December 29, 2012

"Boyfriend Bears is a non-profit organization that encourages pre-teen and teenage girls to live a life of purity."

"Our bears serve as a reminder that we promote purity to be a lifestyle. Boyfriend Bears provides the opportunity for girls to make a stand for what they believe in and to stay strong in their morals."

Via Metafilter. Sample comments from there:
"It's like Japanese body pillow girlfriends, but not as creepy, because it's pure."

"This is what killed Timothy Treadwell."

"Wow, that part about writing letters to your future husband, tucking it into a special pocket in the teddy bear and then giving them to him on your wedding day...that squicked me out."

"Does this mean the purity rings are not working?"

65 comments:

Chef Mojo said...

I thought Boyfriend Bears was an Andrew Sullivan thing.

Or is that bear boyfriends?

Phil 3:14 said...

What an intriguing juxtaposition of the last two posts.

The traditional Indian alternative to "Boyfriend Bears".

Phil 3:14 said...

What an intriguing juxtaposition of the last two posts.

The traditional Indian alternative to "Boyfriend Bears".

Erika said...

Yes, it sounds stupid, but not as stupid as the people who mock encouraging teenagers to wait to have sex.

AprilApple said...

Erika- Agreed.
Cultural rot is everywhere. I see the rot is unable to leave the push-back alone.

dbp said...

It seems trite, sure. But then it is aimed at teen aged girls so it may be more a feature than a bug. The important thing is, does it work?

Paco Wové said...

Althouse, aren't you getting a bit too... evolved for places like Metafilter?

SGT Ted said...

If it works for some, why is it a problem?

Why is any call for sexual restraint ever mocked, given we live in the age of AIDS and single parent and child poverty?

There are plenty of non-prudish reasons to exercise sexual restraint, mostly having to do with personal responsibility and the potential for negative economic impact on ones life.

I think some people object to such ideas being advocated because they are hoping to score some trim and such messages might cut down on their odds.

Richard Dolan said...

It's odd how ancient taboos keep reaching out over the centuries like this. The link between purity of being and abstention from sex goes back long before the Vestal Virgins, and despite the vast changes over time, is still with us. Perhaps it still even serves some vestige of its original social purpose. Whether that worth celebrating is another matter.

Faustina said...

I don't care for the idea that you are impure unless you're a virgin. It hurts people who didn't have a choice, i.e. rape and incest victims, and it messes with people's heads in a bad way. Somehow the 'sex is bad' button doesn't disappear the second you're married.

Renee said...

Awkward!

It was one thing if a women choose to wear a purity ring, but they had these awkward ceremonies where the father placed the ring on his daughter's finger.

My daughter and sons are their own persons, I have to teach them about being responsible to heart and mind as well to her body. A 'boyfriend bear' doesn't teach her anything. I might teach them a skill or hobby, until they meet the right person.

I'm married. I'm monogamous. I don't let my mind or heart stray, and I do it without a bear or a ring for that matter, because I rarely wear except for special occasion.

I don't describe myself of being pure, never have and never will.

I think relationship dating/engagement are too long in our culture. I don't know how people just date forever and have a two year engagement. Or think this is the person they should be marrying, because they've been together for three years. I could of lasted a long time with some of my ex-boyfriends, and it would of just ended up in a divorce.

If you know it's the person, marry them. If not move on already.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Pretty strange stuff. Is there a reason you found it interesting enough to post?

Mark said...

Agree with Faustina. This seems like a ain't of the abstinence only moment.

I great up in the 80's when "just say no" failed to convince us. Talking to kids is a false way will never teach them the true reasons to follow their advice.

There are great, valid, important reasons not to have sex in high-school. This does not address them, it talks down to kids and infantalizes them. Getting in the back seat with football Johnny is actually empowering in comparison with being treated as a 12 year old.

Mark said...

Agree with Faustina. This seems like a ain't of the abstinence only moment.

I great up in the 80's when "just say no" failed to convince us. Talking to kids is a false way will never teach them the true reasons to follow their advice.

