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

Ewww! 33

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.

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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