The Purity Myth, the documentary

Feministing’s Founding Executive Editor and general bad-ass feminist author Jessica Valenti wrote a book a while back you may or may not know about titled, The Purity Myth. Well, apparently the book was such a hit, that the Media Education Foundation decided to make a movie out of it — and shit, is it good. Here’s the new trailer:

The Purity Myth Trailer from Media Education Foundation on Vimeo.

The film aptly brings the book to life in this documentary exposing the conservative movement’s efforts to teach girls that their sexuality is the entirety of their self-worth — a “purity myth” that not only can have a devastating impact on girls lives, but is a tactic in the larger agenda to roll back women’s rights. In short, this is a very necessary film.

You can check back at Jessica’s tumblr to find out when and where the movie will be screened.

Transcript after the jump

I’ve been living my life the way I’ve been — to be lived and that’s staying pure, so –
So you really believe in no sex before marriage?
No, I don’t at all.
Traditional ideas about purity are suddenly everywhere.
We’ve so oversexualized our society, we’re robbing these kids of their innocence –
And it’s breathing new life into a very old idea.
So I want to talk to you today about pursuing the mission of purity.
Purity rings?
Purity — okay, let’s talk about that.
Yes, I am a virgin — I just want to wait for that special someone.
Women are still led to believe that our moral compass lies somewhere between our legs – literally.
Each year, thousands of Purity Balls where young girls pledge their virginity to their fathers are held across almost every state in the country.
I just want to say thank you for making this event – the father-daughter day purity ball – a lifestyle and an every day thing.
Politicians increasingly extol the virtues of abstinence and virginity…
We want to see kids wait before they start having babies and sex.
And American taxpayers shell out about 50 million dollars a year on abstinence-only education in our schools, almost half a million dollars since 1996.
There is no such thing as safe sex.
This girl is gonna end up sterile or dead.
But the abstinence-only movement has never been about science, public health or concern for young people.
The abstinence-only programs had no impact on whether or not participants abstain from sex.
They feel that remaining abstinent, not having vaginal intercourse and are seeking other ways of having sex.
So here’s the biggest question of all: What is it about virginity that’s so politically useful to the conservative movement?
It is pressed that a man marry a virgin – men, if you’re dating a woman that boasts of being a feminist who uses every 4-letter word in the Marine Core manual, who wants no children, who wants to drag you around like a dog on the end of a rope – RUN!
What the virginity movement really wants from women in submissiveness, and they’ve been prescribing a return to traditional gender roles as the cure.
The woman’s deepest fulfillment is in motherhood.
And I too think you underestimate the pride that women take in domesticity.
And if you listen closely a pretty clear theme emerges.
Feminism is what I oppose and feminism is what has led women astray.
Feminism is sexism.
Feminism is the fraught of the century.
Virginity movement extremists may sound ridiculous but the results of their politics could not be more real.
Planned Parenthood does more than 330,000 each and every year – it is child abuse -
And I shall be looking for ways to unfund every other entity like them that promotes abortion or provides abortion – Planned Parenthood is invested in promiscuity.
This is a full-on virginity movement, working to roll back women’s rights using the purity myth to do it.
Jessica, you call it a myth, a purity myth – what do you mean?
The purity myth is the lie that women’s sexuality has some bearing on who we are and how good we are, because really I think we all know that young women are so much more than whether or not they have sex. We really should be teaching our daughters that their ability to be good people should be based on their intelligence, on their compassion, their kindness, not what they do with their bodies.

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One Comment

  1. Posted December 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    So excited for this documentary. I’m going to have my younger sister watch it, as she’s about to go to college and will encounter this kind of backwards thinking. Also I got this book for my boyfriend’s mom for Christmas, since she works in teen pregnancy prevention and works to promote comprehensive, evidence-based sex-ed in DC.

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