There are great, valid, important reasons not to have sex in high-school. This does not address them, it talks down to kids and infantalizes them. Getting in the back seat with football Johnny is actually empowering in comparison with being treated as a 12 year old.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

To clarify, the debased part is where these conservatives keep getting male "sponsors" to vouch for a woman's sexual status. What the hell is such a thing any concern of some other guy, with whom no sexual relationship is at stake? Fathers, even, you used to have joining these twisted rituals. Using random males to assist in this bizarre "role" doesn't make it any less strange or perverse.

Just put her vagina under 24-hour surveillance with all the cameras modern technology can offer or just give it up (so to speak) and stop obsessing over the "Sexual status of a woman you're not having sex with" bullshit.

Perverts.

Kelly said...

I don't understand a society that puts down attempts at encouraging girls to " remain pure". Somehow, me and my two sisters managed to abstain during high school and even a little beyond, my 23 year old daughter managed it and I have high hopes for my fourteen year old daughter. My female cousins also abstained.

I guess our choice was made (at least in part) through family influence, not that I ever remember receiving "the talk" that is so important now and that I had with my own girls. Basically I've always given a matter of fact run down of the basics of sex with my own girls, and stressed that no one in our family has ever gotten pregnant out of wedlock and they weren't going to break that tradition.

It makes me laugh that we think kids can't control their sexual urges so we have to provide them with condom dispensers in high schools. You know, kids are going to drink and smoke weed, why not provide them with that as well? Why have a drinking age of 21?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Kelly - no one cares about your abstinence.

But please tell me why we should. I'm dying to know. I just can't help myself. NEED... TO... KNOW... WHY... KELLY'S... SEX... HABITS... MATTER... TO... ANYONE...

I'm going to burst.

Seriously, though. Why does anyone need to give a fuck?

Renee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renee said...

"Basically I've always given a matter of fact run down of the basics of sex with my own girls, and stressed that no one in our family has ever gotten pregnant out of wedlock and they weren't going to break that tradition."

And what if one of them did? Would you send your daughter away? Accept the child, the mother, and the father? Force a marriage, even if they relationship wasn't healthy?

How many good girls are forced to give up their babies or an get abortion, for the sake of their family's reputation.

I know the fallout of children without fathers very well, but adoption/abortion never was the answer.

Ladies and gentleman choose your sexual partners wisely, because fighting over custody and dealing with false restraining orders isn't the answer either.

EMD said...

What ever happened to good old shaming?

Or a trip to the convent?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

"Shame" only works when you can perpetuate ignorance about that which is considered "shameful", EMD.

At some point you might have to get over the fact that hundreds of millions of unmarried women have had premarital sex, found that there really weren't any necessarily, devastatingly harsh natural, emotional consequences, and accordingly proceeded the way any normal person would: Taking the experiences for what they were.

But as a conservative you are disturbed by the idea that your Special Man Sperm would be denied their due consideration. So you invent the idea that their fate, post-coitus, might go unknown is so shocking a prospect, that you devise the most desperate of projects for women to undertake in order to avoid that manufactured anguish.

Craig Landon said...

Parents exist to not only train kids to take the right shot at the right time, but also how to immediately position for the possible rebound to give themselves another chance.

Coaches are different, but not to stress best practices while anticipating likely possibilities is a failure of imagination.

toffelnigar said...

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Renee said...

EMD, Convents are awesome. Don't dis convents.

Shouting Thomas said...

I am interested in hearing about Kelley's views on abstinence. Minus one for Ritmo the Racist.

When do you trot out your army of fantasized black soldiers to array in front of you, Ritmo the Racist? Gotta be a way to get that in this post.

You are not going to need an abortion, Ritmo the Racist, so why are you always carrying on about that shit?

Nobody wants to fuck you either, and braying about this shit won't change that. The problem is that you are an asshole. Playing the white knight isn't going to make you interesting to some woman. Heartiste correctly identifies you as a Beta for that.

Ritmo the Racist doing his usual White Uncle Tom routine in the hope of getting some.

SGT Ted said...

Sex isn't without consequences.

It isn't a disservice to advise the young to refrain from it until they are better able to handle it, both emotionally and financially.

