If you’re wondering who thought it was a good idea for Bristol Palin, pregnant at 17, to warn America’s teens not to have sex until they’re married, you’re not alone.
But it’s hard to figure out what, exactly, the well-meaning adults who preach “no sex until marriage” to teenagers are thinking, considering a 2007 study confirmed abstinence-only education does not work.
Jessica Valenti, editor of Feminsting.com and author of The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession With Virginity Is Hurting Young Women, has written a piece for The Nation about how the groups that comprise what Valenti calls “the virginity movement” have finally realized they need new PR.
Unfortunately, the abstinence preachers’ ideas for discouraging teens from having sex still don’t make any sense. Keep reading »
Sigh. We remember back when Feministing was just Jessica Valenti’s small third wave feminist blog with a couple of her friends. But now one of our favorite blogs rolls nine bloggers deep and is turning five years old!
The anniversary bash will be held on June 12 in New York City. If you’re not in the NYC area but still love Feministing, you can buy a ticket that the bloggers will donate to a partier who can’t afford to go.
If a night of debauchery with folks who aren’t afraid to use the F-word (feminist, duh) isn’t enough to bring you out, the party will even host a special guest appearance from Kathleen Hanna of Le Tigre and Bikini Kill! So get your tickets now, alright? [Feministing] Keep reading »
Jessica Valenti was on “The Today Show” this morning to promote her new book The Purity Myth. Instead of discussing her book in depth, the producers pitted her against abstinence education champion Lakita Garth in a debate moderated by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, who always looks slightly perplexed. The result was that Garth got way more speaking time, although Valenti held her own as best she could, and Kathie Lee positioned herself on the issue of virginity loud and clear. “It’s much easier to give it away than keep it, right?!” Keep reading »
“There is a moral panic in America over young women’s sexuality — and it’s entirely misplaced. 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 their ability to be good people depends on their being good people, not on whether or not they’re sexually active.” — Jessica Valenti, “The Purity Myth”
I love Jessica Valenti. Can I just make that clear? The founder and editor of Feministing.com and author of Full Frontal Feminism has a new book out this month: The Purity Myth. It’s about the confusing and dangerous messages sent to women and girls about their sexuality. Namely, if a girl has sex before she’s married, she’s a whore, but those same “whores” are the ones celebrated by the mainstream media for making money and attracting men. Keep reading »
A UK based academic says feminism should be taught in schools. As a feminist blogger, I couldn’t agree more. Dr. Jessica Ringrose at the Institute of Education in London has made the rounds recently, suggesting that feminism should be taught in schools to combat the increased sexualization of girls in the media and to give girls role models outside of celebrities like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. Ringrose suggests teaching girls about historic feminist leaders, like suffragists, to balance out all the tripe they’re getting through pop culture. While I’m all about teaching feminism to younger girls (hell, start them in kindergarten!), as others have noted, I think we’re better off showing girls what kinds of amazing feminist action is happening right now. Keep reading »