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The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women
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Laura M. Carpenter

Review of The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession With Virginity Is Hurtin…more

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Laura M. Carpenter

Review of The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession With Virginity Is Hurting Young Women
By Jessica Valenti
Seal Press

For decades, Right-Wing think tanks and conservative Christian organizations have promoted what Jessica Valenti calls the “purity myth”: the belief that virginity separates moral/good women from their immoral/bad sisters. In its blatant attempt to re-establish traditional gender roles, the purity movement backs restrictions on birth control and abortio...more
I didn’t expect to like The Purity Myth. Despite the hype surrounding it, I remembered still the massive disappointment that followed the hype built up around Full Frontal Feminism for me. (For the record, everyone built it up to be this groundbreaking introductory text sure to convert everyone to feminism forever, and it turned out to be exclusive of the entire trans* community, racial minorities, men, and basically everyone else who isn’t a white, middle-to-upper-class, heterosexual, cisgender...more
Jessica Valenti does a great job exposing the purity myth - the idea that women should be judged by their sexuality, and are impure if they rebel against "traditional" gender roles in any way - and its consequences. I really like how she ties together many of the problems that women face - the virgin/whore dichotomy, rape culture, victim blaming - and presents them as all issues that are related to the idea that when women are judged by a standard of purity that relates to sexual activity, it hu...more
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