That used to be called "personal responsibility" which is so uncool, I am told.

And why is it any of our business?

Well, since certain women seem to think that their desire to use their vagina as a recreational park entitles them to tax dollar subsidies going to them when they exercise their right to choose, I will feel free to tell them to please keep their legs closed so we can avoid that expense altogether.

Hey, if you can afford the abortions or kids or whatever you want that comes with an active sex life by all means indulge. Sex is great fun, when all the negative consequences are addressed or accounted for.

Oso Negro said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...
To clarify, the debased part is where these conservatives keep getting male "sponsors" to vouch for a woman's sexual status. What the hell is such a thing any concern of some other guy, with whom no sexual relationship is at stake? Fathers, even, you used to have joining these twisted rituals. Using random males to assist in this bizarre "role" doesn't make it any less strange or perverse.

Just put her vagina under 24-hour surveillance with all the cameras modern technology can offer or just give it up (so to speak) and stop obsessing over the "Sexual status of a woman you're not having sex with" bullshit.

Perverts.


Sanctimony alert! Sanctimony alert! Way to knock down those straw bears, Ritmo! If you actually bothered to examine the web-site, which I doubt that you did, you would have seen the following text under the heading of accountability: "This is the perfect time to share the commitment you have made to purity with your mom and/or dad, a Christian mentor, or close friend." Despite your deep yearning, it is hard to see how you can make this about patriarchy. I am willing to bet that if genital monitoring occurs in some perverse future it will be leftist totalitarians either installing tiny penis cams to monitor unauthorized erections in your son, or vaginal diversometers to ensure that your daughter has logged her required hours of inter-racial and same sex copulation.

It is difficult to raise decent daughters and if a stuffed bear works for someone, we should count them fortunate.

EDH said...

It probably helps that the Boyfriend Bears have tongues like lizards and are hung like horses.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

No one even knows what creepy bigot Stupid Thomas is blabbering about anyway, so at least we have that: His devolution into utter mindlessness.

He disgraces Myrna. Lord knows he never reflected well on himself, so that's all he could hope for - and he is a disgrace to her.

campy said...

What ever happened to good old shaming?

It's now reserved for serious sins like owning a gun or voting rethuglican.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

What is it about this sentence:

"This is the perfect time to share the commitment you have made to purity with your mom and/or dad, a Christian mentor, or close friend."

That directly contradicts the following?

Despite your deep yearning, it is hard to see how you can make this about patriarchy.

Could it be about making sexual "purity" the immediate concern of your parents, "mom and/or dad"?

Cognitive dissonance alert! Cognitive dissonance alert!

Yep, nothing "patriarchal" about that. If only you could deny the existence of "words", "definitions", and "meanings". If there were ever a better word to describe making your sexual "purity" business your parents', (and let's not forget, dad's) concern, then I think "patriarchy" would be it.

It is difficult to raise decent daughters...

Oh, well you have my not so incredibly sympathetic boo hoo. But depending on what you mean by "decent", I'd say your problem (and is it really "theirs" or just "yours"?) might have something to do with loving the freedom of an open society but hating the idea that people will explore it. There's a conflict there, and I'd say the problem comes down to hating exploration moreso than with loving the freedom that inevitably leads to it.

Come to terms with exploration and accept that it can be done responsibly and decently. That is a far better bargain than trying to re-institute ancient, if historically untenable attitudes that rely on defining one's wife, daughter and sons as "property". Not possible in a free society.

Shouting Thomas said...

That's become the usual asshole tactic, Ritmo the Racist, so I expect that.

There has to be some way to shake you out of the dense stupidity and indoctrination that has its grip on you.

The grovelling White Uncle Tom routine marks you as the Beta Herb. Delivering that routine with the venomous anger that is your style isn't concealing that.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

The problem is that you are an asshole.

No, you are.

You've admitted many times that the most important reason for keeping Myrna in your life was so that she could restrain you from being the asshole you are and by pointing out why. By reminding you of how limited you are and by diverting your attention elsewhere.

So you are a disgrace to that. Even I can see that.

Rage on with your mindless jealousy elsewhere.

Shouting Thomas said...

