Last night on instant messenger, a female friend of mine sent me a link to a new book that Jessica Valenti over at Feministing is coming out with. Yes, believe it or not, this apparently isn’t some sort of off-the-wall parody — it’s a real book[.]
After sending me the link, my friend’s comment was, “What is it with feminists and wanting to turn America’s teenagers into raging whores?”
Yeah, that would be me. Here’s what the book cover looks like:
Sigh. Where to even begin.
For what its worth, Jessica seems to have an obsession with sluttiness. She has some kind of particular aversion to girls practicing abstinence, or at the very least, not wallowing in the hook-up culture that dominates high schools and colleges today. According to Jessica, shirts that say things like “Future Wife” and “Virgins are Hot” are SEXIST!! (how shocking). She also hates purity balls. She hated this article from Time Magazine. Here’s an excerpt Jessica featured and called “creepy”:
Kylie Miraldi has come from California to celebrate her 18th birthday tonight. She’ll be going to San Jose State on a volleyball scholarship next year. Her father, who looks a little like Superman, is on the dance floor with one of her sisters; he turns out to be Dean Miraldi, a former offensive lineman with the Philadelphia Eagles. When Kylie was 13, her parents took her on a hike in Lake Tahoe, Calif. “We discussed what it means to be a teenager in today’s world,” she says. They gave her a charm for her bracelet–a lock in the shape of a heart. Her father has the key. “On my wedding day, he’ll give it to my husband,” she explains. “It’s a symbol of my father giving up the covering of my heart, protecting me, since it means my husband is now the protector. He becomes like the shield to my heart, to love me as I’m supposed to be loved.”
Creepy? I thought it was sweet. Jessica’s response?
Are families who don’t expect their daughters to promise their virginity to their dads promoting sex for 12 year-olds? Can’t dads be engaged in the lives of their daughters without worrying about the state of their hymen? And is telling women that their moral compass lays in between their legs really setting the bar high?
She didn’t mind an article from Salon.com bragging about how awesome casual hook-ups are. The writer gleefully recounts the many
one-night stands “several night stands” she’s had as if it’s a positive thing:
I’m a 24-year-old member of the hookup generation — I’ve had roughly three times as many hookups as relationships — and, like innumerable 20-somethings before me, I’ve found that casual sex can be healthy and normal and lead to better adult relationships. I don’t exactly advocate picking up guys at frat parties and screwing atop the keg as the path to marital bliss. It’s just that hookup culture is not the radical extreme it is so frequently mischaracterized as in the media. There is sloppy stranger sex among people my age, sure, but sometimes hooking up is regular sex with a casual acquaintance; sometimes it’s innocent making out or casually dating or cuddling, and, oftentimes, it involves just one person at a time. In a sense it’s all very old-fashioned — there’s just a lot more unattached sex involved.
That, my friends, is Jessica Valenti’s example of “healthy” sexuality, remarking:
Some of you may already know that I’m working on a book about this culture of purity and chastity, and how it’s America’s obsession with virginity, not Girls Gone Wild and hooking up, that’s fucking young women up.
So, I’ll say it again.
Why is it so many feminists are so obsessed with turning teenage girls into raging whores? How is that something you tell girls they should aspire to? Sleeping around is not a good thing. Even if you take the emotional aspect out, it’s not physically healthy. There’s a reason that 1 in 4 teenage girls has an STD. I guess that doesn’t matter to Jessica, because hey, obviously as long as you practice “safe sex” you’ll NEVER get an STD! Condoms are absolutely foolproof, so hey, screw whoever you want. There won’t be any consequences. Right?
Oh, wait, apparently that’s not working out too good for teenage girls.
You would think, if for no other reason, you’d want to tell girls to rein it in if for no other reason than to safeguard their health. But hey, telling girls to be pure is really the problem. Girls Gone Wild culture is healthy, telling girls to keep their legs together is not.
Yeah, that’s the advice of a sane, rational person with girls’ well-being at heart.
See, for feminists like Jessica it’s not good enough to say it’s your choice when it comes to sex. Modern feminism isn’t about choice though, is it? No, Jessica and her ilk have to make everyone else act the exact same way they do. Is it to validate their own choices? I’d wager a bet on that, although if that is the truth, it would be the strongest argument against the point that Jessica is making.
Look, I’m not about to say that anyone who has premarital sex is a slut, or that if you have had a lot of sex it means you’re a terrible person. I am saying that spreading your shit like you’re Samantha on Sex and the City is not healthy and it’s not something you should be telling teenage girls they should be emulating.
And yes, fathers should be talking to their daughters about sex. While Jessica seems to think that the implication is that talking to their daughters about sex is the only way fathers can be involved in their daughters’ lives, that’s not the point at all. Fathers — and mothers — are supposed to be helping their children to grow, to learn, prepare them to make good choices. That includes sex. And telling your twelve-year-old, “You know what? You’re a smart kid. Do whatever is right for YOU!” is ludicrous. A girl that young simply does not have the maturity to make that kind of decision on her own! Her parents are supposed to guide her, and I personally find purity balls great ways to do that. To me, a purity ball is not teaching a girl that sex is something dirty or cheap (although telling her that she should hook up with whoever she wants certainly does). It tells her that sex is something sacred and special, and that it’s not something that she should give away to just anyone. Even if she has sex before she gets married, it’s a lesson she’ll likely carry on throughout her life. And how can you possibly argue that a girl who has limited partners is worse off than a girl who screws any guy who’ll buy her a few at a bar or flirt with her in class at college? And if respect and empowerment for herself is not a good enough reason to teach a girl to abstain, then the willpower required should be. Doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it makes for a very weak person, indeed. It doesn’t take strength or character to just do “whatever makes you feel good”.
I honestly think that what most of this is about when it comes to feminists like Jessica is self-loathing… you know, misery loves company and all. I can’t help but see someone extremely misguided, bitter, and angry in Jessica and the feminists like her. What’s truly pathetic is that they aren’t content with screwing up their own lives. No… they’ve got to ruin the lives of American teenage girls as well.
Maybe I should just write a book called “The Feminism Myth: How Feminists’ Obsession with Slutting Around is Hurting Young Women”. See, feminism did not come around as a vehicle for women to be able to have on-demand birth control and abortions, or sleep around like horndog men. And to have the values that the mothers of feminism stood for perverted by women who claim to be fighting for women’s rights is a myth, indeed.