right, the four words of which I speak are:

I

Hate

You

Daddy


They aren't inherently hot-- far from it-- but they are the number one source of
hotness on earth. Without those four words where would we be? We would live in a world nearly devoid of strippers. There would be only two "Girls Gone Wild" videos... and the second one would be titled "Girls Gone Wild 2: The Third Girl!". Our brothels nearly empty and our porn magazines (both of them) frighteningly thin, we would have to spend our money elsewhere. Which would be good, since fully three quarters of the internet would not exist.

Truly, those four words-- however terrible a past they might indicate-- they foretell a future of white-hot sexuality commensurate with the horror they imply. So really, as an evil, pre-verted liberal deviant, I think I should probably send them a thank you letter.

"Can't wait to be slipping bills into your princesses on MTV's real sex, on stage at the next bachelor party I attend, and performing burlesque with my lesbian friends! Thanks again!"

Also, let me point out this picture, from abstinence.net... is it just me, or can one squint and kind of make of that balloon "arbor" a kind of white vagina dentata? http://tinyurl.com/pljgh

Maybe it's just me.

Anonymous said...

Pirate Dan, you are a very sick individual. You are one of the reasons purity balls like this event are so important...to avoid whore mongering men like yourself.

Stephen, you don't believe me? Why should I really care if you believe me or not? Yes I do live in South Dakota. I went the the event. There is nothing sick about it.

The main speaker was the daughter of the alpha center here. She did a great job...it found it very interesting that she actually saved her first kiss for her wedding. That is not something I will push upon my daughter.

I find it humorous that you think that it's the son's lives that fathers should get involved with more than a daughters....why? are men more important than women? What about equal rights?

For your information, I also have two sons with which I am very involved with as far as raising them and coaching their sports teams, taking hunting, etc.

You asked in your original post:

"Will any of these daughters ask their father why a young woman who is raped by her father or uncle or brother or grandfather, or even by a stranger, should be forced to carry such a fetus to term, why she should have no choice, why men do the choosing for her?"

Being in the great state of South Dakota with a new ban on abortion, there is room for a woman who is raped to take emergencey contraception.

Stephen McArthur said...

Dear Anonymous --

The fact that you can even ask the question about why men should be more involved with their sons, and why that ought to be the priority demonstrates how little of all of this you actually get. The fact that yoiu find my concern about boys "humorous" makes it even more creepy.

Men and boys rape women and girls. Men and boys abuse girls and boys. Men commit the vast majority of violent crimes. Young men feed on violent video games, violent sports, and violent movies.

Husbands abuse their wives, beat their wives, menace their wives and threaten their wives. These husbands are sons and boys who had no responsible, mature father or father-figure who supported them.

If more fathers spent more time supporting their sons and setting examples for their sons, we would reduce the amount of all violence in our world.

Most "Christians" avoid this issue. Most "Christians" avoid facing the fact that men wage war, men beat women, men rape daughters.

Your answer is "let's make sure our daughters are chaste." What nonsense and ignorance. You run away from the real problem.

You need to concentrate your efforts on the boys!! That is why I think it is creepy that you worry so much about your daughter's chastity. You ignore the men and the boys because you are afraid to face the issue of male violence and bellicosity in this world.

These girls grow up in a male violence dominated world and they see you avoid it. Now that's a great lesson.

And your causual response to a woman being raped, that they can take emergency contraception is unconscionable. It demonstrates just how little you actually care about the tragedies that women and girls face, and how little you actually care about their potential fates. The men in South Dakota, now known as the coat-hanger state, should be ashamed of themselves. They have shown just how little they do care for their daughters, their wives, and their sisters, by this ban.

Anonymous said...

LOL...

You're the one that's blind. I haven't heard a lot of male teacher's raping girls lately....but there sure have been quite a few female teachers doing it in recent years.

Yep...it's always a man's fault. Women never take responsibility for any of the troubles in this world....I should rephrase that. LIBERAL women never take that responsibility. Conservative women on other hand understand.

News flash for you. A very small percentage of abortions are a result of rape....less than 3%. The rest of them are for a matter of convience for not keeping the flesh under control.

So, when a woman acts unresponsable, is it STILL the man's fault? If he is at fault, should he have a say in whether she gets an abortion or not?

