I was reading the reviews at Amazon and came across one about the book The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS by Elizabeth Pisani that I found rather interesting.
Pisani has no patience for distraction, a major one being that AIDS is a gender / development / poverty issue. Pisani shows that this liberal idea, favored by a lot of NGOs and UN agencies and other donors is a distraction. First, it's a distraction because first, you may have the causality wrong (AIDS causes development / gender issues rather than the other way around), second, as shown in the book, even in Africa, that's not always the case, and third, because, again, that gets in the way of common sense prevention which should be the main focus, along with treatment for the already infected population. But again, focusing on women and children makes the AIDS issue more palatable to donors than those filthy whores, junkies and fags, so, Pisani and her colleagues at the AIDS Mafia, as she calls them, played that game too. After all, once you have the money, you can still get stuff done.The term Virginity Ball is a new one to me and I was imagining some kind of modern day chastity belt. But that is not at all what Virginity Balls are about. So let us take a look at the wiki and see if we can learn something.
And, of course, I particularly enjoyed the chapter blasting the Bush administration and its faith-based initiatives and PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). Although she does credit the Bush administration for putting money on the table, Pisani makes mince meat of the Bush and his religious nuts crowd for their hypocrisy and nonsensical attitude. She deals swiftly with Virginity Pledges and the creepy Virginity Balls and the whole family values crowd.
A purity ball (also known as a father-daughter purity ball or purity wedding) is a formal event attended by fathers and their daughters. Purity balls promote virginity until marriage for teenage girls, and are often closely associated with U.S. Christian churches, particularly fundamentalist churches. Typically, daughters who attend make a virginity pledge; a pledge to remain sexually abstinent until marriage. Fathers who attend pledge to protect what they view as their young daughters' "purity" of mind, body and soul. Proponents promote a strong father-daughter relationship as a means to affirm what they consider to constitute spiritual and physical "purity".Well that is a little strange. Unless you know that the tree of knowledge that the serpent enticed Adam and Eve to eat from was not an apple tree. It was a fig tree. And what is that symbolism about? The fig looks like the genitalia of some females. Funny thing is that Eve ate the fig first. Kinky girl. Or as the cruder males among us might say. "Lesbians. Wooo Hooo!" But you know that Adam had to be one popular guy. He ate figs.
The meaning is reinforced by two of the Ten Commandments. Commandment Seven says, "Do not commit adultery." And that is further reinforced by Commandment Ten, "Do not covet your neighbor's wife."
So what is the meaning of all this? I think the Biblical context is that carnal knowledge can lead to social and ultimately physical disaster for nomadic tribes living on the margin. One social mistake - arousal of jealousy for instance - can destroy tribal unity and lead to starvation and/or murder. And in those days the rape of a daughter or even consensual - but unapproved sex - can destroy the tribal harmony necessary for survival. Daughters were property (even more so than male children) and needed to be protected to maintain their value. In cases of rape a traumatized daughter is going to be a large burden on the tribe and not an asset. Which is why cultures that are not far from the tribal state still do things like honor killings of raped females. The woman is officially made as guilty as the rapists because there was not enough wealth to deal with even potential problems. Harsh law. To go along with the harsh necessities of survival on the margins.
The thing is. We no longer (most of us any way) live on the margins. We can carry a lot of dead weight without catastrophic harm to our economics (just look at our government for proof of that. Although the new guy looks to be doing his best to introduce catastrophe). So the rules were changed (slowly). Murder for adultery was no longer necessary for tribal and intertribal harmony. Cities had different advantageous rule sets than those required for nomadic tribes. The first harbinger of that cultural change came some 2000 years ago. It seems nuts to go back to the old ways where the tribe was more important than the individual.
So the Purity Balls seem to be a throwback. However, you also have to consider genetics. Culture can change rather rapidly (a few hundred years even in times of slow communications) while genetics takes longer. And the rule of genetics is that humans are "designed" to get their genes reproduced. And having strange men impregnate your wife is not conducive to that. We see the remnants of that in our laws which consider catching a guy with your wife grounds for leniency in murder cases. Our genes are the product of many millenia of killing rapists and adulterers. And until our genes change enough there will be pockets of culture that are throwbacks to distant ages.
Cross Posted at Classical Values