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The Purity Myth

The Purity Myth was a lot to take in.  I found myself cringing at almost everything in the film.  Jessica Valenti did an amazing job at analyzing how society is actually sexualizing young girls by requiring them to be “pure” until marriage.  Celebrities such as Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson were in the spotlight for their singing careers, along with their statements of being virgins.  They were extremely sexualized in the media.  What did it even matter if they were virgins?  The documentary showed the clip of Britney Spears responding to the question if she was or was not a virgin.  Who asks that in a press conference?  That’s disgusting and irrelevant.  She is meant to entertain audiences by singing and dancing and the media has made her highlight her sexuality.  However, she could have ignored the question and she could fight against wearing skimpy clothes and dancing provocatively.  But it is clear in our society that sex sells.

Also, the Purity Balls were disturbing.  I understand everyone has their own ideas of morals and values, and I respect those who decide to wait to have sex until marriage.  However, I emphasize that it should be their own decision.  These Purity Balls pressured young girls, some as little as 6, to pledge their virginity to their fathers.  Does a 6 year old even know what sex is? Or what it means to be a virgin or to not be a virgin?  I found this aggravating, especially when Valenti brought up that the Purity Balls reinforce the sexualizing of young girls because the event is treated like a prom.  The girls wear formal dresses and get their hair and make-up done for the night.

The documentary also discussed birth control.  The clip from The Colbert Report was hilarious.  He made a point to criticize the people who believe birth control is a gateway for women to have sex with as many people as they wanted.  I can’t believe people actually believed this.  I am more than willing to listen to other people’s viewpoints, however, this is one I have a hard time believing.  Especially because this probably would not be an issue if men could get pregnant.  It is unfortunate that reproduction has to be a political issue.

1 Comment

  1. heralex27 says:

    I too found that the documentary was a lot of information to chew over. I remember feeling particularly disgusted with the purity balls as well. Now, obviously they were put in a pretty bad light for the sake of the documentary; however some of those girls might not even know what sex is and they are promising to stay virgins! That’s twisted.

    Like you say, “sex sells” in our society and that is absolutely true. So why is there a false connection between a person’s moral fiber and the amount of sex they have. Yes there is an age when legally a person is too young to have intercourse, and then after that we throw sex in their face at every turn – big surprise if they try it!

    Lastly, I want to point out that having sex and reproduction are entirely different topics yet they are always paired up into a political issue! I agree with you that this is a poor choice on the part of our government and I hope for a change in the future.

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