I came across this trailer for Daddy I Do, a documentary by Cassie Jaye about the purity ball and abstinence-only movements in the US (can’t remember where I found the link, unfortunately). It looks like a really fascinating and well done film; it’s already won a number of awards, including the Best Documentary award at Cannes.
There are a number of links and reviews of the film at Cassie Jaye’s website. I could say a lot about the trailer, but one thing that sticks out at me immediately is how it captures the racial dynamics of the abstinence only/purity movement. Especially in the most conservative pockets (e.g., those who believe in courtship, or betrothal) – the purity movement is an overwhelmingly white crowd. And the discourse around the consequences of giving up sexual “purity” is often raced in interesting ways as well, with women of color commonly held up as negative examples.
The video below is part of an interview with Cassie Jaye and the producer of Daddy I Do; Jaye mentions that she went through abstinence programs herself, which is really interesting. It seems like there’s a growing number of women raised in very conservative churches who are now raising awareness about issues of gender and sexuality in these Christian subcultures. I’m really encouraged by this, because I think there’s a real need for the unique perspective of women who actually know what it’s like to grow up in these churches, and can both critique and empathize with people in these churches based on their experiences.