..the hope I have for women: that we can start to see ourselves-and encourage men to see us-as more than just the sum of our sexual parts: not as virgins or whores, as mothers or girlfriends, or as existing only in relation to men, but as people with independent desires, hopes and abilities. But I know that this can’t happen as long as American culture continues to inundate us with gender-role messages that place everyone-men and women-in an unnatural hierarchical order that’s impossible to maintain without strife. For women to move forward, and for men to break free, we need to overcome the masculinity status quo-together.
― Jessica Valenti,
The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women
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