So last night I watched a television show that had me dropping my jaw. I live in the United States, a place where much is tolerated and a liberal viewpoint often taken. Yet there are many practices still followed in the USA that just baffle me, and I'm not talking from a religious standpoint, but from a practical one.
A show about purity balls and chastity ceremonies was on television, and I watched in incredulity as grown men and women encouraged their young daughters--not sons--to pledge their virginity to dear old dad (big ick factor here for me) until the girls marry, at which time their husbands will be in charge of their sexuality.
This backward practice further serves to shove female sexuality to the very bottom of the fish pond. Note the boys are encouraged to be men and do whatever the hell floats their boat. But the girls are supposed to let their fathers shelter (own) them, then let their new husbands shelter (control) them. How then can a woman know what she likes or doesn't like when her desires will be molded by the one man she sleeps with?
I'm all for the try before you buy philosophy, not to promote promiscuity, but to learn about oneself through emotional and physical growth. I just can't believe people in our so-called "enlightened" society would oppress young women like this. I'm not advising to put a little eleven year old in hooker heels and cut a swath through the red light district, but for God's sake, let a girl kiss a boy, learn what it means to round the bases, and figure out who she is and what she likes about her own body before she gets married.
The purity ceremonies just perpetuate the stereotype that women should be subservient to men. And let's not get into the whole way-wacky symbolism of the girl exchanging a purity ring with her father, symbolically marrying him until she finds her husband.