It’s hard to escape the subject of sex; images of sex saturate advertisements, gyrating teens proclaim abstinence, millions of dollars of federal money has been funneled into abstinence-only “sexual education,” virginity has become another commodity sold to the highest bidder, teens are sexting and wanna-be celebrities are caught in sex-tape “scandals,” sex trafficking is the number one crime worldwide, daughters vow to save their virginity for their husbands by “marrying” their fathers with purity pledges while male virginity is mocked, pornography informs mainstream heterosexual notions of sexuality, girls are increasingly sexualized at younger and younger ages, women are “rejuvenating” and blinging out their vaginas, sex scandals are commonplace whether it be a celebrity, politician or religious leader, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish pornography from pop culture.
Frankly, I’m bored with and annoyed by this cultural obsession with sex. These manufactured, one-dimensional images of heterosexual sexuality constantly shoved down my throat (no pun intended). Running parallel to the cultural obsession with sex (and nude or near-nude ladies that grace countless magazine covers, billboards and populate advertisements), is the obsession with female virginity (so much so that many women opt to have their virginity restored via plastic surgery).
Clearly, with all this sex out there, the important issues regarding sex and sexuality are glossed over and given little media coverage. What remains in the public eye remains a vapid, one-dimensional image of sexuality and a perpetual reinforcement of the good girl/ bad girl (madonna/whore dichotomy). In this strange cultural climate where contradictory messages are being sent simultaneously, Therese Schecter is a breath of fresh air.
Let me introduce you to Therese.
Therese’s production company, Trixie Films, produced the celebrated and important documentary I was a Teenage Feminist, a personal and political discovery why women, including Therese herself, rejected a movement that changed women’s lives for the better on countless levels.
Therese is currently examining the culture of virginity from a feminist standpoint in her new, yet unfinished, documentary How to Lose Your Virginity. The ultimate goal of the project is to create an honest conversation about female sexuality, whether women choose to have sex or not. The documentary and accompanying blog, The American Virgin, is one of the only aggressively sex-positive forums while being committed to non-judgmental space for people who are not sexually active.
Given the culture’s confusing sexual climate, this sex-positive, non-judgmental space has garnered tons of feedback.
Thank you so much for helping me put my confusing, frustrating thoughts on sex and relationships into perspective. It really makes me feel so much less like an outcast and more able to take ownership of how I feel and not to listen to what others tell me.
Therese’s current project is of huge importance and is anxiously awaited by countless individuals (myself included!) and the trailer is already being used in college Human Sexuality courses.
But the film needs your support!
Trixie films has 10 days left to reach $10,000 in pledges in order to receive funding that will allow the film to be completed. For information on pledging and reward for each funding level, click here.
Cross-posted at Elephant Journal.