Sir J.M. Barrie was something of a Lost Boy himself and had no daughters, which may explain why the power of story in “Peter Pan” is Lost Boys afraid of growing up to be independent, not Lost Girls whose daddies are afraid they might do the same thing if allowed to flower outside the hot house, even in their imagination.
But it seems in this century, Lost Girls too are a looming concern for civilized humankind. Not just their technical, physical purity as in ancient cultures, but also their relationship rituals and stories and dreams and knowledge and attitudes all must be carefully climate-controlled now — if not hermetically sealed.
Conservative men protect girls and women from our coarse culture, fighting for female purity and passing it from man to man throughout a daughter’s life. Purity balls are back in the news this week — just in time to juxtapose with liberal moms sounding much too much like those conservative dads, fearing Hillary Clinton’s flower of womanhood hasn’t been similarly protected and that they and their daughters will suffer for it, that it shows our coarse culture to be hostile to the Feminine.
Oh, but for the sake of today’s argument, just IGNORE this story about using the modern world’s coarseness to lure kids to church, or tell yourself it applies only to boys. 👿
“Teens are our ‘fish,” he wrote. “So we’ve become creative in baiting
. . .The alliance of popular culture and evangelism is challenging churches much as bingo games did in the 1960s. And the question fits into a rich debate about how far churches should go to reach young people.
Where were we then, before antisocial church-sponsored video games as proper patriarch training distracted us? Oh yes. . .
Is this rare agreement across the political (and sexual) spectrum, that the best answer is an elaborate separate-but-equal system of special social protections for female flowers, shielding them from a culture hostile to womanhood?
I really need to think more about this.
First, the power of story that never-never leaves my own mind, is the cultural ravaging of Terri Schiavo, that eerily media-perfect symbol of helpless, infantalized girl-womanhood. Men — her father and husband and some exceedingly creepy spokesmonk in a rope-belted robe and sandals — fought publicly and pretty coarsely against each other and the paternalistic courts (and Governor) to control her very life and death, all while her mother wept bitter tears that helped no one and saved nothing, and while her grown and married daughter never said a word, just smiled that passive, vacant smile.
Another way to tell this Lost Girl story is to remember the culture’s real disservice to Terri Schiavo started by distorting her self-image as a girl and woman who had to physically conform to public standards of girlish beauty to be loved, leading to her bulimia-inspired “ice tea diet” that caused her own story to (mercifully?) end long before the Men’s protracted battle to write her epilogue-epitaph.
Second, Hillary Clinton married a Lost Boy and did have a daughter, now well-educated and self-possessed yet still unmarried and under Momma Clinton’s fierce purity protection program in word and deed, prohibited from choosing even to speak for herself while making political speeches, even to cute little girls in public much less Men with Pens Phallic or Otherwise, and even though she’s pushing 30!
Is it still paternalism when Mom (rather than Dad) Avenger wields the sword to keep the culture and public from your daughter’s purity, or is it the same old paternalistic pantsuit just cut way wider in the hips?
The former first daughter always has been off-limits to the media, especially while she was growing up in the White House. But pressure to burst this protective bubble is likely to grow as the soon-to-be 28-year-old campaigns across the country. . .
Even a fourth-grader apparently can’t get through to the press-shy Chelsea Clinton.
And we all know what coarse public reality Chelsea needs to be protected from facing — sex!
And here’s the question Mom and Dad are likely protecting her from not being able to answer: Monica Lewinsky was someone’s daughter too and many years younger — still college-aged — but was publicly called “that woman” in the same sentence with the word “sex” by Chelsea’s dad (God knows what Chelsea’s mom called young Monica!) Daddy Clinton wasn’t too worried back then, about staying pure for his daughter, when she actually was a young girl who arguably needed her dad’s example and focus on his family, his stalwart commitment to moral purity, not just for her but for himself.
“Fathers, our daughters are waiting for us,” Mr. Wilson, 49, told the men. “They are desperately waiting for us in a culture that lures them into the murky waters of exploitation. They need to be rescued by you, their dad.”
. . .“I promise to God and myself and my family that I will stay pure in my thoughts and actions until I marry,” said Katie Swindler, 16.
(Wait — why would her thoughts and actions stop being pure when she marries? Is this a young girl’s lack of worldly understanding and ability to reason, or more a revealing reflection of the true message being received by these girls, about knowledge and sex and thinking for themselves, about their worth and purpose as females at any age?)
Every half-hour, Mr. Wilson stopped the dancing so that fathers could bless their daughters before everyone.
I know the feeling. I’m tempted to stop every half-hour and bless Favorite Daughter before everyone! She is both pure and worldly, flowering in abundance, young and fresh even as she is wise and very grown-up, feminine and unfettered, strong and beautiful, knowledgeable and whimsical, happy and unafraid. Her perspectives on power of story at 18 leave me in awe. 🙂
Except my parenting really is about HER and not me, about who she’s become and how she’s already grown up enough to understand and embrace all the stories. It seems to me the only thing Parents of Daughters have to fear about NeverLand is the Never-Never part itself. Truly, daughters aren’t Lost Girls at any age unless that’s the story we write them into.