Warning: This is a bit of a rant, though I’ll try to keep it toned down. Much of it can be attributed to this article on the Washington Post, about the “re-virgination of women in China.”
More specifically, this quote:
Some men who were interviewed agreed about the importance of finding a virgin. “I really care about virginity,” said Xia Yang, product manager for a technology company. “If you go to buy a cellphone, of course you’d want to buy a new cellphone. Who would spend the same amount of money to buy an old cellphone that’s been used for two years?”
Yeah. And then my head exploded.
Can someone *please* explain to me why a woman’s sole value is placed squarely on the existence (or lack thereof) of a membrane?
I mean, yes, the virginity thing is a common trope for so many historical romances – how the heroine loses it, or how the hero seduces it away (or takes her, or rapes her, in the earlier sorts of books.) Does she get pregnant? What shall she do now that she’s “soiled?” Oh, wait, now she’s forced to marry said seducer. True love!
Or something like that. And okay, sure, it’s quaint and escapist fantasy and all that, so I don’t have much issue with it – but it *was* based in truth. And it just sucks that there are so many places that haven’t risen above the concept that women are not, in fact, cattle. We are not property. We are not here to become breeding machines for the male ego. Simply because a woman is sexually active does not make her some sort of marriage-leper.
Social and religious mores not withstanding, the double-standard here is just ridiculous. If you wish to reject a potential mate because of their behavior, that’s your prerogative. And by all means, a woman may not want to marry a man-whore for the same sorts of reasons…but of course, a woman has to take the man’s statement at face value that he hasn’t been sexually active. We have no way to prove it.
A hymen is NOT indicative of “purity.” It does not preclude the fact that it may have been removed through sports, tampon use, or rape. It does not guarantee a happy marriage. (And Christ, if you’re going out of your way to use a fake hymen to soothe your husband-to-be’s ego, what the hell sort of start is that??) The bride may well be a literal virgin…but maybe she’s sucked off the entire Chinese Navy. (Okay, crude example, but duh. And more power to her, if she has.)
The point is that men get off scot-free. They can dip their sticky little wickets wherever they like without repercussion and yet are free to pass judgment based on some antiquated societal rules. Dudes! We have DNA testing now! We can check if the kid is yours, so just get over yourselves. KThxbai.
And maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s actually really empowering to some of these women now that such an operation exists. Now they get to have their play-time, get sewn back up, fool the potential mate and live happily ever after.
But you have to sort of wonder. If virginity was so damnably precious to these societies then we wouldn’t have any STDs or children born out of wedlock, since no one would be having sex until the vows were exchanged. (and of course, my big assumption is that if virginity were so important, so would marriage vows – there wouldn’t be any cheating either. Ha ha.)
In Africa, having sex with virgins is supposed to cure AIDS. So now you have babies and young girls being raped by disease-riddled men, who then can’t get husbands later on. Why? Because they aren’t virgins.(And this opens up an entirely new can of worms about education and ignorance that I’m just not going to get into right now.)
So how does this cycle end?.