I've never been to or even heard of a 'purity ball' until I read this:
"Okay, I'm all for purity and crap like that. Kids, including high school kids, should not be having sex for too many reasons to go into. But things like this are very odd to me. Purity balls are where a father pledges to fight for his daughter's virtue and the girl pledges to her father to keep her virginity until marriage. WTF with making a formal gala out of it? What ever happened to keeping your personal stuff, personal? And your father doesn't own your vagina, so why are you pledging to him? I thought this was a promise to God or yourself. Also, what is this glaring double standard? It's nice and all that you want to keep your daughter pure, but girls don't have sex with themselves. Uhm...well, you know what I mean. What about the boy's purity balls? Okay, that didn't sound right, but you know what I mean there too. Stop putting on the pressure to be virtuous on the girls and stop making a public display of your sexual values." — Angela Winters, black moderate blogger
When I was a single rogue, I would target Angela for down low action. Between you and I, there is nothing like a girl with daddy issues to be a target of seduction. See if her vagina belongs to her, what's she going to do with it? If you're not going to use it and nobody else is, you shouldn't mind if I borrow it for a couple hours a week. Vagina as property. There are so many schemes built on that premise that all the Teddy Pendergrasses in all of the languages of every era couldn't put it to music. But let's get down to cases, shall we?
First things first. The boy's purity ball is the baseball bat in the girl's father's hands. And when pops is sloppy, it's the law. You may have noticed that in the history of the world there have been very few laws on the books that protect men from the sexual predation of women. Sooner or later you people are going to get it, we're not the same. Women need some things. Men need different things. The reason marriage works is because it's a negotiated settlement.
"Making a public display of sexual values" is what everybody does every day when we put on clothing. From an aliens'-eye view of humanity we're just procreating machines are we not?
What I really want to say in all this is that I think it's a very healthy thing to make social events and publicly ritualize values. A purity ball is a good thing for the very same reasons a big church wedding is a good thing. The underlying values are good and the symbolism that it communicates is important. We should do things which underline the value of marrying well which is a phrase I'd like to hear a bit more often in our society.
I read something rather funny in the past few weeks. The guy says "Don't marry for money. Hang around rich girls and marry for love." I can tell you that my folks' advice about marriage could fit inside a box of crackers. A small box.
I was also never the type to go to a lot of weddings as a young single man. I might go as far as to say that I was largely a stranger to the world of weddings. I understood that I wanted to be married, but I spent a great deal of time in pursuit of the woman and not the wedding. I can't say out loud that it was a mistake but it certainly did shape the way most of my single life went. It wasn't until after 30 that I took 'dating' seriously - that is to say it was only in the context of marriage that my single life began to assume a more rational shape. At that particular time in my life I vowed to myself that I wanted to restrain myself from breaking hearts and that I would not kiss any woman that I couldn't see myself marrying. What changed dramatically was the frequency with which I could find and deal with women. It made me more honest and I could break off relationships before they became 'entanglements' which although I managed myself fairly well before, made a very important difference for me and the women as well.
If I haven't said it before, I think there's something radically wrong with boyfriends or girlfriends that hang around in 'relationships' for years although I will admit that it's more radically wrong for young people. I think that the idea that marriage offers nothing more is the primary cause for the preponderance of these strange affairs, and yes I want to get into that from my own arrogant perspective. Although I don't listen to morning radio I've heard enough of the advice shows to know that there's a big market out there for 'relationships'. Me, I like Lykis and Dr. Laura. They are on different sides of the same coin. Lykis slams young people who slide down the slippery slope of live-in relationships and Laura slams wedded people who can't keep their heads on straight about the rules and the consequence of breaking them. Both are in their own way very pro-marriage. They establish a high standard by debunking every half-assed and failing relationship that people rationalize their ways into.
In my defense of marriage and these standards I do not do so to revile those who don't. I will talk smack about you just as I would people who have no sense of style. I will cop a superior attitude when it suits me. I may be above making anything out of it, but I am not above thinking it and I do believe it's reasonable to make social hay out of such. Still there is the formal definition of hubris which is the arrogance to punish people who are already failing. This is what I don't do. I note the failure and I move on. You will notice at Cobb that I don't spend a lot of time talking about relationships and all that. But in this regard, that is to say the extent to which respect for marriage itself and the actions required in preparation for marrying well affect the behavior of single men and women, I do think there is much to be said.
I'm not sure how much causality there is in marrying well when it comes to the Old School project. It's certainly significant but I don't know how much. So I'm not sure whether it's a big deal to talk about it politically.