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Friday, June 22, 2007

I find this case - a girl who's taking her school to court for the right to wear a so-called purity ring - profoundly annoying.

The girl argues that the ring - which is supposed to remind her to stay "sexually pure" - is a religious item, so she should therefore be allowed to wear it, in the same way that a Sikh would be allowed to wear a turban or a Muslim woman a headscarf.

To which I say (and isn't it a pity that I'm not a High Court judge)...

This whole thing is moronic.

I heard Lydia Playfoot (the girl in question) on the radio this morning, and she was arguing that she needs to wear the ring because she "follows the bible". Well, as far as I'm aware, it doesn't say anywhere in the bible that wearing a rather tacky looking silver ring is key to being a practising Christian.

And why the need for a constant reminder to stay pure anyway? If she takes the ring off, will she be unable to control her sexual urges entirely? Will she leap upon her fellow students in the maths class, for instance? If so, yes, by all means, please do keep the ring on. If not, could it be that the ring is more of an evangelical tool than a purity aid? Could it be that her pastor father has had some influence in her desire to bring this case to the high court?

Plus, of course, aside from my general distaste for religious fundamentalism (whether it's Christian, Muslim, or any other religion) there's the whole issue of how useful abstinence-based programs actually are in curbing teen pregnancy rates and sexually transmitted diseases. Lydia says that it's important she continues to wear the ring because so many teens are acquiring STDs and falling pregnant, but I suspect - and this study bears this out - that a teen who is relying on their religious faith to stop them having sex is not going to use any protection if they do end up getting carried away in the heat of the moment.

I'll be interested to see how this plays out. And I must say, I think I'll lose a bit of faith in Britain's sanity if the courts rule in her favour.


chris said...

I laughed out loud at the thought of her leaping upon her fellow students during math class.

But why is she not allowed to wear a ring? Is there an anti jewelry rule at school?

Maddy said...

Hmmm plenty of fodder for thought there ... I don't see what’s wrong with just wearing a ring as long as it's not endangering the girl’s life. We have much of the same arguing over religious crap going on here. Should girls be allowed to wear their scarfs to school, bans on hair gel and any form of individuality is BARRED.

Who cares really as long as the children are safe, happy and getting a good education.

It sounds like the UK and Aus have these problems in common.

Anonymous said...

I don't see why she can't wear it, though I don't see why it had to be announced that it was that type of ring. Some things can just be kept quiet/private. I think too - regardless of what her father does, anyone can bring whatever they want to the courts. Yes, it's a *waste* all the time taken on so many of these things, but it is what it is, and all people should have the same rights.

biz :-)

Annalise said...

Chris, yes, there's an anti-jewellery rule at her school. (Which she knew about when she enrolled...)

Anna said...

enrol at a school which has a uniform policy and yes, you do have to deal with it.

go elsewhere if it isn't in tune with your infinite. simple as that.

I've never had a problem with hair gel in Australia.

Anonymous said...

"Bangles" were mentioned and if this is true then yes, she should be able to wear jewelry too...granted, this was mentioned by her so who kows...only because if exceptions are being made for one group it should be made for others too (even secular!) BUT

I too find it (the whole concept)incredibly moronic and backwards and scary.

Moronoic for your same reasons (you already said it in a funnier way-LOL). Backwards because the last thing new generatios of young women need is more of the fricken patriarchy telling them they are not "pure" or "worthy" or simply having that much control over them. (there is more to this but I can't COMPLETELY hijack your comments!). Scary because among many of the other messages it sends (I, by the way, agree...I don't think they would be ready to protect themselves when the time comes and many will not wait) is that the rest of us who did have sex BEFORE marriane (not even nec. young...but simply didn't WAIT) are somehow flawed. I know many will disagree but this is not the first case I've read about this and believe me...this trend makes my skin crawl...I thought we were much more ahead in EMPOWERING our girls to make good decisions for themselves and not have to continue propagating this idea that they will be pure and wholesome only if they wait 'till the marriage bed and/or that men should expect a virgin when they marry! UGH!!!
Sorry sweetie...I don't post much for years and then I come and hijack your page!LOL

Angela C (Eos)