However this report in Time has some rather disturbing overtones, overtones that at best smack of a pre-modern patriarchal ownership of daughter's bodies by their fathers, at worst a suppressed form of incestual slavery.
The Father-Daughter Purity Ball has girls as young as 4 engaging in dinner, dancing and testimony about the "pure life". 4??? What sort of psychological abuse is this that a little girl has to promise to her daddy to be a good girl?
The story of Kylie Miraldi, now 18, tells much of what this is all about:
"When Kylie was 13, her parents took her on a hike in Lake Tahoe, Calif. "We discussed what it means to be a teenager in today's world," she says. They gave her a charm for her bracelet--a lock in the shape of a heart. Her father has the key. "On my wedding day, he'll give it to my husband," she explains. "It's a symbol of my father giving up the covering of my heart, protecting me, since it means my husband is now the protector. He becomes like the shield to my heart, to love me as I'm supposed to be loved.""
So her heart is protected by her father (not mother no, and she can't be trusted herself can she?) until he decides it is ok to give it to her husband. Feminism anywhere? No. Like a piece of property this girl passes from father to husband.
Now I'm never going to decry the importance of fathers for daughters, or mothers for sons and vice versa. That is something sometimes ignored. However, for fathers to promise "before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the areas of purity,"raises many questions:
What if your daughter prefers girls?
What do you do if she disobeys?
Where does she go if dad disobeys?
Yes it is one thing for girls to grow up safe, secure, confident and happy, but another to do so only in the shadow of a parent who implicitly owns their body until authorising it to be offered to another man.