Fans of the bestselling book The Purity Myth, rejoice. The film version is now available for your viewing pleasure on DVD, and, from the looks of the trailer, its per-minute truth bomb concentration is unprecedented. Finally, a cinematic alternative to the unstoppable, metastasized Fast & Furious franchise.
Jessica Valenti, author and founder of Feministing, penned The Purity Myth in response to cultural pressure women face to remain virgins until a handsome prince deflowers them after an elaborate, expensive ceremony.
The film visits the places the book visited, but since the antics of pro-virginity culture were captured on camera this time around, it's now infinitely more gif-able. From the creepy father-daughter "purity balls" where young women promise their dads that they won't let anyone's penis inside of them until God says it's okay to the fearmongering but charismatic pro-virginity speakers who claim a link between female sexual activity and sterility, parts of the film (like parts of the book) would be hilarious if they weren't so scary.
Of particular interest was the scene where a riled up preacher whips himself into a terrified frenzy by saying,
It is pressed that a man marry a virgin! Young men, if you're dating a woman who boasts of being a feminist, who uses every four-letter word in the Marine Corps manual, who wants no children, who wants to drag you around like a dog on the end of a rope, RUN!
If you could see my crest right now, you'd see that it has fallen. I do all of these things minus the no children and dog dragging part, even though I didn't know until right this second that there was a Marine Corps manual that contained fancy government tested swearing techniques. I'm going to be a terrible wife. All the men are going to run away from me.
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.
The film's available for purchasing, or if you prefer to watch movies in a big group so that you can yell at the screen, the film will be shown in New York and Boston in upcoming months. Stay tuned.
The Purity Myth, The Documentary [Feministing]