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The Purity Myth


As the campaign for the 2012 US Presidency heats up in the United States, it’s sex that’s been making headlines around the world. A series of high-profile attacks on women’s reproductive health by conservative politicians has shifted the debate from anxieties about the global economy to anxieties about women’s sexuality. Where unemployment and jobs once dominated the discussion, now it’s contraception, promiscuity, and abortion. 

The Purity Myth, the new documentary based on the international bestseller by pioneering feminist blogger Jessica Valenti, makes sense of this shift. The film takes aim at “the virginity movement” – a little known, but politically powerful, coalition of politicians, evangelical Christians, and right-wing activists that has been pushing a pro-purity agenda for decades. It argues convincingly that the movement’s longstanding preoccupation with contraception and abortion is less about sex and morality than it is about women’s autonomy and independence. And it shows how feminism and women’s equality are the movement’s ultimate targets.

Speaking directly to our political moment, in ways that transcend American politics, The Purity Myth offers an astonishing look at how fears around women’s sexuality are being used to roll back women’s rights and reassert male authority.

52 minutes

Featuring: Jessica Valenti 
Executive Producer: Sut Jhally 
Director: Jeremy Earp 
Writers: Jessica Valenti & Jeremy Earp 
Producers: Jeremy Earp, Scott Morris & Jason Young 
Editor: Jason Young 

Associate Producers: Loretta Alper & Andrew Killoy 

Distributed by George Matta

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