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Friday, 13 April 2018

Why is virginity such a big deal?

Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? Not me, bitch.
P.S. this image has nothing whatsoever to do
with the title.
It's a big deal emotionally because it's the first time you're physically intimate with someone, and sharing a part of your body with them in the purest way. When I say 'why is it a big deal', I mean why are there so many morals and dos and don'ts tied to it, especially for girls? Why has virginity for so long been tied to a girl's value?

Well, religion is a big reason. I think we all know this; certain religions are very strict on sexuality for men and women, and our world has only been moving away from letting religion and superstition cloud our judgement for the past few hundred years or so. Most of human society has been based upon stories and superstitions and myths, and whilst I live in Britain which is a mostly secular and science-based country, a lot of the world still believes in ghosts, gods, and other superstitious stuff. Despite the fact that the evidence is all around us; we're still wrapping religious beliefs up in cotton wool because humans have been basing our lives around them for so long.
Another reason was to help prevent paternity fraud which I do understand; if a woman wasn't a virgin and she had a child with a man, then there was no way of telling whether or not that kid was his. Does make you consider the other side though; a man could go and get tons of women pregnant and leave them to raise his kid by themselves. A virginal woman was considered valuable like some kind of 'property' for a father to sell to a man (as if women are commodities to be sold). Of course nowadays we have birth control and abortions and DNA tests, although there are women that disgustingly commit paternity fraud, as there are men that get women pregnant and then run off and leave some other dude to raise his kid.

I think when we place too much emphasis on a woman's virginity, we create unnecessary standards that girls are forced to uphold, leading to guilt and shame around sex and masturbation, and questioning as to whether or not having lots of partners is good or bad, or if it's good or bad to still be a virgin in your twenties.

I don't want a boyfriend/husband to value me based on what goes on between my legs. I want to be valued for my personality, my mind, my empathy, and how I treat a guy. My past sexual history shouldn't matter when it comes to being with someone whom I care about and vice versa. And if a guy is going to sneer at me because of how many sexual partners I've had, I'd rather not be with him.

There are cultures where a woman's virginity is like some sort of 'prize' and equates to a measure of her worth. I think this is dangerous because if that woman sleeps with someone she isn't married to, it can lead to honour killings, ostracization, and treating her like she is severely abhorrent. (Similar to how they treat homosexuals). How is that a healthy way to view sex? We need to stop viewing virginity as the ultimate measure of a woman's value.
I think this article above reinforces my above statement. It is an anecdote of a Muslim woman talking about having an abortion at 22. Like many young women she dreamed of the romantic first time – she wanted to marry a Muslim prince who would whisk her away on his white horse. In reality her boyfriend was horrible and manipulative and coerced her into uncomfortable, un-enjoyable sex.

They split up before she told him she was pregnant. Women are socialised to treat their ‘first time’ sex-wise like it’s this big amazing thing that will change them forever. In reality, even if your first time is with a loving partner, it's unlikely to be great. It tends to hurt and feel ‘anti-climatic’, because it's not something you're used to physically and can stir up lots of anxiety. Likewise for men; they tend not to last long when they're inexperienced because they're not used to it and tend not to know what they're doing.

Obviously there is nothing wrong with viewing your virginity as special if that's how you see yourself. But I don't see why being a virgin means you have some sort of 'moral high ground.' If anything, a woman could be keeping her virginity in order to manipulate men into falling for her and doing stuff for her and then dropping them. 'Virginity' in itself isn't an actual thing. The hymen is not an indicator of virginity, as some women are born without one, and many can tear from tampons, masturbation, gymnastics or horse-riding. Its not even that important from a physiological perspective, although it may have evolved to protect the vagina from bacteria.

It's insane that so much socio-cultural emphasis for years has been placed upon such an insignificant part of the body. And what if you're a lesbian? Women that have sex with each other obviously don't do it the same way heterosexuals do, but it doesn't mean they're still virgins. Sexual acts doesn't always mean penis in vagina, it can mean oral sex, anal sex (for gay men particularly), or using the hands and fingers.

Come on; sex is fun and enjoyable, and there shouldn't be any shame attached to it (unless we're talking about assault or pedophilia which is obviously a serious issue and more about power than pleasure). There's nothing 'good' or 'special' about being a virgin; we're all going to have sex one day anyway. If you are a virgin, you shouldn't feel ashamed of it as it doesn't mean anything. I feel that if we're trying to push women forward - and this is coming from someone who isn't even a feminist - we shouldn't be pushing the narrative that a woman's most precious or valuable asset is her body. We shouldn't be shaming our fellow women for having lots of sex, nor should we shame girls because they do actually want to wait. Our bodies are not some sort of precious sacred temple; they're made of cells and skin and water.

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  1. To me virginity just means have you ever gotten laid (not just the traditional way of having children). Some people see it as a big deal as if it helps them climb the social ladder, and in the end it really doesn't matter. It not happening can feel lonely but overall it's only special if you want it to be.

    1. I agree. I think it's a shame that there's pressure on young men also to have lots of sex as if that makes you 'more of a man'; it really doesn't. Like, have sex if you want, but if you don't or aren't ready then that's fine too. I think sex is special if it's with someone you really like and care about, otherwise it's just a fun fuck.


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