It’s Throwback Thursday on social media, and we’re joining in with this ad for Pursettes tampons that ran in Cosmpolitan (U.S.) magazine in 1966. Nearly 50 years on, little has changed in femcare marketing: Look at the familiar themes of medicalization of menstruation, secrecy, fearmongering, and the dreaded scourge of odor problems.
The idea that tampons can steal virginity isn’t quite as pervasive today, but one can still find it in tampon ads as recently as 1990 in teen magazines.
All the way to $10,000, that is. Work on the new production from Trixie Films, How to Lose Your Virginity, is nearly complete. This film promises to be an innovative exploration of the American obsession with virginity and an outstanding classroom teaching tool:
It’s a quest to dig beneath the damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t double-speak of a culture that cynically encourages both virginity and promiscuity. How can young women wade through these mixed messages–like a reality show that auctions off virgins to the highest bidder or Disney starlets flashing purity rings while writhing on stripper poles–and act instead on their own needs and desires? What’s behind this strange moment in American culture?
The road to understanding our obsession with virginity takes me to places I never thought I’d go–from the set of a Barely Legal porn movie shoot in the San Fernando Valley to a Love & Fidelity Abstinence Conference at Harvard to the fitting rooms of David’s Bridal.
Can you help? Independent women’s media needs support, and lots of small contributions add up to a big total. Visit the film’s fundraising page, and give what you can. Thanks to kickstarter.com, almost $5000 has been raised. But there are only 23 days left to reach the $10,000 goal or they’ll get none of it (which is how Kickstarter works).
Via the fabulous Scarleteen (best sex education resource on the web), I’ve just learned of the English translation of a remarkable booklet from Swedish Association for Sexuality Education: Vaginal corona: Myths surrounding virginity – your questions answered.
The mythical status of the hymen has caused far too much harm for far too long. Last spring, RFSU published an information booklet in Swedish intended to dispel some of the myths surrounding the hymen and virginity.
The booklet describes what the female genitals look like and what the vaginal corona actually is. It also dispels many of the myths surrounding female sexuality and the misconceptions concerning the hymen and virginity. Etymologically, the term hymen comes from the Greek word for membrane. In Swedish, the hymen used to be called mödomshinna, which translates literally as “virginity membrane.” In fact, there is no brittle membrane, but rather multiple folds of mucous membrane. A vaginal corona, in other words.
“The vaginal corona is a permanent part of a woman’s body throughout her life. It doesn’t disappear after she first has sexual intercourse, and most women don’t bleed the first time,” said Ms Regnér.
This is important work, and should be widely disseminated. At the link above, you can download the booklet in PDF form in Arabic, English, and Sorani, or order a print copy via email.