I’ve always found the idea of “saving” your virginity intriguing: It’s not as if we’re packing our Saran-wrapped hymens away in the freezer, after all, or pasting them in scrapbooks.  But packed-away virginities aside, the interesting — and dangerous — idea at play here is that of “morality.”  When young women are taught about morality, there’s not often talk of compassion, kindness, courage, or integrity.  There is, however, a lot of talk about hymens (though the preferred words are undoubtedly more refined — think “virginity” and “chastity”): if we have them, when we’ll lose them, and under what circumstances we’ll be rid of them.  
While boys are taught that the things that make them men — good men — are universally accepted ethical ideals, women are led to believe that our moral compass lies somewhere between our legs.  Literally.  Where it’s the determining factor in our “cleanliness” and “purity” or the marker of our character, virginity has an increasingly dangerous hold over young women.  It affects not only our ability to see ourselves as ethical actors outside of our own bodies, but also how the world interacts with us through social mores, laws, and even violence.  

Jessica Valenti, The Purity Myth

I’ve always found the idea of “saving” your virginity intriguing: It’s not as if we’re packing our Saran-wrapped hymens away in the freezer, after all, or pasting them in scrapbooks.  But packed-away virginities aside, the interesting — and dangerous — idea at play here is that of “morality.”  When young women are taught about morality, there’s not often talk of compassion, kindness, courage, or integrity.  There is, however, a lot of talk about hymens (though the preferred words are undoubtedly more refined — think “virginity” and “chastity”): if we have them, when we’ll lose them, and under what circumstances we’ll be rid of them.  

While boys are taught that the things that make them men — good men — are universally accepted ethical ideals, women are led to believe that our moral compass lies somewhere between our legs.  Literally.  Where it’s the determining factor in our “cleanliness” and “purity” or the marker of our character, virginity has an increasingly dangerous hold over young women.  It affects not only our ability to see ourselves as ethical actors outside of our own bodies, but also how the world interacts with us through social mores, laws, and even violence.  

Jessica Valenti, The Purity Myth

2 years ago with 1,905 notes
1,905 notes
tagged as: Jessica Valenti. The Purity Myth. books. quote.

  1. annvilleuniversity reblogged this from mollay
  2. blackcatneighborhood reblogged this from thingssheloves
  3. fanciful-fandomonium reblogged this from mirrix
  4. mirrix reblogged this from mahanaibu-eebowai
  5. bulicycle reblogged this from mollay
  6. pugswithkisses reblogged this from mahanaibu-eebowai
  7. mahanaibu-eebowai reblogged this from mollay
  8. potatokait reblogged this from mollay
  9. mars--fire reblogged this from mollay
  10. whereisyoursmilebabe reblogged this from mollay
  11. youkilledthecar reblogged this from kmartqt
  12. moonbabyangel reblogged this from georgesbirdybirds
  13. georgesbirdybirds reblogged this from mollay
  14. carpenoctemstellae reblogged this from mollay
  15. and-my-voice-trembles reblogged this from mollay
  16. rainyautumntwilight reblogged this from mollay
  17. pepaganda reblogged this from mollay
  18. goingbackto--nashville reblogged this from strawberryelbows
  19. proera1994 reblogged this from mollay
  20. strawberryelbows reblogged this from mollay
  21. boghaus reblogged this from mollay and added:
    I have just started reading this novel on the recommendation of a friend and I absolutely love it. The author has such a...
  22. bslamon reblogged this from mollay
  23. whore--monic reblogged this from ashbeetee
  24. ashbeetee reblogged this from taelergang