Screening: “Purity Myth”
Session Type(s): Screening Series
Starts: Thursday, Jun. 7 4:30 PM
Ends: Thursday, Jun. 7 5:45 PM
In this video adaptation of her best-selling book, pioneering feminist blogger Jessica Valenti trains her sights on “the virginity movement”—an unholy alliance of evangelical Christians, right-wing politicians and conservative policy intellectuals who have been exploiting irrational fears about women’s sexuality to roll back women’s rights. From dad-and-daughter purity balls, taxpayer-funded abstinence-only curricula and political attacks on Planned Parenthood to recent attempts by legislators to de-fund women’s reproductive health care and narrow the legal definition of rape, Valenti identifies a single, unifying assumption: the myth that the worth of a woman depends on what she does—or does not do—sexually. In the end, Valenti argues that the health and well-being of women is too important to be left to ideologues bent on vilifying feminism and undermining women’s autonomy.
Jessica Valenti is the author of three previous books, including The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women. She is editor of the award-winning anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape and the founder of Feministing.com, which Columbia Journalism Review calls “head and shoulders above almost any writing on women’s issues in mainstream media.” She was the recipient of the Hillman Journalism Prize and was called one of the Top 100 Inspiring Women in the world by The Guardian. Jessica is a frequent contributor to The Nation and The Washington Post, among other publications. She lives with her family in Boston, but remains a New Yorker at heart.