FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Covering

by

I need to come clean after reading an article, “Striking Portraits of Fathers and the Daughters Whose Virginity They’ve Pledged to Protect”, that abutted a memory—one sending me on an expedition, opening boxes, to find the baby book my mother wrote in until I was 20. I was looking for a particular entry:

Missy, you and Laura had the WCTU White Ribbon tied on you at Mrs. Phil Foster’s annual meeting. With this White Ribbon you are pledged ‘I promise, God helping me, not to buy, give, drink or sell alcohol, while I live. From all tobacco, I’ll abstain and never take God’s name in vain.’ I hope and pray you will let this pledge become a guiding light in your life.

I was three when I took this oath. And it was semi-effective. I kept that pledge for about nine years—until my two best friends and I smoked a pack of cigarettes one hot summer afternoon.

Sorry, Mother, I say, glancing out at the sunlight. There’s not one no-no in that pledge I haven’t violated, even selling alcohol, since I order by the case to share with Laura and accept money from her when she takes her six bottles.

But back to that article. The portraits appearing with the piece are among those taken by photographer David Magnusson for his book Purity and show daddies and their daughters, girls in dresses (some dresses resembling wedding gowns), fathers in suits or military uniform with their arms wrapped around their girls, holding them close, feeling their hips, a pair of daddy hands placed precariously close to a daughter’s virginitalia. Eww, this is soooooooooo creepy.

Plus, the author mentions purity balls. I had a visual before realizing those balls are proms. Then I hit Google to learn more about the bashes.

My, my, this is a national movement, now in 48 states. The big night includes a dinner, a dance, lots of mansplainin’ about the necessity for chastity, entertainment, the pledge—a pledge that may differ among the many groups, but here’s an example:

I, (daughter’s name)’s father, choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity. I will be pure in my own life as a man, husband and father. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and pray over my daughter and my family as the high priest in my home. This covering will be used by God to influence generations to come.

It’s obedience training. And what’s with ‘covering’? Never mind. I just read that it means ‘which authority are you submitted to.’ That this doctrine is based on misinterpreted biblical texts, “misapplied and misconstrued.” And it “continues to grow in the fertile soil of the charismatic movement given its anti-intellectual and anti-scholarly bias.”

Submission is mandated, formalized during the ceremony. There’s a touching (literally) moment when the daddies form a circle around the girls and place their hands on their daughters, “praying for purity of mind, body, and soul … “

Moving back to the other site, I saw “What about Boys” and clicked, because I was under the impression that this was all about daddies and their daughters. Wrong. Boys have a manhood service, when they’re 12. Called Brave Heart of a Warrior, it’s imbued with—what else? Warrior symbols. Onward Christian soldiers.

Now, get a load of this: Although most of the girls are at the age of menstruation, they can be as young as four when their Daddies pledge to protect to control their fresh flesh and they in turn agree to remain chaste until marriage. I guess the tykes know about as much as I did at that White Ribbon ritual.

If God didn’t want Daddy to protect his daughter from her boyfriend’s penis HE wouldn’t have called it menstruation.

The distillate is that the value of a female human being hinges on an intact hymen, so much so that Daddy’s the hymen keeper.

If God didn’t want Daddy to protect his daughter from her boyfriend’s penis, HE wouldn’t have called it a hymen.

It’s the father’s right to choose for his daughter, because she’s a mindless, delicate XX chromo requiring the powerfully strong XY to make important decisions about her body. (God/Daddy forbid she’s a lesbian.)

And those portraits—they really send icky, skin crawling vibes. Whew, I need a hot, soapy shower. Feel as if I’ve watched some reality TV show called Daddy Does Daughter. While the young males prepare for war and the day that they too can pledge to protect their daughters’ virginitalia.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 26, 2017
William Hawes – Jason Holland
Lies That Capitalists Tell Us
Chairman Brandon Sazue
Out of the Shadow of Custer: Zinke Proves He’s No “Champion” of Indian Country With his Grizzly Lies
Patrick Cockburn
Grenfell Tower: the Tragic Price of the Rolled-Back Stat
Joseph Mangano
Tritium: Toxic Tip of the Nuclear Iceberg
Ray McGovern
Hersh’s Big Scoop: Bad Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack
Roy Eidelson
Heart of Darkness: Observations on a Torture Notebook
Geoff Beckman
Why Democrats Lose: the Case of Jon Ossoff
Matthew Stevenson
Travels Around Trump’s America
David Macaray
Law Enforcement’s Dirty Little Secret
Colin Todhunter
Future Shock: Imagining India
Yoav Litvin
Animals at the Roger Waters Concert
Binoy Kampmark
Pride in San Francisco
Stansfield Smith
North Koreans in South Korea Face Imprisonment for Wanting to Return Home
Hamid Yazdan Panah
Remembering Native American Civil Rights Pioneer, Lehman Brightman
James Porteous
Seventeen-Year-Old Nabra Hassanen Was Murdered
Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castile’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
Gregory Barrett
“Realpolitik” in Berlin: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger
Louis Yako
The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq
Graham Peebles
Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Ezra Rosser
The Poverty State of Mind and the State’s Obligations to the Poor
Ron Jacobs
Andrew Jackson and the American Psyche
Pepe Escobar
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Andre Vltchek
Why I Reject Western Courts and Justice
Lawrence Davidson
On Hidden Cultural Corruptors
Christopher Brauchli
The Routinization of Mass Shootings in America
Missy Comley Beattie
The Poor Need Not Apply
Martin Billheimer
White Man’s Country and the Iron Room
Joseph Natoli
What to Wonder Now
Tom Clifford
Hong Kong: the Chinese Meant Business
Thomas Knapp
The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences
Nyla Ali Khan
Borders Versus Memory
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail