Article written by :: (RSS)

tigtog (aka Viv) is the founder of this blog. She lives in Sydney, Australia: husband, 2 kids, cat, house, garden, just enough wine-racks and (sigh) far too few bookshelves.

This author has written 3446 posts for Hoyden About Town. Read more about tigtog »

23 responses to “Daddy Dearest redux”

  1. Zoe

    Oh, I just couldn’t do it to myself. How amazing are them ‘mericans, though – stripping away everything about the whole archetypal prom experience except the rampant consumerism and patriarchial lookism.

  2. Zoe

    The video was what I couldn’t do! And I tried, but …

  3. Ron

    I truly need a shower after watching that.

  4. Kate

    This well and truly squicks me, and I mean squicks.

  5. Vicki

    This bugs me so much. There is something good here, but it’s distorted and made into something perverted. It’s true that girls (using the term deliberately, I don’t mean young women) who are missing a good connection with their fathers may seek inappropriate sexual relationships with boys, before they’re ready, using sex to gain love. I like the idea of a father-daughter dance, I like the idea of fathers pledging to love and support their daughters (and sons), and to act with integrity. All of this is good, I think. But then they have to introduce “purity,” equating it with sexual abstinence, and that’s where the wheels come off the cart for me.

    I am old-fashioned, I’ll admit it. I think sex is an adult thing (speaking of intercourse and oral sex here), and I taught my daughters that waiting for a degree of emotional maturity was a good idea, and as far as I know, they did. But I never taught them that virginity was to be prized (because the means eventually you must give up the prize), or that a sexual experience = impurity. What a damaging idea.

    And the number show that girls who sign a virginity pledge have first intercourse at about the same age as girls who do not sign such a pledge, and that girls who are educated about sexuality, about their bodies and men’s bodies and who know about birth control tend to delay first intercourse longer than girls who are not making informed choices. But I guess numbers were never the strong suit of the radical religious right.

  6. tigtog

    I’m totally with you there, Vicki. I worry about my daughter particularly entering her teens in the current hypersexualised culture because I think young men expect so much more sexually from young women than they did in my teens. (although I’m sure my parents felt the same about my teen years)

    I think you know this, but for the benefit of others I was much better informed about the mechanics of sex and contraception than any of my peers because my dad was a demonstrator for the local Family Planning association, which meant he went round schools showing educational films and passing around contraceptive demonstrators to be giggled over (way before the put a condom on a banana days), so we had all this stuff around the house.

    There was no way I was going to ever have sex without having a discussion about contraception first, but teens in my experience tended to be pretty non-verbal about sex (it’s all about the octopus hands) and I was too sensitive about perceived sluttiness (I know) to initiate the conversation myself, so I was at uni before I found a boyfriend willing to talk to me about expectations first.

    I don’t think it’s bad to train girls that openly talking about sex is the standard they should expect because that’s what they get from their parents, and if the young men they’re with can’t talk about sex and contraception sensibly then they don’t get to play, but that’s the exact opposite of what the Purity movement is teaching.

  7. Mentis Fugit

    Purity = Virginity

    Once you adopt that fallacy as your founding axiom, the rest follows.

  8. tigtog

    Spot on, Mentis.

    I pledge to remain sexually pure…until the day I give myself as a wedding gift to my husband.

    The idea that the gift of oneself to one’s husband is all about an intact hymen rather than one’s character is hugely problematic as well. I realise that they’re doing plenty of simultaneous inculcating of submission, obedience and modesty and that’s all the character they care about for women, but it’s no wonder that young girls from these backgrounds who fall short on sexual purity then tend to kick over the traces altogether – the intact hymen is the seal that proves the rest, so if it’s gone then she’s tainted and damned.

    Then these same social conservatives tell the rest of us that we’re the ones objectifying women as just sexual objects.

  9. Don Quixote

    There’s something particularly wrong with ‘daddy’s’ pledge:

    “I choose before God to cover you as your authority and protection in the area of purity… I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and prey over you. This covering will be used by God for generations to come.”

    That is vaguely sexual, no?

  10. Mentis Fugit

    Nothing “vaguely” about it, Don Quixote: as has been noted in other places this is being discussed, “cover” is a term used in livestock breeding which means exactly what you think it does. The kindest interpretation of its use here is that these people are lexically tone-deaf. Since I strive to be a kind person, I will just call them stupid.

  11. Ron

    “I think young men expect so much more sexually from young women than they did in my teens”

    I think perhaps the same can be applied to young women today from my 16yo son’s, and his friends’, experiences. His first sexual relationship (that I knew about) was with a girl three years his senior.

    My daughter turns 13 soon and I am just terrified (no better word for it) of the next few years, for her and for me.

  12. tigtog

    Your “prey” typo for “pray” gives an extra frisson to the weirdness, DQ.

