Christin, August 24, 2012 (view all comments by Christin)
This book lays out who a lot of the major players in the virginity business are and the content and character of abstinence-only education in schools, then goes on to show how the purity myth and its associated ideas about proper girlhood (because, really, they’re all about perpetual girlhood for ALL women) manifest in larger cultural attitudes, the legal system and the legislature and how this is all connected to rape and violence against women and hatred of femininity in general. It finally wraps up with a call to reclaim the language of morality and provides suggestions and resources for fighting against the purity myth and its associated misogyny.
And it’s very good that last chapter exists, because I was so furious by the time I got there, I was ready to start busting windows and setting things on fire because our culture is so irredemably messed up there’s nothing left to do but burn it to the ground and start over. Luckily the last chapter managed to dull that rage and return a bit of optimism.
My rage is actually an endorsement, since I wouldn’t be so angry if Valenti hadn’t managed to state her case so clearly and impart the seriousness of the predicament so effectively.
I’m glad I read this, but wow am I ever angry right now.
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