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The Purity Myth: The Virginity Movement’s War Against Women

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.
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