Oh, and clothes hangers? At a recent rally I went to, the speaker had been sent clothes hangers from pro-abortion people. She found just the right use for those hangers. She used them to display baby clothes....the correct usage for such an item.

When does life begin?


Does life begin When yesterday's science proves it begins?

Does life begin when today's science proves it begins?

Does life begin when tomorrow's science proves it begins?

Does life begin when your government says it begins?

Does life begin when a baby can live outside the womb on it's own?

Does life begin when someone's belief system says it begins?

Is there an absolute when life begins?

Does life begin when God says life begins?

Is it reallly a matter of choice?

Does life begin when a mother chooses to call the human being inside her a baby instead of a fetus?

I do know one thing......sometimes woman chooses when life ends.....

Ben said...

I guess now we reached into the truth of the matter.

Anonymous basically is pushing a political agenda. True concern about sexual abstinence for young people takes back seat to pushing a narrow conservative worldview.

And as to the abortion issue, it appears that protecting unborn life takes a backseat to punishing women for "not keeping the flesh under control".

Stephen McArthur said...

That sounds about right -- "not keeping the flesh under control." It is this kind of autocratic patriarchal attitude by men like you that makes the anti-abortion movement into such an abuse of women's rights.

Your prejudice against women shows so clearly in this question you ask:

So, when a woman acts unresponsable (sic), is it STILL the man's fault? If he is at fault, should he have a say in whether she gets an abortion or not?

You try to have it both ways by first implying that a man lies back passively while a woman steals his sperm from him so she can impregnate herself. But then you prevaricate by suggesting that it is possible that it might be his fault, then what? She should be forced to bear his baby? You can't have it both ways.

"Conservative (I think you really mean Christian) women on the other hand understand?" Are you contending that because they understand, they are not abused, not raped, not beaten by their husbands, not divorced, not victims of marriage rape, not victims of date rape? If you look at the statistics, it is clear that women in conservative or Christian homes are just as likely to be victims of male violence as any "liberal" woman. But I think you don't really want to know that. It is too uncomfortable for you.

This is the mantra of your Christian brainwashing, the patriarchal attitude and behavior that takes no responsibility for the actions of men. You only want to control women. In controlling women, you have achieved a level of deluded self-righteousness that makes you feel comfortable.

If you can only teach your daughters, control their flesh, make them into good little wives, you will maintain power. The way you think about women and girls is mirrored in other societies around the world where women are second-class citizens, told by men what to think and believe, and how to behave. I think you probably, secretly, admired the Taliban.

What's worse is your monumental ignorance of male sexual practices, sexual and psychological dominance by men over women in relationships (married or otherwise), date rape, marriage rape, sexual abuse by men of girls and boys, and intimate partner violence committed by men against women. These are not issues you want to face or acknowledge. They challenge your simplistic world view of how you think we need to control our daughters.

The level of your ignorance is demonstrated clearly by your using the examples of the two women teachers in the news recently for sexually abusing students. This is anecdotal, not prevalent. Male teachers abusing students or having sex with underage students, or being discovered with child porn happens all the time and is not NEWS.

But you, instead, want to keep your head in the sand and ignore the reality of male sexual and violent misdeeds, because they do not fit with your view that it is girls who need to be taught to control their flesh. Here's the way you think: If only those girls woulod understand how to behave, we men would not be tempted to be so bad.

If you educated yourself on these issues, you might find some self-realization that would bring you understanding beyond your stultifyingly narrow mind.

Oh, and by the way, I still don't believe you took youor daughter to the event in South Dakota. If you are so proud of all of this, you'd not continue to be Anonymous. What't the matter? Afraid to stand up and be recognized for your convictions?

Fred Z said...

Stephen, I must say you sound like a real ass. Your "astute remarks" are laced with hatred and personal attacks, and you have an annoying habit of putting words in people's mouths that they did not say. Fortunately, intelligent readers of this blog will see that for themselves.

