The Virginity Myth – and the Reality

By: Rawan Khalil

The obsession with virginity is one of the things that is putting women back not only in the arab world but all around the globe. Many women refuse jobs if they have to be surrounded by men fearing the loss of their virginity, while other wear a ring to work to give message that they are not available and to give them importance and respect.

This obsession is usually silent and unspoken since it is apparently “shaming” and utterly inappropriate for a woman to to talk about her body! If you get an injury down in your vagina and it bleeds your mum would probably go paranoid hoping that your virgin sheath was not broken as apparently the value of a woman increases just by being a virgin.

In the same way boys treat a virgin girl as a prize that they would love to explore so that they can claim that prize. A few days ago I came across the “Lock and Key” theory which many may be familiar with but I had no idea about. If you are not familiar with it, it means: that a man’s penis is a key that can unlock any lock- (virgin) woman, and the woman is a lock which is utterly useless and open to anyone once it’s unlocked.

This is probably one of the most misogynistic of theories I have ever heard and if this is the way people think in this world then these people are sick and utterly inhumane in every sense. We should all do better and stop accepting that women’s value come from virginity- from being untouched just so a man can claim so misogynistic-ly that he is the first one to explore her body and to unlock her body.

Our bodies as women are way more valuable and precious than to be treated as locks which could be discarded or thrown away. TO EVERY WOMAN OUT THERE love your body, your sexuality, know its value and understand that it doesn’t lay in whether or you are sexually active. TO EVERY MAN OUT THERE respect women’s body and treat them as pearls instead of locks.

Another point of view here is: why is it only women who are praised for virginity? I think Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie put it perfectly when she stated in her book We Should All Be Feminists:

 

We praise girls for virginity but we don’t praise boys for                                 

    virginity (and it makes me wonder how exactly this is

    supposed to work out, since the loss of virginity is a process                  

    that involves two people of opposite genders)

 

I strongly believe that the obsession with virginity is hurting us- young girls. I understand if a girl doesn’t want to have sex until she gets married since sex MUST be consensual (and I am one of those women that do not intend to have sex until I am married, however if I want to be sexually active at this time in my life then I might as well be). Women SHOULD not be judged on whether or not they are sexually active, on who they have sex with, how they are having sex. In the world we live in a woman can be stupid, vapid but as long as she is virgin she is a good girl. Women get raped every day and they lose their virginity without consent, and one of the first question they are asked is what they were wearing! Now this woman is no longer “pure” and she is treated as such by society while her rapist is not. Women only get raped because someone raped them!!!

We live in the Arab World where most of our ideas are both influenced and based on that of our parents’, which is usually justified by culture and religion instead of an explanation based on morals and logic. Even though I have the greatest respect for religion, I know for a fact that culture is constantly changing and I truly hope our culture changes to respect women no matter their sexual activity.

For more of an explanation, this Ted talk explains it all, click here.

 

4 thoughts on “The Virginity Myth – and the Reality

  1. This was such a powerful message to be spread! As an Egyptian raised with correct morals and behavior, I see these acts of rape and virginity lookout as disgusting and unhuman behaviour and people should honestly be more aware about the feelings of a person that went through intercourse without consent! Great to see this message spread since people really need to open their mind and look out for disgusting and awful actions such as rape and sexual harassment!

    Like

    1. I also think that the lock and key process is just dumb and amateur and girls should be treated like the golden coin inside the lock not the lock itself 🔐

      Like

  2. Great post, the purity myth is dangerous for women. Whilst men are still praised for their sexual conquests there is still a certain amount of stigma for women. I hope to see more widespread change in the future.

    Like

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