The concept of purity balls has been the subject of much discussion recently. The great majority agree that these purity balls are creepy. Having a girl pledging her virginity to her father to guard over until marriage is indeed a disturbing idea.
But the question begs to be asked, what is more disturbing, a ritual that only a small segment of the population participates in or the prevalent idea in our culture that a woman's virginity defines her character and worth as a human being?
Recently on Twitter, Conservatives have started attacking Planned Parenthood and the idea of comprehensive sex education using the hashtag #sexed. They are afraid of teens having any information, want them to feel the ultimate shame if they are curious about anything that deviates from the missionary position, and of course don't want them to have access to birth control.
Religion is a big part of what fuels the war on sex. Of course, many religious people ignore Song of Solomon and go straight for the "Thou Shalt Nots."
But if someone has made a decision, based on religious belief, to remain celibate until marriage, there should be no fear of information. There should be no shaming of others making different choices. These things negate the power of whatever deity is involved and speak more to obedience to man and to self-righteousness.
Even outside of religious context, humans have long considered the avoidance of "temptation" to be a virtue. The ability to say no has been seen as a sign of the powerful. Power in conformity defined by societal pressure? That doesn't sound powerful to me.
The very idea of upholding virginity as a virtue is a disempowering concept. Defining sex as an act instead of an art and saddling it with shame not only has the potential to lead to unwanted consequences of intercourse but also contributes to the fact that many women are not experiencing sex as the pleasurable activity it was designed to be, even after their first time.
The real question isn't are purity balls creepy or not. The real question is who's your daddy? If you're engaged in perpetuating shame or are defining your attitudes about sex based on anything but your own personal values and desires, the pledge you're making is a contribution to patriarchy. Consider empowering yourself and consider contributing to Planned Parenthood instead.