The Purity Myth


Join the Women’s Center for the final in SIUC Film & Discussion Series during Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2012. This event will take place in the Illinois Room of the SIUC Student Center.

This session will feature “The Purity Myth: The Virginity Movement’s War Against Women” featuring Jessica Valenti. For more information about this event, contact Jenn Freitag at rcsprevention2@thewomensctr.org or 618.549.4807.

About the film:
In this video adaptation of her bestselling book, pioneering feminist blogger Jessica Valenti trains her sights on “the virginity movement” — an unholy alliance of evangelical Christians, right-wing politicians, and conservative policy intellectuals who have been exploiting irrational fears about women’s sexuality to roll back women’s rights. From dad-and-daughter “purity balls,” taxpayer-funded abstinence-only curricula, and political attacks on Planned Parenthood, to recent attempts by legislators to de-fund women’s reproductive health care and narrow the legal definition of rape, Valenti identifies a single, unifying assumption: the myth that the worth of a woman depends on what she does — or does not do — sexually. In the end, Valenti argues that the health and well-being of women are too important to be left to ideologues bent on vilifying feminism and undermining women’s autonomy.

About Jessica Valenti:
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.”

Jessica is also a widely sought after speaker who gives dozens of speeches annually at universities and organizations in the U.S. and abroad. She received her Masters degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University, where she is a part-time lecturer.

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