Posts Tagged ‘Cutting Edge’

The Virgin Daughters

September 30, 2008

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.

Cutting Edge – Cotton Wool Kids

April 11, 2008

Cotton Wool Kid

Last night’s Cotton Wool Kids illustrated, with sickening clarity, modern parents’ obsession with keeping thier children safe from alleged ‘harm’. In the space of one generation, we have gone from allowing little people the freedom to explore and learn about the world on their own terms (something parents have successfully let their offspring do for, oh, three hundred and fifty thousand years), to locking them away and keeping them safe from the supposed dangers of the outside world.

Whereas you or I took it as read that we could come and go as we please from a very early age, a lot of children today are kept prisoner in case a paedophile gets them, or they’re run over, or they hurt themselves, or a million and one other supposed threats. That this is palpably nonsense holds no sway with a lot of today’s parents and it certainly held no sway with the parents in the film.

For instance, there was the father so paranoid that his little girl might come to harm that he spent his life pointing out to her how dangerous everything in her environment was. She, being about six, had a young and malleable mind and took in this man’s preposterous nonsense as if it was gospel truth.

“What did Humpty Dumpty do?” he asked her at one point.

“He fell off the wall and hurt himself,” she replied.

“And that’s why you shouldn’t sit on walls, isn’t it daddy? You might hurt yourself.”

“That’s right,” this creature replied, “you shouldn’t sit on walls. Good girl.”

The same girl was later seen walking round her back garden pointing at various bits and bobs and then pointing out the many and various ways they could hurt her. As a result, she was brainwashed into thinking everything in the world was dangerous. Nice work there, pops.

Then there was the disgusting ‘mother’ who taught her children that the world wasn’t a safe place to be because it was full of monsters. Wandering through a supermarket car park, she explained to her children that any of the people around her could be potential child-molesters. Pointing at a security guard, the children wondered if he could be a child molester.

“He could be,” this irresponsible harridan replied.

So that teaches her kids to interract correctly with adults (run away, they’re all kiddie fiddlers) and respect authority (don’t listen to them, run away, they’re probably paedos), then.

Or how’s about the Egyptian dad who wouldn’t allow his fat son (fat because he spends his entire life locked away inside) to catch the bus with his school friends in case he was snatched by a slobbering paedophile? This boy wasn’t three, he was thirteen. I’ll say that again – thirteen! This poor, sheltered, obese boy was driven everywhere by his father, never allowed to leave the house on his own. Thanks to galloping paranoia, the poor little sod spent his entire summer holiday indoors. Can you imagine that? Six weeks that should be filled with bike rides, flowering teenage crushes, lazy days by the river, and potential train-derailment attempts in the company of your contemporaries, instead taken up with enforced imprisonment with only a Nintendo Wii for company? Christ, I’d have murdered my parents if they’d thought they had the right to do that to me.

What came across strongest in Cotton Wool Kids was just how deperately lonely and afraid these children had been brought up to be. They were haunted, unsure, weird, un-kids – their lives of confinement leaving them socially incapable and just as paranoid and scared as their idiot parents. One little girl, when asked if she’d like to be let out on her own, was wide-eyed at the prospect,

“What? Outside? On my own? Like I was FREE?”

It was desperately, desperately sad.

I’ve ranted about the child as prisoner concept on my own blog before, so nothing surprised me about Cotton Wool Kids. I wasn’t surprised when a child said she ‘played tennis with her friends’, and she then went on to explain it was Wii Tennis. I wasn’t surprised that the parents used the excuse that ‘things are different these days’, when facts point out that they are exactly the same as they were in 1988. I wasn’t surprised when the father of the fat thirteen year old wouldn’t allow his son to go away for five days to another house with equally paranoid parents ‘in case something happened to him’. I wasn’t surprised by this, I was just saddened for the children, and enraged by the behaviour of the parents.

If you get the chance to watch a repeat of this show, then don’t be surprised if you spend an hour hurling abuse at the TV. if you watch it, and you’ve got a cotton wool kid of your own, and you don’t immediately throw them out and tell them not to come back until they’re covered from head-to-toe in mud, then shame on you, you’re destroying their childhood.