On today's episode of Anderson Cooper's eponymous talk show, the silver haired action figure discussed the issue of father-daughter "purity balls." Specifically, is it the creepiest shit ever or what? Verdict: Yes.
Anderson invited a few guests to grace his stage, among them, a family consisting of a father in Transitions lenses stuck about two shades darker than "inside appropriate," a mother, and two daughters who have pledged their virginities to their fathers. Joining them was Randy Wilson, founder of the purity ball movement, and Jessica Valenti, author of The Purity Myth and the lone voice of reason in a big tornado of what the fuck.
Without once cracking a wry smile over the fact that "balls" can also be slang for "testicles," Wilson explains that purity balls aren't about hymens at al; they're about being a pure, whole person, and they're about dads. The balls are about dads! Were there no 15-year-olds in the audience to at least guffaw at this?
Valenti countered by asking why, then, so much of the pledge signed by girls and their fathers centered around their vaginas, and why boys aren't signing pledges to keep their shrink wrapped genitalia unbefouled until they're wed. People cheered at various moments, and Valenti managed to make her point without belittling anyone or having her head explode in frustration, which is more than what most of us would be capable of.
The Purity Myth the book and The Purity Myth the movie are both available for the reading and the watching (you can stream it online for 4 bucks, or wait for an upcoming screening), so if you haven't yet gotten your fill of the nuttery that is having a fake teenage wedding with your dad, you know where to go. There's more of the show available here.
In the meantime, let's stop focusing so much on our daughters' vaginal states as a barometer for their worth as humans. Ok?