Since you are so free to make personal, gut-level attacks on the character of others, I'll speculate about/psychoanalyze you in similar fashion: Obviously you hate your father, who beat and abused your mother, sexually and otherwise. Perhaps that is how you came to be born. As a result, you hate all men (including yourself), and lump all men into one category, and have become a male-basher par excellence, right up there with Gloria Allred and her "girlfriends". As a result, you feel free to malign other men at will, having never had a positive male role model in your life. In addition, you may get laid more often for having "progressive", liberal, irresponsible views of sexuality that young college-aged women consider "cool". How am I doing?

I would not define myself as conservative in general, BTW, but can also not call myself "liberal", especially when people like you make fools of themselves with emotional "arguments" that are more reminiscient of the stereotypical "emotional female" than of the "logical, analytical male". Of course, in your world, there are no differences between men and women, right??? Another ultraliberal contradiction.... On the one hand, clowns like this claim that there are virtually no differences between the sexes, in terms of how they think, emotional wiring, physical strength, and other abilities. On the other hand (confused as they are), they claim that men are terrible, evil creatures, while women (even ultraliberal, extremely promiscuous, game-playing ones) are "pure", innocent, doe-like victims of the evil patriarchy. Can you say, "schizophrenic"?

Well now, let's all follow Stephen's wonderful advice for the daughters of America. Let's encourage them all to walk like trash, talk like trash (ala Jerry Springer show), let their asses, waists and breasts hang out of their clothing, act provocatively and -well- like sluts in every situation, no matter what the occasion, tease and lure men sexually (especially when there's money to be made/gifts to be received), and provoke perfectly healthy and normal men into a state of lust by appealing to their very healthy and normal biological drive to procreate. Right on! Let's have our girls do this to men of all ages, whether the girls are "of age" or not. And then, with Ms Allred and other man-haters as their coaches, let's have these young girls learn to entrap men, legally, cause untold misery in the relationships/marriages of others, and wreak havoc in society in general by taking absolutely zero responsibility for abusing -yes, ABUSING- the natural, beautiful, attractiveness and sexual power that has been given to women. Let's encourage them to continue to blackmail men in the workplace, the bedroom, and everywhere else, rather than teaching them to keep their legs closed once in awhile. At least, if they choose to spread them frequently in uncommitted relationships, and use their feminine charms, they might be taught to have the decency and maturity not to put 100% of the blame on the man, just because he happens to have a penis. And no, before you try to distort my words, as well, I'm not talking about rape, but "consensual sex". It's a two-way street, and each side has a responsibility not to abuse its power, in a "civilized" society.

The point about men having a say in abortion is right on target. If a man is required to be equally responsible, with the mother, for any child he fathers, then he also has an EQUAL RIGHT to decide whether his child can be born, or not. Period. Anything else is just more male-hating ultraliberal brainwashing, and complete, utter hypocrisy. It's not about "her body", but the completely SEPARATE body that happens to be growing inside of her. IMHO, society should encourage men AND women to be responsible for their actions, not by demonizing normal, healthy sexuality, but by putting it in perspective as only one part of life, not the obsessive, all-encompassing addiction that our society makes it in advertising, etc. Another case of men oppressing those "poor, innocent women" with nice breasts and asses, who make big bucks parading (prostituting?) their bodies on tv (and in magazines), while most MEN are busy busting their asses doing physical labor, or other real work to earn a living.

Though I am not a religious fundamentalist, I thought the gentleman from South Dakota was a lot more respectful and factual than you have been, and am personally offended by your male-hating rants, as all "real men" should be- unless they are so whipped by radical, ultraliberal women, (or their mommies?) that they don't have the balls to stand up for themselves. Nowhere did he say he wasn't involved in the lives of his sons- just the opposite- so stop distorting people's words for your own personal therapy, and read carefully before running your big mouth with personal attacks. Some of us don't want to hear it, and I'll bet you don't like it too much when the shoe's on the other foot, do you?

Have a nice day, and don't waste too much time on predictable, ultraliberal attacks on my character (due to being unable to address the points made in a credible way). I already know what the standard, pat liberal responses will be, and have answered all of them many times. to the point of yawning because they always come down to the inherent moral superiority of women, and the "badness" of men. Anonymous, I DO believe that you went to the event- but then, I don't call people liars, like Stephen does, unless I have very good EVIDENCE to back it up.

Stephen McArthur said...

Fred Z -- I responded to your comment in my blog entry today entitled "Misogynist Comes Out of the Woodwork."