Happy Feminist Jessica Valenti
Feminism may be dead in the minds of thoughtful Americans (on both sides of the political spectrum) who are too busy working and raising families to whine about perceived injustices in a supposed patriarchal society — but in certain very powerful circles, feminism is very much alive.
March is Women’s History Month, when all good feminists salivate for 30 days trying to convince Americans that women are oppressed. One of the ways they’ll attempt to prove their claim is via the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) — which was introduced this week in the Senate by members of both sexes and both parties. According to the United Nations, 6 out of 10 women — or 1 billion people — will experience abuse or sexual brutality in their lifetimes. Well, perhaps — if you’re talking about the entire world. But what about in America? As The Washington Times highlights from one of my former posts, under the VAWA domestic acts don’t have to be violent to be punished under the definition of domestic violence. Name-calling, put-downs, shouting, negative looks or gestures, ignoring opinions, or constant criticizing can all be legally labeled domestic violence. (And don’t think for a moment this applies to women. They’re free to do these things all they want.)
Indeed, hyperbole is a favorite tool of feminists. The constant exaggeration of the evils of America are routine for them. Marital rape is a great example. The way feminists tell it, you’d think Americans are Islamic extremists governed by Sharia law that says wives are property to do with as they please — and then do. Marriage is complicated business – to be sure. But to suggest marital rape is an epidemic in this country is preposterous.
What has become an epidemic is teen sex; the evidence is irrefutable. But don’t tell Jessica Valenti that. This morning at St. Louis Community College Valenti spent the better part of an hour telling college students that trying to promote chastity — or simply being vocal against the dangers of casual sex — is a scare tactic conservatives use to hold women down and keep them virginal. After deriding people/organizations like George W. Bush (for his abstinence funding), Sarah Palin, Dr. Miriam Grossman, FOX News, Charlotte Allen of the Independent Women’s Forum, Clare Booth Luce Institute, Wendy Shalit, Kathleen Parker — basically every conservative who ever lived — Valenti read from her book The Purity Myth, in which she essentially argues that there’s no difference between males and females and that all young people, girls in particular, should feel free to sleep around without censure.
But Ms. Valenti got a hard lesson this morning: not everyone is going to stand by and be fed this kind of crap. During the Q&A — which consisted of three questions only — one girl raised her hand. But hers wasn’t a question; it was a statement. Valenti was clearly caught off guard.
With strong emotion, tremendous confidence, and a lot to say, the girl tells Valenti she is “very disappointed.” As a virgin, she thought a talk on the “purity myth” was going to support her choice to remain abstinent. She talked about her reasons for not having sex and about her mother insisting she carry a large pack of condoms despite the girl telling her mother she doesn’t want to have sex. She said she thought Ms. Valenti was going to assure her it was okay to wait.
The girl was crying.
I froze in my seat several rows back, where I was frantically taking notes and watching Ms. Valenti. I was so shocked at the girl’s courage I couldn’t stop staring at her. She did go on a bit too long, so Ms. Valenti stopped her in her tracks and mumbled some lame response about how she wasn’t saying it was bad to be chaste (Um, excuse me? That’s exactly what you’ve been saying); it just isn’t right to suggest that girls who are chaste are somehow wiser or better off.
In other words, she backpedaled. What at else can she say to a girl who comes to hear how courageous she is to do something different from what everyone else is doing — only to be told she’s an uptight fool?
Good going, Ms. Valenti. You sure are doing a lot for the young people of America.