WATCH THIS NOW: from now until December 21st at 2am EST, you can watch The Purity Myth for just $2 at prescreen.com!
Tell all your friends!
A look at the men’s clothing section will reveal what is perhaps an even more nauseating t-shirt: “Fathers: it’s up to you to preserve your daughters’ virginity!” Urban Outfitters caters to the irony-loving hipster population, so many are coming to the defense of the company and saying the shirt is made to be ironic. Everyone knows it’s a silly idea to protect virginity, except that when you dig a little deeper, you realize that it’s probably not meant to be ironic at all.
Urban Outfitter’s President and Founder, Richard Hayne, is a die-hard Republican who has given around $13,000 to Republican Senator Rick Santorum. Santorum, if you don’t know, is vehemently anti-choice, even in cases of rape or incest. I’ve dealt with many people of his ilk, and it’s not a far stretch to assume he’s of the “women should take responsibility for having sex” camp.
Following that logic, it only seems reasonable that he would also believe that the menz (because they always know better) should be the protectors of virginity. I mean, if he thinks women don’t even have the right to control their own bodies, he probably doesn’t think they’re smart enough to make a decision about whether or not to have sex either.
HOW TO LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY is the new documentary by Therese Shechter, director of the award-winning and provocative I WAS A TEENAGE FEMINIST.
Investigating father/daughter purity balls, million-dollar virginity auctions and the search for the mythic hymen, Shechter poses two compelling questions: Why does virginity still hold such importance in an otherwise hyper-sexualized American society? And does virginity actually exist, or is it just a social construct created to keep the girls in line?
The scene with Selena Gomez on Access Hollywood or whatever it is absolutely destroys me. How has our culture gone so desperately wrong for our teenage girls that their sexual activity is being discussed on national syndicated television by Ryan Seacrest?
I question whether she was using intentionally murky language because she is a very prominent, extremely well-paid abstinence speaker and not having willingly had sex could bolster her position and reduce criticisms from those who consider her a hypocrite…. But it could also be that a young woman from a very conservative family that traffics in circles that regularly deny that date rape exists would have a hard time naming it. We don’t know. It could be that she doesn’t even know.
Tricky, tricky issue, but strikes us as too important to ignore.
I’ve been thinking a lottt about virginity pressure lately. It seems like the crux of 80% of teen movies in the past 30 years focus on humorous hijinks surrounding an event meant to “cure” the horrible disease that is virginity. Wish it weren’t that way. Especially since public schools teach next to nothing in sex ed…
“The movie begins with inexperienced teenagers who have an uninformed, frivolous attitude toward sex, and it moves rather awkwardly through would-be comic scenes in which O’Neal and McNichol attempt to seduce their target males and win the bet. But the scenes in which they actually confront the realities of sex are handled so thoughtfully and tastefully that they almost seem to belong to another movie. That’s possibly because Little Darlings really wants to be two movies at once: A fairly serious film about teenagers and sex, but also a box-office winner like Animal House or Meatballs.” - Roger Ebert, 1980.
I think it’s interesting that Little Darlings is usually recounted as something of a footnote to boy-virginity-romp teen films (what Timothy Shary calls “sex-quest” movies), an exception to the rule, a counterexample in a very masculine genre. In fact, though, Porky’s didn’t come out til 1982, and the theme wasn’t really ubiquitous until after Fast Times at Ridgemont High that same year. Little Darlings was kind of the first. Girls were competing to lose their virginity in these movies before boys were.
(For lips-richmond and anyone else interested, I would recommend [again] Virgin Territory: Representing Sexual Inexperience In Film, particularly Timothy Shary’s piece “Virgin Springs: A Survey of Teen Films’ Quest for Sexcess,” which explores just that phenomenon mentioned above.)