Brought to you by Tales from an Empty Room
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To the outsider, teenage American girls appear to be split into two camps. Half of them are starring in Spring Break and videos getting gang-banged by drunk teenage boys. The other half are members of various Christian purity movements. Luckily, we have girls like Sarah Palin’s teenage daughters to bridge the gap. She’s a fundamentalist Christian, but her daughters are apparently forever getting knocked up by gas station attendants and bag-boys. And they say Palin isn’t a unifying candidiate.
This documentary followed various fathers and daughters in Colorado Springs as the daughters prepared to make their pledges to stay virginal and pure, promising not to even kiss or hold hands with a boy until their wedding day. They do this as part of the annual Purity Ball and they start as young as five.
Now, most guys I know who have daughters know what horny little bastards teenage boys are. And most of them can see the merit in trying to make sure your daughter feels loved enough at home not to go off and date the town ’bad boy’ just to piss off daddy. As US comedian Chris Rock says - your only job as a father is to keep your daughter off the pole. But there is surely a better way of doing this that doesn’t involve emotionally blackmailing a five-year old.
The main character we met was the ball’s organiser, alpha-male fuckwit Randy Wilson. As Randy and the other fathers in this movement sat hovering over their daughters as they spouted their rehearsed purity speeches to please daddy, my skin began to crawl. Randy has seven children and he and his wife have had five miscarriages. His wife, by the way, was a weeping basket-case. Bearing in mind the poor woman’s been pregnant 11 times, she was obviously physically and emotionally worn-out and she probably doesn’t have five minutes peace where the aptly-named Randy isn’t showing her some of his good ol’, Christian lovin’.
As part of a weekly household ceremony, the children line up and Randy tells them one-by-one what they mean to him. To me, this just looked like an overly-dominant man asserting his patriarchal role in an ugly display of power. But I guess Mrs Randy must have been glad of the rutting break.
I’d be interested to know how much Randy makes from these purity balls and how much of it he gives back to the church. Having said that, the New Life Church which hosts these things, was conveniently founded by Randy himself. So who knows if he can tell the difference between the two.
‘Why! The church needs a brand-new red Camaro. Hallelujah!’
We also met Khrystian Wilson (these Americans with their whacky misspellings!) who had once been Miss Teenage Colorado and had taken one of these purity covenants herself. Being a very nice-looking girl and Miss Colorado an all, she’d obviously attracted the attention of the boys. And having had virtually no sex education, she soon found herself pregnant. She was all set to marry the boy in question until she lost the baby and they separated. Thankfully, she’s now living with a nice guy. But her mother still treats her like a fallen woman and refuses to have anything to do with her partner. Christian love and forgiveness in action.
I understand parents wanting to protect their children - particularly young daughters - from the worst excesses of our morally bankrupt and demoralised culture. But anyone knows that if you want to make something seem more appealing to teenagers – just ban it. Just ask every stripper who went to convent school. Everyone knows little girls will do anything to please their daddy. But fathers taking advantage of this fact, simply because they can’t handle the idea of their daughters growing up into sexually mature women, is pretty depressing.
Disclaimer: Having said all of that, I should confess I have previous in this area myself. With a long trail of broken relationships behind me, I’ve disillusioned so many women that a group of my ex-girlfriends have now got together and started their own nunnery. I’m thinking about opening up my own monastery nearby. This might just be the perfect relationship – I just need to convince them all to take the Mingles Pledge at my annual Monastery Ball. I’ll keep you informed of my progress.