Clark-Flory: "Let's talk more about men. There are countless movies about the high school geek who is on a mission to lose his virginity. So, obviously men are affected by the purity myth?"
Valenti: "In terms of male virgins, I don't think they're affected nearly as much as women. As you said, male virgins are presented in this jokey way in U.S. culture -- you see them in a doofy movie and that's pretty much it. I think the way that they're most affected is in how they're taught to interact with women and to define themselves in oppositional terms. To be a man you just have to not be feminine -- don't be a girl, don't be a pussy, and don't be a sissy."
That "jokey way" she speaks of is a lot more damaging than than she makes it out to be and it damn sure isn't funny. What Valenti seems to be missing is something that is often missing in discourse about male virginity that doesn't include males. An actual male perspective. While girls are simultaneously pressured by some to refrain from sex for as long as possible and by others to have as much sex as possible boys are told from all sides that they need to be having sex, they should want sex at all times, to not have sex is to not be a man, and since they want sex all the time there is no such things as raping a guy. Yeah those guys might be portrayed as doofy but at the same time they are humiliated, ridiculed, teased, and sometimes physically attacked because of their sex drives.
Now mind you I'm not trying to say that females don't go through any trials and tribulations when it comes to sex but dismissing what males go through as a joke is just as bad as dismissing what females go through.
Thing is boys are punished for their sexuality too. Females are told to suppress their sexual appetites boys are told that they supposed to be ruled by their sexual appetites because males are sexual animals that cannot help but be controlled by lust. Girls and women are not the only ones being called disgusting, sick, perverted, and who knows what else because of sex.
To be a man you just have to not be feminine -- don't be a girl, don't be a pussy, and don't be a sissy.Now if only it were that easy. To be a man we "just have to" be expected to sign up for Selective Service in order to go to college, expected to ensure that the "women and children" (odd how they are lumped together like that) are safe at the cost of our own lives, expected to have our potential as life mates measured mostly (if not entirely) by our financial stability, etc... Not trying to say its harder than being a woman but that shit is not a cake walk.
Now perhaps Valenti just gave those short (and inaccurate) answers because she didn't want to spend much time talking about and that would make sense but dismissals like that are a part of the problems that men and boys face these days. And as you can see I only have a gripe with a small portion of the interview so don't let this stop you from giving it a fair shake. There is a lot more material in the discussion between them and who knows you may not agree with me on this part so go give it a go.