'Diary Of A Teenage Girl' Star Breaks Down 'Taboo' Of Female Sexuality

The 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' star discusses patriarchy's impact on young women.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” Marielle Heller’s film adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner’s coming-of-age novel, has been hailed for its honest and unapologetic portrayal of female sexuality, thanks largely to the way it stands out against society’s prevailing notions about young women and sex, actress Bel Powley told HuffPost Live on Friday.

Powley, who plays the film’s 15-year-old protagonist Minnie Goetze, spoke out about the rigid, patriarchal expectations women face when owning their sexuality. She told host Caroline Modaressy-Tehrani:

I think it’s a way for the patriarchy to keep women in their place. It’s to teach girls that your virginity is something you need to protect because because boys are going to try and come and take it from you, rather than teaching girls [that] yeah, it’s something you should protect, but it’s yours to lose when you want to. It’s not going to damage you. You’re not going to be tainted. I think as women, we’re taught to be this precious thing that’s going to be attacked by men. 

Such standards disparage young women who are coming to terms with their sexual desires, she added.

“Sexuality amongst females is just such a taboo subject. And, having been a teenage girl, it makes you feel very alienated and isolated in that way,” Powley said. “And it makes you feel weird and … [like] a freak for having sexual feelings, so it’s definitely an important conversation to start having.”

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with actress Bel Powley and writer/director Marielle Heller here.

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