Let’s paint a scenario now. Imagine you are a female (for the males reading. If you are a female, don’t bother imagining, just proceed), all excited to get married. Finally, you get married and it’s your wedding night. You and partner go through all the processes of sex including foreplay. It’s now time for penetration. Your partner enters you and doesn’t feel any ‘resistance‘. Imagine the outrage this would cause.
Imagine being called a prostitute just because the hymen wasn’t there. Imagine the shame and insults heaped upon your parents just because they allowed their daughter to be ‘deflowered’ before marriage. Also, imagine being embarrassed by your parents all because you allowed yourself to lose your precious virginity. It is considered a taboo in Nigeria for a man other than your ‘future husband’ to supposedly break your virginity. You are to keep yourself pure at all times. The majority of young girls when asked the question: When do you want to lose your virginity? Would answer with either when they get married or when they see the right person.
What’s the craze over virginity? It’s a social construct. it’s always virginity for women, but men can do as they please. Does that make sense? Virginity was created to police women’s bodies. The concept of virginity, especially with the idea of a broken hymen, has been used to oppress women who were seen as sexually promiscuous. Many cultures frown upon such behaviours and label the as bad characters for women. No such oppression has existed for men. Virginity is a concept created to force women into marriages as well as diminish a woman’s value to a status of a property, because how else would patriarchy grow?
Everyone talks about the morality of women concerning things like this. Morals and what is “right” will always be subjective. Everyone is “wrong” in somebody’s eyes for past or current behavior, especially with things involving or relating to sex. But no, nobody chooses to hear the women out as they always take the brunt of that judgment. Being chaste was considered “good” & the false ideology that a man’s penis or sex somehow changed her. Her character, her worth, her identity is all defined by if she’s a virgin or not. Not only is “virginity” extremely heteronormative but it’s also damaging when you’re using it to measure how a woman carries herself as if it’s any of your business in the first place.
Some people believe that you’re not a virgin if your hymen is stretched open. But having a hymen and being a virgin is not the same thing. Some people are born with hymens that are naturally open. And many other activities besides sex such as exercises, gymnastics, horse riding can stretch the hymen. So you can’t tell if someone has had sex by the way their hymen looks or feels.
When you decide to keep yourself and be a virgin to please your parents and society, you would still be really castigated by the younger generations. You would be considered prude, not really knowing what is going on in the sexual world. Imagine telling a guy you like that you are a virgin and the next thing that comes out from his mouth is ‘ I don’t like virgins’. And then, the vibe is lost and there’s nothing you can do about it. On the other hand, some guys are so obsessed with virgins that it is really creepy. Imagine a guy boasting to his friends about the number of girls he has supposedly ‘deflowered’.
The obsession so many guys have with women’s virginity is the weirdest thing. It’s okay when a man sleeps around or when he has a high sex drive. He is considered to be manly enough but when a woman does it, she is considered a prostitute or a harlot. Yeah, women with high sex drives exist. They are not mythical, theoretical, or hypothetical. And they should not be considered as being prostitutes. Also, they are not “broken”, “confused” or in need of rescuing. They like sex, a lot, and that’s just fine. And let’s all change that mentality that virginity measures a woman worth. because it doesn’t!