I can see that I'm almost reaching through that fog of stupidity and indoctrination, Ritmo the Racist.

Sometimes, the duty of an old man is to drag stupid young men out of their ignorance.

You're one of the worst cases I've ever encountered, but there's hope even for you.

Oso Negro said...

Ritmo - Sorry, but you can't starting with calling out "fathers" as you did a few posts up, and then switch to "parents" when you are called on it. And subsequently lacking other arguments to advance you resort to presumptions about how I have raised my daughters. Well, ha ha ha! You want some cognitive dissonance? Try out libertine conservatism.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't know about the bear itself because that seems rather childish, but writing letters to a possible future spouse might not be a bad idea. Might be a way to get the mind off of immediate temptations and back into a longer view.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

You have no duty to me, and your age makes you more senile than your redirection of "fogs" and such betrays.

You are lashing out because you can't participate in intelligent political debate, and the topic of women further unleashes the Myrna-lover in you. Rage, rage, rage!

But remember what Myrna said: You're not a politician.

Stop disgracing her. Those words are pretty evident to anyone who's ever encountered your creepy countenance.

Stop being such a damn disgrace and get a hold of yourself.

Freeman Hunt said...

A popular thing in our church is for parents to pray for the future spouses of their children. (Not to pray for their "purity," but to pray that they are safe, loved, etc.--basically that they have good childhoods and are well taken care of.)

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Sorry, but you can't starting with calling out "fathers" as you did a few posts up, and then switch to "parents" when you are called on it.

There's no "switch". You used the word "dads". Blame yourself.

I can't speak to whichever "fatherly" attitudes some silly moms have endorsed.

And subsequently lacking other arguments to advance you resort to presumptions about how I have raised my daughters.

I did no such thing.

You brought up how difficult you find it to raise them, and from that I easily inferred what assumptions in America lead people to feel that way. Especially conservative people.

Lastly, one doesn't have to be libertine to be unafraid of rational, responsible, decent and legitimate exploration. Or fun.

Only a fuddy-duddy can't see that.

Tim said...

The enduring lesson of the Althouse Blog comments:

"Trolls gonna troll."

O Ritmo Segundo said...

And, Idiots gonna have nothin' to say!

Don't forget that one, Timmy.

rcocean said...

"Cultural rot is everywhere. I see the rot is unable to leave the push-back alone."

Great line. Like Atheists they wish to push their views on everyone else.

ambienisevil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

Well, I believe that no one should ever have to apologize for the truth, ambient. But perhaps that is why so many react so harshly to it...

Gahrie said...

Yeah....lets all attack any idea being used to protect the innocence and health of our children....

edutcher said...

The Lefties hate this kind of stuff because it keeps the number of Julias down.

EMD said...

What ever happened to good old shaming?

Or a trip to the convent?


Don't knock it. That English guy was right when he said, "Conscience makes cowards of us all".

Aridog said...

Trolls gonna troll....And, Idiots gonna have nothin' to say!

Dayamm!! Ritmo got hissef a two-fer.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Geez Ari, has it really been that long since you licked yourself?

Now go run about in circles chasing your tail, as usual.

Aridog said...

Admit it Ritmo...you're just jealous.

Shouting Thomas said...

Ritmo the Racist, this is some sick shit you're doing!

Are you one of those guys who hires hookers to shit on him?

Hard to find another explanation for your pathology.

Shouting Thomas said...

You love being hated for your asshole-ishness, Ritmo.

You come here precisely for that. You obviously know what an asshole you are.

What a fucking weirdo!

Marshal said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...
But as a conservative you are disturbed by the idea that your Special Man Sperm would be denied their due consideration.


I find it odd how the left is so in tune with the nutty statements of the right that they can quote no-names and project their insanities on everyone. Yet somehow those same people prove themselves nuts time and time again without it ever discrediting the left. It seems since we all already know they're nuts further proof has no effect.

Shouting Thomas said...

Marshal, Ritmo the Racist is such a vile specimen that I doubt that any faction of the left would like to claim him as one of their own.

n.n said...

