‘I’m now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality.’

If virginity was not seen as a precious commodity or a gift (more like a right in India) for women’s husbands  – how would women’s lives be different?

Would there be less silence on sexual crimes? Less ‘gender policing’? [Link shared by Shail Mohan]

Maybe if virginity was not such a valuable thing – sexual assaults (upon women and girls) would not be equated with (and trivialised as) robbing of something (izzat lootna) but as serious criminal assaults on the person?

And then it would not be possible to rape or molest a woman to ‘teach a lesson’ to the woman (or to those whose commodity she is viewed as)?

How did the idea of women’s virginity, honor, chastity, purity first come to accepted by the society?

What do those who are obsessed with controlling women’s sexuality do  – when it is not socially acceptable to use violence, murders, threats of being sold into sexual slavery or social boycott to control women’s sexuality?

Maybe then ten year old girls are led to believe that if they agreed to treat their bodies and sexual experience as everybody’s business, they would be rewarded with approval and Blessings (not verifiable).

Even if this young woman did not need therapy – how do women explain to themselves as to exactly how does the lack of sexual experience (of one of the partners) automatically improve (or Bless) a ‘marriage’?

Link shared by IK.

I Took a Virginity Pledge As a Child And It Nearly Destroyed My Life 

At the age of 10, I took a pledge at my church alongside a group of other girls to remain a virgin until marriage.

…. I learned that as a girl, I had a responsibility to my future husband to remain pure for him. It was entirely possible that my future husband wouldn’t remain pure for me, because he didn’t have that same responsibility, according to the Bible. And of course, because I was a Christian, I would forgive him for his past transgressions and fully give myself to him, body and soul.

Once I got married, it would be my duty to fulfill my husband’s sexual needs. I was told over and over again, so many times I lost count, that if I remained pure, my marriage would be blessed by God and if I didn’t that it would fall apart and end in tragic divorce.

I believed it. Why wouldn’t I? I was young and these were people I trusted.

My feminist husband was horrified that I’d let him touch me when I didn’t want him to. He made me promise I’d never do anything I didn’t want to do ever again.

….

I’m now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality. If I could go back, I would not wait. I would have sex with my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I wouldn’t go to hell for it. We would have gotten married at a more appropriate age and I would have kept my sexuality to myself.

Related Posts:

Here’s why I think the society should not obsess over a woman’s virginity.

“let me ask – how many girls in city remain pure till marriage ?”

Indian loses online bid to buy Brazilian student’s virginity

“There is so little conversation about a woman’s desire for sex that a lot of people simply assume it doesn’t exist.”

How does an average Indian define Rape, Child Abuse and Consensual Sex?

“why not marry them first and then have sex ? What prevents you from doing it ? Deep within YOU WANT JUST SEX and nothing more”

On the verge of becoming a Zinda Laash but saved by marriage.

Girls morally bound not to have sex before marriage, says fast track court judge

Here’s why a 6-year-old rape survivor was ordered to marry alleged rapist’s 8 year old son.

Yet another rape that was not about lust but about aggression, revenge and putting the victim in her place.

Ek Hindustani ladki ki Izzat.

16 thoughts on “‘I’m now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality.’

  1. Men don’t always rape women because they are horny or sexually frustrated. It all comes down to power in the end. Women are expected to be ‘the weaker sex’, the subservient partners peeking from behind the curtain. How do you ensure ALL women buy into the “weaker sex” theory? Place a high premium on virginity and turn a scientific phenomenon into a yardstick to measure chastity.

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  2. I agree with the post.

    And also,I think it’s deeply disturbing to give such high consideration to female sexuality because this devaluates male sexuality and puts up female sexuality on a pedestal which I think is bad for both the sexes, albeit in different ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “And also,I think it’s deeply disturbing to give such high consideration to female sexuality because this devaluates male sexuality and puts up female sexuality on a pedestal which I think is bad for both the sexes, albeit in different ways. ”

      I read the article and thought that too. Female virginity is fetishised and celebrated by the True Love Waits movement in the USA. While other cultures similarly value virginity, certain churches in the States take it to bizzare levels- like Purity Balls , where a daughter promises her father (!) that she will remain ‘pure’.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purity_ball

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  3. Can you clarify what you mean by “social boycott” in this context?