  13. Ron

    Good pickup, tigtog, I didn’t see that one.

    I didn’t see anything ‘vague’ at all in that video: I thought it was downright bordering on incest.

  14. Shaun

    I feel dirty after watching that vid. The sexual subtext is frightening.

  15. Andrew Warinner

    Mentis, I’m not sure that “cover” has the sexual connotations that are being imputed to it.

    A lot of USian evangelical Christians talk about God and prayer as tangible things, so they might be using “covering” as being a real, physical protection that God is bestowing upon them (was it here that God’s Armored Pyjamas was discussed?)

    Secondly, ‘covering’ may be used in the Bible in some context that they are trying to invoke.

    Yeah, it’s creepy to us but I’d put it down different uses of language. They would probably look askance at us for saying something like ‘the children spawned by the daemon processed weren’t being reaped and the table filled up with zombies.’

  16. Vicki

    I don’t think it’s bad to train girls that openly talking about sex is the standard they should expect because that’s what they get from their parents, and if the young men they’re with can’t talk about sex and contraception sensibly then they don’t get to play, but that’s the exact opposite of what the Purity movement is teaching.

    I told my girls that if they are too embarrassed to bring up the topic of birth control and STD protection, then they should be too embarrassed to get naked. That seemed to make sense to them. The daughter who will talk to me about these things seems to be pretty comfortable with sticking to her principles. She understands the biology and the psychology, and I trust her to be making smart decisions, which doesn’t necessarily mean remaining abstinent. But she’s not allowing herself to be pressured or ridiculed into doing things she wouldn’t otherwise do, and I’m convinced that it’s because I put the power to decide squarely into her hands, with all the information she needed, and many discussions about values that began when she was very young.

    I talked to my daughters, not at them.

    Of course, the righties might point out the consequences: one of them is gay!

  17. tigtog

    I told my girls that if they are too embarrassed to bring up the topic of birth control and STD protection, then they should be too embarrassed to get naked. That seemed to make sense to them.

    That’s a pithy summing up.

    I’ve taken the word “sex” out of the automoderation list, by the way – too many relevant comments were getting hung up on it and the sp-mm-rs usually use other trigger words anyway.

  18. tigtog

    Andy, I had a look in the BibleGateway search function for uses of “cover” in the Bible. Once you get past covering Egypt in darkness, covering the Jews with His anger and rich coverings for the Tent of the Ark of the Covenant and Solomon’s Temple, I only found a couple of vaguely relevant ones:

    # Ezekiel 16:8

    * King James Version (KJV)
    Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.

    * New International Version (NIV)
    ” ‘Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign LORD, and you became mine.

    And very interestingly in light of the veiling discussion last week:

    # Genesis 38:15

    * King James Version (KJV)
    When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.

    * New International Version (NIV)
    When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face.

  19. TimT

    I got about a third of the way through the video. How fucked up is this idea? It’s fucked up. It seems it is a day for religious sexual weirdness, because just before, I came across this link on wikipedia about the Chastity Belt. The pictures on that website have the same Ha – but – HUH? factor this whole ‘Purity Ball’ thing has.

  20. Pavlov's Cat

    ‘I pledge to remain sexually pure”¦until the day I give myself as a wedding gift to my husband.’

    It’s the ultimate commodification of women, and of the self, apart from anything else. I’d certainly like to know what the husband’s wedding gift to the wife is.

    What frightens me most about the contemporary resurgence of the barking religious right, especially in the US of course but increasingly here as well, is the way the rampant consumerism is explicitly liked to the God-bothering, and the way that consumerism and unrelenting commodification include women as worldly goods.

  21. Mentis Fugit

    Andrew, I’m not suggesting it’s the intended connotation; it’s the obliviousness to the alternative connotations that’s mind-boggling.

  22. tigtog

    What frightens me most about the contemporary resurgence of the barking religious right, especially in the US of course but increasingly here as well, is the way the rampant consumerism is explicitly li[n]ked to the God-bothering, and the way that consumerism and unrelenting commodification include women as worldly goods.

    Pandagon’s Amanda has some more good posts about the intersection of femininity and consumerism, and how those (not you, Pav) who dismiss sexism as motivated by consumerist profits are really trying to just slide the argument away from sexism to capitalism without proper analysis. Marketers exploit and maybe perpetuate, but they don’t invent trends.
    Part 1: All about the money is about more than the money, the make-up and fashion edition
    and
    Part 2: The Non-Makeup and Fashion follow-up

  23. Andrew Warinner

    [I]t’s the obliviousness to the alternative connotations that’s mind-boggling.

    Yeah, but it is not uncommon. It’s hard not to boggle at rhetoric like “prayer warrior” or “God hates fags” but it used. They are more concerned with using language that means something by their lights rather than ours.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.