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The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti
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The Purity Myth (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Jessica Valenti

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4141925,667 (4.14)47
Member:lalachan
Title:The Purity Myth
Authors:Jessica Valenti
Info:Seal Press (2009), Kindle Edition, 277 pages
Collections:Your library, Non Fiction
Rating:****
Tags:non fiction, library book, Jessica Valenti, culture, sexuality, virgin, manliness, gender roles, abstinence, pornography, feminism

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The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti (2009)

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Jessica Valenti is a clear and educated Feminist who does her research and is one of my favorite Feminist writers for the contemporary woman looking to understand how social and cultural standards and expectations can hurt women to this day. Valenti gives me hope that we can all recognize and make change in our lives to better the lives of all women, young and old. ( )
  marthaearly | Jun 6, 2014 |
Outstanding. Who would have thought that a church-based movement would elevate "purity" and "virginity" above basic ethical behavior (lies, theft, violence)? ( )
  Netherto | Oct 17, 2013 |
Disturbing and fascinating. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
This is a terrific book. Valenti starts right off in the introduction saying: Girls "going wild" aren't damaging a generation of women, the myth of sexual purity is. The lie of virginity - the idea that such a thing even exists - is ensuring that young women's perception of themselves is inextricable from their bodies, and that their ability to be moral actors is absolutely dependent on their sexuality. It's time to teach our daughters that the ability to be good people depends on their being good people, not on whether or not they're sexually active. This is such an important book, especially right now with all the craziness about reproductive rights. She discusses rape, the weird incestuous vibe of purity balls with young girls pledging their purity to their fathers, myths about purity, and the need to trust women to make their own decisions. It's a pretty short easy read too, in fact I was surprised and disappointed when it ended. But then there's a great section listing resources for women and women's blogs. Because of the resource section this is a book that should be owned not just taken out from the library. ( )
  Citizenjoyce | Mar 18, 2012 |
I've read Valenti's "Full Frontal Feminism" and "He's a Stud, She's a Slut," both of which are geared towards younger readers. "The Purity Myth" came highly recommended to me, but it is written more for adults, and the book is highly readable and thought-provoking. I found that I enjoyed this book far more than the other two (if "enjoyed" is the right word; the inequalities detailed in the book are somewhat rage-inducing).

Valenti takes a long hard look at the purity pushers in America, and the effect that they're having in our society. And if you think it's just purity balls or abstinence-only sex education programs, you're wrong. Valenti ties the obsession with virginity to rape, abortion, laws against women, and a host of other ills that American women face.

Intriguing and infuriating, I'd recommend this book to anyone. ( )
  schatzi | Mar 18, 2012 |
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Epigraph
"I believe that there is an ideal of fastidiousness in the world. An ideal of impossible purity in a world that is, in its very essence, impure." -- Mary Gordon in The Story of Mary Gordon
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For Andrew
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There is a moral panic in America over young women's sexuality -- and it's entirely misplaced.
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"The United States is obsessed with virginity--from the media to schools to government agencies. The Purity Myth is a critique about why this is so, and why it's problematic for girls and women. Analyzing cultural stereotypes and media messages, Jessica Valenti reveals the overt and hidden ways our society links a young woman's worth to her sexuality rather than to values like honesty, kindness, and altruism."--From publisher description.… (more)

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