by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace
All images by Cindy Kunsman from Under Much Grace and used with permission.
Originally posted at Under Much Grace May 2014
A few days ago, I happened to see some new photos of fathers and daughters at purity balls by photographer David Magnusson from his book on the subject that will be available later this year. The portraits were featured on several online sites, but despite the “colorful” language of vulgarity in the commentary, this site shows more of the pictures in an easy-to-view format. Some of th look like the dads are getting ready to lead their girls off to the slaughter, or perhaps they were on their way to a funeral. Some of them actually remind me of a sick version of American Gothic, primarily because the poses don’t look anything like ones that I find appropriate for fathers and daughters. I also can’t get beyond why they all look so morbid in their expressions. ??? I’m also noted for my strong opinion about the depiction of such a ritual in Courageous, a Quiverfull Movement indoctrination film.
What about taking a daughter out with her family on her birthday every year or perhaps serving a formal meal at home when money is tight? Isn’t that just as good of an opportunity to demonstrate how a young woman should be honored? In Christian school, we had a graduation banquet that older students could attend – something that seemed to serve the same purpose as a prom. We also dressed up in formal dress for commencement which the whole school attended. It seemed that there were plenty of opportunities for nice events. It never seemed to me that communicating good behavior under such circumstances was that difficult.
Regarding some of these rituals in patriarchy, I often ask, “Why do they need a parade?” Do they really need a parade?
Cynthia Mullen Kunsman is a nurse (BSN), naturopath (ND) and seminary graduate (MMin) with a wide variety of training and over 20 years of clinical experience. She has used her training in Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a lecturer and liaison to professional scientific and medical groups, in both academic and traditional clinical healthcare settings. She also completed additional studies in the field of thought reform, hypnotherapy for pain management, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that is often associated with cultic group involvement. Her nursing experience ranges from intensive care, the training of critical care nurses, hospice care, case management and quality management, though she currently limits her practice to forensic medical record review and evaluation. Most of her current professional efforts concern the study of manipulative and coercive evangelical Christian groups and the recovery process from both thought reform and PTSD.
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