Saturday, 20 April 2013

Women and Virginity: Who decides?

I've always been uncomfortable with the idea of virginity. It's so unfriendly. If you are "a virgin" in the traditional sense, you are somehow more innocent and pure (regardless of how much of a little bitch you may be) than your somehow wiser, shiftier and dirtier counterparts.

It's also physiologically dodgy (horses, bicycles, sports at school etc, could be the culprit). Yet it's also so ingrained into our culture, that young girls routinely think blowing their boyfriends or allowing back access "preserves" their innocence. And all that's aside from the very common, clumsy logistics of heavy petting and "almost penetration" fumbles.

Some women have even been forced to buy virginity back through surgery just to convince their future husbands of their purity- all because ‘men are expected to marry virgins’. Yes in some cultures virginity is a must have or else
But "virginity" as we currently define it is much more ominous than that.

We were discussing the ages we lost our virginity, and a friend mentioned a horrifyingly pre-sexual age, and then apologised, saying that "it's a different thing for her, because she'd been raped as a child and her virginity stolen".
My next reaction was one of outrage... seriously? We have a society so lavishly rotten that we don't only routinely maim and hurt children, but that we leave them with a societal taint too? This intelligent, brave and interesting woman – who is now fifty – feels she does not have the right to mark her own passage into sexual identity.

We  live in a sick world where girls are violated at an early age, so what are the chances of them being virgins? And if men have become so sick to rape toddlers, why then should they expect to marry virgins

Some of the girls are so traumatised that hearing other girls talk about virginity makes them cry. I was recently chatting to my niece who lives in Johannesburg. When I asked how her children were, she informed me that they were alright except the 8 year old was raped! Yes you heard me alright.  What are the chances of her being a virgin-obviously none, yet our society will expect her to be a virgin when she marry.

Honestly, I believe that until we reinvent the idea of virginity, an outdated, possessive male construct, we can't give real weight to women's sexual liberation.

I have a question for ladies out there: - At what age did you lose your virginity? And I don't mean your hymen. I mean how old were you when you had your first satisfying sexual experience, penetrative or not? The first time you had an intimate, consensual sexual experience?

It’s time to re invent the idea of virginity and question why should it be women who should be ‘pure.’

1 comment:

  1. Hi Abi, this is Charlotte, your journalist friend! I'm going through your blog and its apparent theres lots I forgot to ask you. You've had a very interesting life! Would you be able to talk tomorrow again? I'm free all day x