St. Trinians dvd Natalie Dylan might have just blended into the college community as another woman’s study major had she not sought a unique way to pay her tuition. Natalie is offering her virginity online to the highest bidder. According to the Bunny Ranch in Nevada, the highest bid came in at 3.7 million dollars. Natalie will submit to a medical examination to prove that her hymen is still intact, as well as submit to a lie detector test.
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We live in a sexist patriarchal world and while this may seem liberating in that Natalie is willfully choosing to auction offer her virginity, the fact that it is valued at 3.7 million is indeed problematic. Obviously after “losing” her virginity, she will be viewed as used as goods and the price to have sex with Natalie will naturally decline.
Part of why virginity is so prized is because we socially construct sex as something men do to women rather than something both partners participate in equally. It is understood that men conquer and women submit and therefore the first man to enter a woman’s body is seen as having a claim of ownership upon her. Despite the advances of feminism, in many ways women are still understood to be the property of men even though this sentiment is very rarely graphically stated.
The cult of virginity spreads across cultures and ethnicities, whether it is the purity rings or the virgin bride demands; men have repeatedly asserted that a woman’s value is placed solely in her ability to deny sexual access to all but the one who will eventually control her – her husband.
Frozen River divx Men are not valued for their bodies, they are valued for what they produce economically; whereas a woman’s worth is intrinsically tied to her ability to sexually titillate and produce offspring. The vagina becomes the sole measurement of a woman’s worth, often obscuring the ways she provides value to her community and family.
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It is to patriarchy’s benefit to reduce women to f*ckable parts because of the way that we conceptualize sex. If we truly believed in the reciprocity that we proclaim, such gender specific reduction would not occur. Woman is demeaned by her participation in intercourse and not uplifted by it. Yet the more sexual partners a man has the more he is valued. Being sexually active is considered a validation of masculinity because of the conquest discourse that we apply to male sexuality. Therefore, even as a man is being affirmed he is devaluing the social worth of each woman he engages with.
The binary view we have of sex as either an act of validation or degradation naturally sets women and men in an oppositional position to one another. Understanding that you can choose to live outside of the proscriptive construction of submissive female sexuality, is a divisive act. The issue is that such behaviour is often subject to social discipline. Natalie will be viewed as a spoiled identity after the transaction is complete, as much for losing her virginity as for placing it on sale in the first place.
Though Natalie has chosen to label this as an auction, in actuality the exchange is prostitution. There are some feminists that would say that what Natalie is doing is decidedly not feminist. Radical feminists in particular would take issue with the idea that women can find sexual freedom, autonomy, or agency, in prostitution.
The fact that her area of studies is women’s studies would be viewed by some as highly problematic. In the end, declared feminist or not, patriarchy survives because just like any other institution women support it. As feminists we like to believe that we are continually working to end patriarchal domination; however each day in small ways, we betray our principles thus allowing patriarchy to prosper on.
When we sit in judgement of women like Natalie without acknowledging the degrees to which we are complicit in the maintenance of patriarchy, feminism becomes a hypocritical movement. Natalie made this decision to pay for her education and while there are certainly other ways to finance higher learning, the point that should be understood and appreciated is that she made this choice willingly.
Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms the movie Patriarchy may feel that their cult of virginity has been affirmed; however her negotiation of this restriction has allowed Natalie to ultimately benefit. With a master degree in women’s studies, Natalie will be able to work effectively to emancipate women and validate our life’s choices and in the end – isn’t that what feminism is all about?
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