    This is something that’s been on my mind lately, as I always used to sort of “buy into” the idea of virginity. Your first sentence “If virginity was not seen as a precious commodity or a gift (more like a right in India) for women’s husbands – how would women’s lives be different?” is really something to think about. I think it would completely change the fabric of society, if women were seen as, you know, humans, rather than prizes for men. I’ve heard several times from Muslim men that they would never sleep with a virgin, because their religion says that it’s up to her husband to take her virginity. That is just a completely disgusting way to view women. A woman is unable to make decisions about how she uses her own body because her body is the entitlement of some man? I get in trouble for saying this, but just because it’s your religion doesn’t mean that it’s not sexist.

    Rafi D’angelo, a gay male feminist, wrote this amazing piece about the social construction of female virginity:

    http://soletstalkabout.com/post/84255525810/someone-bid-half-a-million-dollars-to-take-this-womans

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  4. I agree with her. A woman’s virginity ensured that the Man was taking care of his own gene pool and not some other in the institution of marriage(which is why I would like to remove the concept, but that another topic of discussion). The Irony is, I have heard people say that a Man doesn’t have to be a virgin on his “first night” and in fact, encouraged to have prior knowledge so that he can teach the wife…Really!! how is that fair to the girl? How does that keep the marriage on equal footing?

    I think the problem is with how people define Respect. If Only people really thought about, understood and learned – the concept of respect for self and others, irrespective of their gender or other things we use to judge and discriminate; how respect manifests in their interactions everyday with people, in their language, speech, tone of voice, use of words and what they do; how respect translates to self-discipline, self-responsibility and doing what is Right, we would have a very different world than we do right now. It will take a while, but it will happen.

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  5. The bible does say to refrain from sexual immorality with emphasis on not commuting adultery. These rules apply equally to both men and women. “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. ” Mathew 5: 28. So when the author says, “It was entirely possible that my future husband wouldn’t remain pure for me, because he didn’t have that same responsibility, according to the Bible,” she is misrepresenting the Bible.

    The ten commandments say, “Thou shall not commit adultery.” and not women shall not commit adultery. I am not preaching morality here but just clarifying that chastity rules are same for both men and women in the Bible. Maybe the letter writer belonged to a patriarchal church.

    Like IHM pointed, when women’s virginity, honor, chastity, purity, etc are glorified, it can be used to absolve men of responsibility and blame. It can be also be used as a weapon to punish, control, intimidate and silence! So frightening! May be this is why over time these things became highly priced. And unfortunately, certain people sifted what they wanted from any source they could, including religious texts, and used that as a tool to further their patriarchal ideologies.

    Additionally, when you tell girls their value comes from preserving their virginity and not accomplishments, does it discourage ambition?

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  6. How we can question this belief. Our indian values is based on this belief. If women are not preserving their virginity then there will be anarchy . We will be equal to animals with no culture . We will be able to sleep with any body any time without any commitments.

    But one thing I fail to understand that when we have these high values then why world’s largest number of brothel are in India. Why highest number of women trafficked in world belongs to India.

    Why commitments is for women virginity only but nobody raise any question regarding men. No question is raised for this human trafficking for marriage, flesh trade and prostitutions.

    We are superbly living with both the extremities with both the sides.

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  7. Pingback: If pre-marital sex if here to stay, then so are HPVs and other STDs. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  8. Pingback: “What do you think, blogger why Sexual Violence have increased at home in a country like INDIA which has the most peaceful religion?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  9. Pingback: “I’m baffled that Indians (not just men) truly think that virtue stems from being sexually chaste.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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  11. Pingback: An email: “Even after marriage, he shows absolutely zero interest in me. It’s been SEVEN years.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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