The Power of Global Networks - Blog Series

Click on the location markers below to read posts from women's funds around the world.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Progress or Regress?

Lately it seems we've seen several instances of women selling their virginity in the media, whether for college expenses or even academic study. Recently The Associated Press reported on a young woman in New Zealand, known only as Unigirl, who is selling her virginity to pay for her college tuition.

Last month, Natalie Dylan of San Diego, CA posted her virginity for sale, and now bidding has surpassed the million-dollar mark.

Dylan has a degree in Women's Studies and insists that she is not demeaning herself.

Both women appear to believe that the ends justifies the means.

On an individual level, one might be able to say that these women are wholly in control of themselves and their desires, which is a wonderful thing. It is empowering to know you may do what you want with yourself.

However, if measured against a broader scale, couldn't it be construed that their actions perpetuate a perspective that is unhealthy toward women? Namely, the perception of women as objects that may be purchased and sold.

These organizations – all women’s funds and members of Women’s Funding Network – fund innovative programs and organizations that improve the lives of women and girls by educating people about human rights and equality:

Global Fund for Women
V Day, founded by Eve Ensler
Equality Now

It's somewhat of a paradox that higher education has led Dylan and Unigirl to sell a portion of themselves on the Internet.

What is your take on their actions? Are they signs of progress or regress?


  1. You raise a really good point about higher education being the ironic reasoning used to sell one's virginity. At the same time, I wonder if the claims are even believable. It's as if, true or not, getting education is being used to legitimize the selling of women.

  2. If a woman is the only one who profits from the sale of her body, I'd say that is progress.