I just wanted
to thank you for your book. Once
I picked up I couldnt put
it down. It basically laid out almost
exactly how I felt as a woman. I
am 20 years old and have been asking
myself questions like "whats
wrong with me? Why haven't I had
sex yet? Why am I so embarrassed
to talk to guys?" I mean my
face gets so red and sometimes I
can't even look them in the eye
and i grew up with 3 brothers. I
am fine around them.
your book, my faith was restored.
I am a romantic. And i was always
told that was cute. Another thing
said to me most often by people
my own age is "youre
a virgin? Thats so cute."
I couldn't figure out why I hadn't
just slept with this guy or that
one like my friends do. And I'll
say i was so close to doing that
just because I thought it would
help me grow up. Be more my own
age. Even my mother wanted me to
do it. And that's why I thank God
I read your book when I did. I began
crying towards the end when I realized
that nothing was wrong with me and
that I was lucky to still have what
I have. My desire to be with one
person isn't childish or immature.
It's Modest. I'm not scared, i just
don't have an interest in it as
So thank you,
for guiding me. You have inspired
me to guide others. Especially my
younger sister who is only 16. I
am now trying to getting involved
in the Jewish Community. And looking
into Orthodox Judaism. It is all
so exciting. You have also inspired
me to look at womens studies
as a possible major. What do you
think of that? Mostly, I want to
help others the way you have me
by inspiring them to stick with
their instincts and stay true to
themselves. Not only that, but I
am encouraging all of my friends
(all of whom have had sex) to read
your book. It is so empowering to
email has been so long, but you
have truly changed the path of my
life, I have so much more to say,
but I am sure you get this a lot.
So thank you.
Thank you so
much for your beautiful letter.
I am tremendously flattered that
you give me so much credit, but
I think you need to give yourself
a bit more. You are the one responsible
for changing the direction of your
life. People can read tons of books
and nothing sinks in—I am thinking
of diet books in particular—so
obviously you are a very strong
person. Maybe my book gave you ammunition,
but you always knew deep down that
what your friends said wasnt
right. You even stood up to your
own mother! Wow. That must have
So now youre
wondering where to go from here.
Womens Studies would be just
perfect for you—if you want to
torture yourself, that is. Unfortunately,
a fundamental tenet of a typical
womens studies department
is that there are no meaningful
differences between the sexes, and
everything you see and experience
is merely the result of social
construction. They also tend
to teach that virginity is a patriarchal
construct. These are all fancy
ways of saying, essentially, that
youre not allowed to be you.
Obviously there is no harm in sitting
in on such classes, but it seems
to me youve already been sufficiently
attacked for the crime of wanting
to be true to your own feelings.
Been there, done that.
What you really
need is a supportive community that
helps you develop your unique potential.
Exploring Judaism is a wonderful
idea (especially as you happen to
be Jewish, anyway).
The best program
I know of is Neve Yerushalayim College
for Women—website is http://www.nevey.org.
They are in Israel, and run beginner-to-advanced
Jewish philosophy programs year-round.
The teachers are not only brilliant
but also extremely kind people,
and I personally found them tremendously
inspiring. There are also scholarships
available, and options to postpone
payment of tuition for those in
need. I dont recommend dropping
out of university, since a degree
never hurt anyone (unless you major
in women's studies). But the next
time you have a few weeks on break,
you might consider sitting in on
one of Neves sessions.
Retreats—also has a great
learning program for college students
in Santa Barbara and in New York.
Where do you
live? If you let me know, I may
be able to connect you to something
And when you
do eventually make it to Israel,
be sure not to take buses or travel
downtown. This is for your own safety,
but mostly its to make your
parents feel better. Although theres
a generational divide about the
value of virginity today, your parents
still love you very much.
in touch & let me know how you
are doing from time to time!