A new film entitled How to Lose Your Virginity takes on the white dress — and in a world of abstinence-only education debates, wedding-crazed culture and a writ-large societal Virgin/Whore complex, this is obviously fertile ground.
When a bridal consultant effusively tells Therese, a 40-something sex-savvy feminist planning her first wedding, she looks virginal in her white wedding dress, it sets her on a journey to uncover why virginity still holds such importance in our hyper-sexualized society. Her growing tension around chastity-based wedding rituals is the narrative backbone of the film, but the true target is idealized, fetishized virginity: its historical role in U.S. culture, its power to mold and damage a girl's self-image and self-worth; its commodification as something manufactured, sold, given away, taken.
Obviously in a world of abstinence-only education debates, wedding-crazed culture and a writ-large societal Virgin/Whore complex, this is fertile ground. And given filmmaker Therese Shechter's sensitive, humorful work in I Was A Teenage Feminist, there's reason to believe the subject matter's in good hands. However, it's a project that's still in need of support - you can help the filmmakers finish the film by visiting the site. The big studios, as we know, tend to be more interested in virgins - or whores! - than anything more nuanced in between.