Only individuals capable of self-moderating behavior are eligible to enjoy liberty. Well, other than in isolation anyway.

dbp said...

Freeman Hunt said...

A popular thing in our church is for parents to pray for the future spouses of their children. (Not to pray for their "purity," but to pray that they are safe, loved, etc.--basically that they have good childhoods and are well taken care of.)

That is really sweet! I like the idea, which happens to be true, that their future (for all my kids) husbands are out there: They are going about their lives and will someday intersect with my daughters.


Jane said...

A while back, on another blog, I got into a long exchange with someone about what it means for a teenager to be "responsible" about sex. The other person's definition of "responsibility" was, essentially, "use contraception and plan on getting an abortion as a method of back-up birth control."

So, yeah, if you're fine with abortion (and in particular as a method of back-up birth control), then one of the major reasons for teens to abstain is a non-issue, though you still have the risk of STDs and the question of whether (for the girl, at least) having sex at the drop of a hat will eventually lead to emotional distress (both of which, some would argue, are not serious enough consequences to deter one from having sex).

Synova said...

A friend of mine became a Christian after living a rather wild life. She'd been accustomed to having sex substitute for emotional intimacy.

She told me she'd been feeling profoundly lonely and was struggling with the new "no sex" rules, no sex, no "boyfriend", and was walking and praying and arguing with God because she'd given up so much and He couldn't give her anything. And she looked down and saw a pretty stone, and it felt like it was God saying, I can give you things, but if you need something you can touch, here is a pretty stone. And it was important to her, helped her through a very hard time, and she carried it for a long time as a symbol.

Symbols are important.

A purity ring is a symbol of a pledge. Someone might find a "boyfriend bear" useful too.

John said...

Kelley

I care too so-2 for ritmo.

you are doing the right thing

john Henry

John said...

Synova

beautiful story

I have a large pebble on my desk that I took from the river when I was baptized.

sometimes just holding it help.

all the time knowing it is there if I need it helps.

It is not JUST a pebble.

john Henry

Laura said...

WTF, if you keep chlamydia and other STD rates high, it won't be the Handmaid's Tale, but rather Children of the Earth and only those with money will be able to buy viable eggs and sperm. No abortions needed. Problem solved.

Save up for your clone and have a nice laugh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIECpiR8y04.

Laura said...

WTF, if you keep chlamydia and other STD rates high, it won't be the Handmaid's Tale, but rather Children of the Earth and only those with money will be able to buy viable eggs and sperm. No abortions needed. Problem solved.

Save up for your clone and have a nice laugh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIECpiR8y04.

Laura said...

Meade, cleanup on aisle 7, please. Double dose of verbal Montezuma's revenge. Lo siento mucho.

sabeth.chu said...

freud found that all societies imply restrictions on, and rules for, sexual behavior,
no exceptions, none.
these bf bears are a helpless and rather silly experiment against the current sexual rules in western societies, and these rules go for ridiculing, ostracising or outright criminalising all restrictions on having sex, on talking sex, on preparing the young for sex.
and these rules (tagged with words like freedom - though i have a lingering suspicion that sex is not what former generations meant when they used that word) cannot be changed any time soon, until new generations come along. i wonder what the young of the future will make of us. we won't live to see it.

Joe said...

Several studies have found that programs such as these not only don't work, but end up having a negative effect. Ultimately, these programs favor blind devotion, which only works in insular societies or groups. At 12 and 13, most teenagers want to please their parents and will commit to the superficial in order to do so. However, without effecting genuine change within, such superficial devotion will come crashing down at 15, 16 and 17 when that compulsion to please ones parents generally subsides.

Sabinal said...

what I detest is the usual uppity attitude anti-"purity" folks give. You don't like it, don't do it. I personally find abstinence programs outside of sex ed in general useless, but I do not mock them for their concern and attempts.

When girls have sex, they often get pregnant, forced to leave their dreams behind and add burdens to their parents (the fathers, unfortunately tend to be outside of the it by choice or chance). The idea of purity is one of pragmatics and religion as well as self preservation for the the parents so more power to them.

But unless they are willing to do the actual talk about sex and relationships, we will see more Teen Moms.