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Virginity or Virtue?

Yesterday in class we watched a documentary on how virginity is subjected in the media and about the rise of the abstinence movement and “traditional” ideas. I understand why this documentary was made. The abstinence campaign is over-exaggerating facts by saying things like birth control is surely to kill women if they take it and promote promiscuity. I also don’t like the idea of the purity balls that take place and how public they are. I am all for the idea of saving virginity until marriage but that should be a personal decision that should not be shared with the world. And if it is for religious reasons, than it should stay between the person and God. However, I don’t feel like the daughters are being turned to look like “wives” of their dads just because they do their hair and makeup like the presenter said. The image looks like that of a daddy-daughter dance so I think she is distorting the image behind what this ball means to the ones who partake in it. I believe that members of the abstinence movement are at least partly doing this in retaliation to the undeniable hypersexualization of women that Hollywood and the media are portraying. In my opinion, both ends are being extremists. The presenter, who is an obvious partaker in the feminist movement does not acknowledge the fact that in a way this movement is occurring as a result of the degradation that women are facing everyday. In her opinion, being a virgin is just a “tradition” as if tradition is a bad thing. People should not impose their personal opinions on others but if this is what they feel protects the girl from degradation.  I see no wrong in them practicing it. Women are a lot more than virginity that is 100% true. I agree with some of the things the presenter said and some that the opposing group said. I feel as though both are presenting their beliefs in highly biased and extreme forms.


  1. meerkat93 says:

    I agree with you that both the hypersexualization of women and the abstinence movement are both rather extreme ways of viewing women’s sexuality, but I do not think that the documentary was trying to make the point that following tradition and saving yourself for marriage is bad. It was making the point that women should be free to make the choice to either not wait or wait for marriage as they choose; both choices can be equally valid and have good reasoning behind them. I think the problem the documentary was trying to point out was that the women in the purity balls were not making that choice themselves. Their fathers were making it for them. The fathers took the pledge for them in the video and didn’t even let the women speak for themselves. This was even more evident from the fact that most of the girls involved were minors and some were as young as 6. 6 years old is definitely not old enough to be making the choice for yourself of whether to be sexually active!

    If the narrator was biased, it was only with the opinion that women should be able to make their own choices regarding sexual activity rather than having it imposed upon them by others (whether it be their fathers, the government, or anyone else). The idea that they cannot decide for themselves dehumanizes them and makes them into objects that their fathers or other authority figures will speak for and govern. I don’t think the narrator was biased against the tradition of saving oneself for marriage because some women have valid reasons for this and make that choice on their own. She is merely opposing the choice being made for them.

    • zhassan2013 says:

      Honestly, the whole public thing of the purity balls is not an idea I am fond of. Those girls, could stay virgins or not, no one would know especially since women vary in their hymen composition and might lose it before sex. I just felt like she was also mocking them and their traditions. A woman is a lot more than her virginity. She is a person that can make a great contribution to this world. I just think she could have been more sensitive to others perspectives.

  2. hanamattar says:

    I agree, the purity balls is something I’m not fond of at all, too. It was really sad to see these poor girls who barely know what virginity is, let alone sex, sign away their right to have sex. It should be a personal decision they make on their own, however these 4-year-old girls are participating in what they seem to see as just a pretty ball where they can play dress up instead of the truth, which is them pledging away their rights to have sex before marriage. I feel like this just causes a terrible cycle of disordered thinking about the idea of virginity, these girls may grow up wanting to lose their virginity but fearing it because of a ball they attended when they were four. Worse yet, if they do choose to lose it, they may forever live in fear and shame of their decision. Its really unfair, these girls don’t even realize what theyre signing up for.

  3. falmuhan says:

    I agree with you Hanna, it is sad to see young girls who don’t even know what virginity attend purity balls and pledge to not lose virginity before marriage.

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