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Sex Mitzvah’d: Virginity Isn’t Easy for Girls

A biblical feminist confronts the Girls goddesses, Part 2.

Susan L.M. Goldberg


June 16, 2013 - 9:00 am
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Click here for Part 1

I love The 40 Year-Old Virgin for the same reason Shoshanna Shapiro quickly became my favorite character on Girls: not because of her personal virginphobia, but because in a world threatened with terrorism, hunger, and the pending threat of Obamacare, virginity remains one of the greatest crises of our time.

Thanks to the goddess feminist revolt of the sexy sixties, bedroom activities have risen to the top of the pops when it comes to ratings-driven conversation. As a result, virgins have become stigmatized as uncool goods. It’s no wonder, then, that pop culture-obsessed Shoshanna is neurotic enough to spend an entire season trying her best to lose her virginity so she can catch up to her “adventurous” female counterparts like Jessa (who came to the states for an abortion) and Hannah (who has recently been diagnosed with HPV).

How did feminism come to embrace promiscuity as a form of empowerment? Is the “adventurous” woman treating her HPV really happier than the biblical feminist who resisted the culture and waited until marriage to have sex?

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Thanks for this Susan, It's great to see these topics being seriously considered! I thought it would probably be more useful (to those who are really interested in these topics) to link some things which I've found thought provoking, rather than merely commenting. So here's my list of recommendations:

1. Virginity and Value: When did it suddenly become cool to be promiscuous*?
The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating Part 3: Designer Sex

2. From Working Moms to Non-Moms:
To Die For – Success:

3. Girls or boys, who really “wears the pants”
The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating Part 2: Gentlemen’s club

4. How deeply does the cult of goddess feminism impact our understanding of the individual woman?
To Die For – Beauty:

5. Postmodern art*:
Sex and the End of Loneliness:

6. Conclusion: Pop Culture, Polytheism, and Postmodernism.
The Search for Values:

Entire series here:

I'm looking forward to reading more of your thoughts!

*original words weren't allowed by the "comment guidelines"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's nearly unfathomable to me how anyone can cough out the Orwellian phrase "Biblical Feminism" with a straight face. The Bible instructs women to submit to male authority. Loudly and clearly, in both testaments. Feminism is a centuries-long rebellion against male leadership.

I am not a Christian, but I find it extremely doubtful anyone professing Feminism is either.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I wonder, are you skeptical enough to be skeptical about the rumors you believe? I seldom agree with movie critics, but at least in most cases they've actually watched the movie! To base one's opinions of the Bible (or anything else for that matter) on what its critics and detractors say is a foolish way to endeavor any realistic understanding of it. But I'd like to believe that most people on this site are more sophisticated than that, including you.

The argument that Christianity is the origin of sexism in Western culture ignores the fact that almost all cultures have been and still are sexist.

According to Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger, there have been three major movements in feminism:

The first, in the nineteenth century, focused on advancing the voice of women in the churches. The first woman pastor in America was ordained in 1853. Women founded or co-founded the Salvation Army and the Women's Christian Temperance Union. In the 1890s Elizabeth Cady Stanton edited the Woman's Bible. It was a movement to uphold the value of women, not to attack the authority of men.

The second movement, influenced by secular feminists in the 1960s and 1970s such as Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, endeavored to subtract Christianity from Christian feminism. The consequent rebellion against male leadership is decades, not centuries long.

Regarding the third movement, Köstenberger wrote:
"The 1970s saw the birth of what is called 'evangelical feminism' or 'biblical feminism,' a movement also termed 'egalitarianism.' This movement represents an effort within evangelicalism to revisit the traditional interpretation of gender passages in the Bible, including Jesus' perspective on women, in order to align it with a notion of gender equality... While radical and reformist feminists rally around the notion of 'liberation from oppression,' evangelical feminists adopt 'equality' as their central tenet. The teaching of Galatians 3:28, that in Christ 'there is no male and female,' serves as the key biblical text by which all other teachings of Scripture are to be measured."

her words, not mine.

And here's a discussion, from another woman who has done her research, on whether the Bible is in fact "sexist and out of date":
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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