Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 05/26/2010

All The Way

Therese Shechter, the awesome documentarian who brought us I Was A Teenage Feminist, is it again, and this time she’s tackling virginity with “How to Lose Your Virginity“:

Our new trailer! “How To Lose Your Virginity” from Trixie Films on Vimeo.

If this film is anything like Jessica Valenti’s awesome book The Purity Myth, I’m so there it’s insane. Having to watch the news cover this new phenomenon of “Purity Balls” and celebrities like Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus pledge purity has left me seriously uneasy. Not because staying a virgin is a bad thing, but rather because those who pledge not to have intercourse until marriage are less likely to use a condom when they do have sex (and their rates of having oral and anal sex are higher) – in fact their rates of STDs are about the same as non-pledging teens.

And then there’s that whole virgin/whore dichotomy that’s just oh so wonderful to experience as a teen (and beyond, I’m sure). It’s like the girl in the Breakfast Club said (and I’m paraphrasing badly) “You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”

However, Therese still needs help getting this movie out there. Being a woman in the film industry is pretty rough from what I understand, and I’m sure being a woman trying to promote a feminist film is even harder.

To support this film, please visit this site to back the project.

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  • Alex F @ at 12:24 pm, May 26th, 2010

    Those Purity Balls give me the creeps. They are pretty much just stating that girls can’t protect themselves from having sex and that we don’t have self control. That the fathers have to control their daughter’s life until that girl gets married, then she gets handed off to her new husband. I understand that they believe it’s what God wants, but what about the girl? Shouldn’t she have control over what she wants?

  • Lucy @ at 1:01 pm, May 26th, 2010

    I’ll say it again here: according to snopes, http://www.snopes.com/weddings/customs/dress.asp , the Victorian white wedding dress itself was never originally a symbol of a woman’s sexual status as a virgin – the demure Victorians were apparently far too prudish to talk about sex even in order to define its abscence. Just one more way in which our beliefs and moral ‘code’ surrounding what virginity is and what it symbolises and is symbolised by, is influenced as a modern social construct, not just a traditionalist leftover.

  • Lucy @ at 1:02 pm, May 26th, 2010

    The film above looks to do a pretty good job of covering that

  • Cullan VO @ at 6:31 pm, May 26th, 2010

    Those Purity Balls give me the creeps. They are pretty much just stating that girls can’t protect themselves from having sex and that we don’t have self control. That the fathers have to control their daughter’s life until that girl gets married, then she gets handed off to her new husband. I understand that they believe it’s what God wants, but what about the girl? Shouldn’t she have control over what she wants?
    +1

  • Valerie B. @ at 6:48 pm, May 26th, 2010

    Purity Balls: you’re kidding, right? “…until the day I give myself as a wedding gift to my husband.”

  • Trixie Films @ at 7:35 pm, May 26th, 2010

    Hey, it’s Therese! Thanks so much for the awesome post, Julie!

    We definitely can use all the support we can get to finish the film. You can pledge as little as $10, and for $25 we’ll send you a signed DVD as soon as the film is done.

    And if you’re not able to pledge, there are easy ways to help promote the fundraiser on FB or Twitter or Tumblr. http://kck.st/9Hm93b

    Thanks everyone!

  • RebJ @ at 10:08 pm, May 26th, 2010

    Those purity balls sound so…primitive. Seriously, cavepeople must have practiced similar rituals less elaborately. And westerners call dowries and claustration “sooo backwards”! Cuz we’re so progressive…

  • Samuel W. @ at 10:02 am, May 27th, 2010

    I’ve always appropriately called them “submission rings” and “oppression balls”, because it’s all about this ultra-conservative, buttoned-down idea that girls have to be controlled by a male parental figure to control their evil, uncontrollable sexuality from the outside world and save it for a man, in some cases of the father’s choosing, that this girl must later marry. It’s nothing more than an attempt to keep old sexist cliche, double-standards and societal pretensions, which cause so many of us to adhere to these old cliches to this day, alive.

  • OldSchool & Still In School @ at 9:24 pm, May 12th, 2012

    I’ve been a teen traditionalist conservative- not an easy thing to be in the culture of the Noughties and Teenies, where my views are associated with a generation/era in their eighties and nineties- since age 15.

    I am a male ally of Pro-Life Feminism supportive of the Susan B.Anthony List and PRENDA, a congressional attempt to end female feticide by law in the USA. My belief is that this event is patriarchal, but it is good in the sense that sex should be reserved for the one person who you will spend the rest of your life with. A move away from double standards so young men like me would be subject to the same pressure to wait until marriage as young women would be welcome in my eyes.

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