Dads Giving 'Promise' Rings to Daughters Are More Creepy Than Sweet

Ewww! 31

promise ringI'd be lying if I didn't admit that I get a little creeped out when people talk about my husband like he's supposed to be the last barrier between some teenage boy and my daughter's purity. Why is my daughter's virginity anyone's business but her own? Just because he's her father doesn't give him any more ownership of her body than any other guy, right? If you answered that with an affirmative, then get ready to be officially creeped out by the hot new "purity ring" sweeping Pinterest.

The ring (note: not the one seen above) is actually pretty cute -- it's in the shape of a crown, with little diamond-type chips. But the meaning behind it is anything but cute.

According to the listing that's garnered more than 200 "repins" and some 85 likes, that little crown has a pretty creepy back story:

A Father gives his daughter this ring for her 16th birthday (when dating is officially allowed) to wear on her left ring finger—to remind her that she will always be HIS little Princess first— and to remind her to only date boys who will treat her like a Queen—the way her Heavenly Father sees her!!

The ladies over at Jezebel already have the vomit-inducing nature of the ring covered, but what they didn't really address was the message behind it.

You know, the one where a dad tells his daughter that she's his property? Basically, this ring -- and the whole "daddy's little princess" culture -- tells girls that they are mere property to be transferred from one man to another when the time comes.

Please, for the love of everything that is holy, can we drop this patriarchal BS, now?

It may sound sweet for a Dad to be telling his daughter that she's his princess. It may even sound like there's a positive message in telling your daughter she should be treated like a queen.

More From The Stir: How 'Purity Culture' Pressured Me Into Becoming a Teen Bride

Unfortunately, the sweetness is undermined by the message that a girl's really supposed to listen to Daddy because he's master of her fate.

When you tell your daughter that she "belongs" to you, you're taking away her sense of self and setting her up for a lifetime of disaster. Without ownership of herself, she has no self-determination, no self-esteem ... no power.

What, really, does that give a girl to look forward to? Escaping Daddy's iron fist only to have her husband take over telling her what to do and when to do it?

Sorry, but that's not a message I want my daughter hearing. Fortunately, it's not one my husband is interested in sharing with her.

How about you? How do you feel about dads giving their daughter purity rings with this message?


Image via ilovebutter/Flickr

dating, puberty


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Rebec... Rebecca7708

I think you are reading way too much into it.

Eddie... EddiesMama1983

Right because a girl doesn't become a woman until she has an abortion and 5 STDs.

Eddie... EddiesMama1983

BTW, a promise ring doesn't mean the girl is property to anyone. It's just a reminder that virginity is valued- a concept that goes over the mind of the most of the writers on this silly blog.

Hallis Bridger

Why is it ONLY girls, and not guys? Sexist gender roles! A woman's purity is her worth, but no such standard applies to men. That is why I detest purity rings. I also don't like that they cast women as people who need to be protected with the iron fist of a man, rather than independent beings who can make their own rational choices.

Katha... Katharine205

Wow, this is really awful.  The whole "Daddy's girl" thing isn't because she's his property, it's because he loves his daughter and cares for her and wants to protect her, including her honor.  A father should be protective over his daughter, that's his job.  My father was always protective over me, hell I'm 30 years old and he STILL is.  I never once felt like a piece of property, I felt like a cherished daughter which is exactly how a father should make his daughter feel, and later on her husband should cherish her as well.

Hallis Bridger

There's no "value" of virginity. That is a sexist, archaic mindset that makes women commodities. Having sex doesn't change someone any more than baking an apple pie for the first time.

kisse... kisses5050

I have seen boys wearing "purity" rings.


Katha... Katharine205

Actually there is value in virginity and it does change someone.

Tracey Plummer

Katharine, she doesn't get it, because the "value" isn't monetary.


Todd Vrancic

Gods above, a person's virginity is her own or his own business.  I would never imply that any of my kids were less valuable as a person because they were sexually active.

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