The Purity Myth:
The Virginity Movement's War Against Women
Narrated by Jessica Valenti
The Purity Myth takes aim at a resurgent right-wing movement that is using fears around women’s sexuality to roll back women’s rights. Based on the international bestseller by pioneering feminist blogger Jessica Valenti, the film examines how an alliance of evangelical Christians, reactionary politicians, and conservative policy intellectuals has been pushing a pro-virginity “purity agenda” that is undermining women’s health and women’s autonomy.
From dad-and-daughter "purity balls" and abstinence-only school programs to recent attempts by legislators to de-fund women's reproductive health care and narrow the legal definition of rape, the film identifies a single, unifying assumption: the myth that the worth of a woman depends on what she does -- or does not do -- sexually.
Jessica Valenti -- called the "poster girl for third-wave feminism" by Salon and one of the Top 100 Inspiring Women in the world by The Guardian -- is the author of three books: Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters, He's a Stud, She's a Slut... and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know, and The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women. She is the editor of the anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, which was named one of the Top 100 Books of 2009 by Publishers Weekly. Jessica is also the founder of Feministing.com, which Columbia Journalism Review calls "head and shoulders above almost any writing on women's issues in mainstream media." Jessica won the 2011 Hillman Journalism Prize for her work with Feministing.
Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Nation, The Guardian (UK), The American Prospect, Ms. magazine, Salon, and Bitch magazine. She has won a Choice USA Generation award, was featured as one of ELLE magazine's "IntELLEgentsia", and was named one of the Left's Top 25 Journalists by The Daily Beast. She has appeared on The Colbert Report and the Today show, among others, and was recently profiled in The New York Times Magazine under the headline "Fourth Wave Feminism."