American Taliban: A Colorado public school district is caught promoting a creepy Christian purity event that teaches girls as young as 11 that they must remain “pure” until they find a husband.
Recently the parents of children attending Colorado’s Mesa Valley School District 51 got a flyer in their email inboxes advertising a Christian purity-based course targeting girls. The course, a Christian Bible study event called “Wake Up Sleeping Beauty: Worship at His Feet,” focuses on teaching adolescent girls to retain their virginity until they are married.
The unsolicited flier sent to parents via the public school district email contains white text overlaid on a pink silhouette of a girl’s face that says:
As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. Luke 7:38.
In addition, a creepy video advertising the event shows a father leering at his daughter as the narrator urges fathers to sign their daughters up for the training, noting:
Your little princess is so much more than just a pretty face. Protect her purity and teach her about true beauty.
Many parents found the advertisement for a Christian religious event targeting young girls alarming, and complained to the school district. In particular, many parents found the imagery from the flier quite disturbing. One parent said:
The idea of a woman or girl (‘she’) crying at a man’s feet, then using her hair to wash his feet, then kissing his feet, seems pretty demeaning to me. Apparently the irony of this imagery used to promote an event which purports to strengthen or support girls/women is lost on all involved.
Having reviewed the flyer and KHB-R per your request, we do not find that the flyer promotes a religious organization or demeans a person or group on the basis of gender.
Smith’s statement is false. The flier is clearly promoting a religious organization, and the advertisement is clearly demeaning to women and girls.
The imagery of a female humiliating herself at the feet of any male figure is disgusting. And the fact there is no corresponding purity training for boys only reinforces the notion that this event, no matter how well intentioned, simply reinforces stereotypes imbued with misogyny, while tacitly promoting rape culture.
Bottom line: Colorado’s Mesa Valley School District 51 was wrong to promote this backward and sexist religious training targeting young girls. The district should apologize, retract the email, and promise to be more vigilant in the future.
(H/T Anne Landman’s Blog)