Last week i went to see Jessica Valenti speak about her new book, The Purity Myth:
In Valenti's book, she discusses how the social construct of virginity and purity is promoting patriarchy and furthermore hurting young women. STI's, Teen Pregnancy, Vulnerability, these are all products of abstinence education by day and Gossip Girl by night. Its an extreme dichotomy that sends all kinds of dangerous mixed messaging. I kinda laughed when i heard that these christian girls, are more likely to have anal sex and get STI's because they don't use condoms. But its not really funny, its fucked up, and a direct product of right wing manipulation. It isn't encouraging safe decision making, its encouraging fear and ignorance.
Some of the anecdotes she shares in her book make me laugh out loud but cry inside. She quotes right wing abstinence activists who say things like: "Guys will do anything for homemade baked goods." Wendy Shalit, author of "Girls Gone Mild" WTF! It is insane how this trend has picked up so much coverage, and on top of all of its grassroots christian support it has also picked up a significant amount of federal funding. The biggest advocates of "The Virginity Movement" are propagating a world (with federal funding!) where women are in the kitchen, married, and only have sex at their husbands disposal.
There are so many factors responsible for the conservative spectacle right wing America has imposed on sexuality, i don't know where to start. I would say it is epitomized through the federally funded purity balls. These take place in 48 states and are downright creepy. Its a dance in which your dad literally locks your chastity, and then promises to pass on the penis to the girls future husband. Kind of paedophilic, blatantly paternalistic, and scary.
The worst thing about these balls is that it directs all this energy into preventing something hypothetical. These fathers are not focusing or celebrating a girl's ambition, skill, moral judgement, or general humanness they are investing energy and money into fear and passivity.