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

Film Screening
The Purity Myth
Wednesday, March 8, 2023, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

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

The film screening is part of a one-day workshop on Cosmopolitan Gender Justice on this year’s International Women’s Day and of a series of events in the Women's History Month 2023, jointly organized by the Political, Legal, and Moral Philosophy research group (POLEMO) and the South/South Movement, in cooperation with CEU Community Engagement Office and the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University.


Reception to follow, QS Ground Floor Lounge  


About the Documentary

“The Purity Myth” is a 2011 video adaptation of “The Virginity Movement,” a bestselling book by Jessica Valenti. The feminist blogger shows how a movement of evangelical Christians, conservative thinkers and right-wing politicians aims to reduce women’s worth to whether they are sexually active or not and exploits fears about female sexuality to work towards a retrenchment of women’s rights. Valenti states in the documentary, "women are still led to believe that our moral compass lies somewhere between our legs, literally."

The movie sheds light on how virginity is portrayed in the media, how US taxpayer money is used to fund the promotion of abstinence educational programs and how conservative politicians campaign against public funding for women’s reproductive health care. Overall, Valenti speaks up against the Purity Myth and argues that topics surrounding women’s health and well-being should not be left to right-wing ideologues who fight against feminist goals of women’s equal status and autonomy.

"Fierce and funny… In-your-face feminism is what Valenti is about." - Antonia Zerbisias, The Toronto Star

The trailer is available at:

Organizing Team: Verena Zech, Natalia Fritzen, and Hong Do