...the daughter needs to be able to trust daddy, and daddy does need to be able to trust daughter

She was receiving the affection that she needed from her father. That's why it is so neat to see these fathers showing godly affection to their daughters. Because their daughters yearn for that affection, that affection from a male, and they're either going to get it from their father or they're going to seek it in other relationships. These fathers who are showing godly affection to their daughters are sparing their daughters from such hurt.

The quote is taken from this video hyping so-called purity balls, the idea of which is to encourage teen girls to remain virgins by having them attend a prom-like event with their father as a date. It's been out there for awhile, so maybe by now everyone has seen it. I first saw it via Amanda at Pandagon, but I wanted to say something about Julian Sanchez' comments. He wrote:
  • Obviously the subtext of all this stuff is that women are property, but I'm always a little amazed when they're willing to go right ahead and make it text—as, for instance, when girls are encouraged to think of their vaginas as a "wedding gift" for their future husbands, to be kept in the original packaging until the honeymoon.
  • And, of course, the big one: Even if you're into the whole abstinence thing, how obtuse do you have to be as a parent not to find the daddy-as-substitute-boyfriend thing really really really gross?
|Notes from the Lounge|

A better question is, how can a parent possibly be blind to the grossness of the daddy-as-substitute-boyfriend thing? I think the answer has to do with the other theme Julian notes in the quoted passage, namely, the notion that women are to be regarded as property. The thing about being property is that it means not only that you are owned and can be exchanged, but also that it is right and proper that your actions be controlled and directed by another.

Consider, for example, the words of the pledge that the father makes to his daughter at the, uh, climax of the purity ball:
I choose before God to cover you as your authority and protection in the area of purity. I will be pure in my own life as a man and a leader. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide, and pray over you.

What I'm suggesting is that for these people a lot of the badness of a woman engaging in premarital sex is that it places her in a relationship in which noone has legitimate authority to control and direct her actions. The ideal, then, is for a women to move seamlessly from the control of her father to the control of her husband. The dancing, dresses, and flowers -- all of that is just window dressing to keep the ladies in line. It doesn't really matter in the big picture, just as none of the desires of women really matter.

To someone like me, the creepiness of the daddy-as-substitute-boyfriend thing comes from the fact that I see fundamental differences between father/daughter and romantic relationships. For a certain kind of traditional values purist, however, there is an essential similarity between the two sorts of relationships, namely, that both satisfy the woman-as-object's need to have her actions controlled and directed by a male authority. The traditional values purist, then, misses the creepiness because for them the differences between the sorts of relationships are not as important as are the similarities.

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