Two weeks ago, give or take a couple of days, I was watching an episode of the National Geographic show Taboo at midnight or so. The topic of that particular episode was that of teenage sex, and how such obstacle is faced in other countries, including our own. While the first three out of four individual stories were indeed in other countries, and didn’t really pique my interest that much, the fourth story was quite different, and indeed piqued my interest.
The fourth and final story was in Mississippi, and spoke of something called a purity ball. A purity ball (associated with Evangelical Christian churches), is a formal dance attended by a father and his daughter(s), in which daughter(s) promise and pledge to stay pure until marriage, and in turn the fathers also promise and pledge to protect their daughter’s purity. I know that everyone is entitled to their own religion, and while I’m no one to judge, something about the whole fourth story rubbed me the wrong way.
According to the type of religion the individuals believed in, the man is the breadwinner and the woman stays at home, cooking, cleaning, etc. That’s all fine and well, but what about the when the gentleman’s daughters got married? The same fate would befall them. Their husbands would be supporting the household, while they would be home, doing what needed to be done at home.
The first thing that came to mind: What ever happened to their rights?
It might be hard to believe now, but it wasn’t always easy for women. They fought for the equal rights they have now, even defying and accomplishing feats once only men were successful. The same thing can be said for our modern world. More and more women are going into professions usually occupied by men, such as welding, truck driving, etc. I myself even had aspirations of going to school for the trade of welding, until my parents brought to attention my horrible luck with high heat situations…Even though I’m an adult, it truly helps to have input from my folks…I remember when I still had my job in a department store stockroom, using the box-crushing compactor, people would be genuinely surprised to learn that a petite, 96 lb. girl worked in the stockroom and not on the store floor. What can I say? I’m not particularly a people person.
Back to what’s at hand…I honestly felt bad for those young ladies. Not because they had different beliefs than I, but because they would never know what it’s like in the real world. Never knowing what’s it’s like to obtain a job, working for what you want and need. Never really being able to make her own decisions, as far as their freedom of choice is concerned. Never knowing what their life would be if they had a different religion or none at all. Young women should be able to think and choose for themselves, without the help of anyone else.
I understand that as a father, there’s an obligation to protect your child and look out for their well-being, but a father can only protect their child for so long. At one point or another, they have to let go and let their child experience the world for themselves. You’ll never truly learn anything until you actually experience it firsthand, and being sheltered from everything, it’s unlikely that you’ll learn anything at all. It’s one thing to be a loving father, but it’s quite another to dictate the choices that your child has every right to have and use how they see fit.
When all is said and done, everyone has different faiths and the beliefs that go with said faith. There’s no way of getting around that…I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I don’t look down on anyone for what kind of religion they’re apart of or beliefs they have. That’s just not the type of person I am…Some might look at the idea of a purity ball as being an excellent idea, given the influence peers and technology could have on a young individual, while others might see the ball as something odd and unfair, taking away the choice every person is rightfully entitled to.
Would you rather sacrifice your right in order to follow your religion, or sacrifice your religion in order to follow your right?