Saturday, 16 April 2011
Over the last few years I've really thought about what virginity means to me. I was 18 when I "lost it" and part of me expected to feel like I had transformed into this...non-virgin.
There was a problem, I didn't feel different at all. In fact, I don't think my hymen even broke. It got me thinking, along with some pretty fantastic online conversations with others about how they felt about their virginity. It seemed as though most people who valued their virginity only did so because they felt ashamed. Some even went as far as lying about being a virgin when they were not.
Virginity is associated with innocence. This shouldn't be confused with chastity because one can be chaste without being a virgin. I remember seeing this huge billboard as a child that was written in red as if it were bright cherry lipstick: "VIRGIN! Teach your kids it's not a dirty word!"
Now that I'm older I realized that they were implying that sex was dirty, not being a virgin. You're dirty and you lose your self worth if you have sex before you're married. I've even heard such lies as "You'll be depressed if you have sex before marriage!" or "If you have sex before marriage you'll be 6 times more likely to commit suicide!" Let's face it, scare tactics didn't work then and they sure as hell won't work now.
Virginity is a word that someone made up to describe a state of somethings non-existence. It's not a state of mind, or a medical term. It's just something they use to make you feel like less of a person.
What kind of world is this if people are being made to feel bad about something they're biologically driven to do? Having a healthy sex life is good. We as women are worth more than the sum of our sexual parts.
What really gets me is the fact that some religious organizations like to use this to make women feel inadequate and that's just not healthy. In what world is it healthy to sexualize little girls? How is it okay to teach these girls that their fathers own their virginity?
They have purity balls all over the country where they dress little girls up like their grown women and these girls pledge their virginity to their fathers. How can anyone not find that sick and twisted?
In effect, you're telling little boys to have as much sex as they want, but oh no little girl, you're just a delicate little flower. You're weak. You are ill equipped to handle such a thing. Instead of teaching our children how to lead a happy, healthy life we're teaching them to be ashamed of who they are and what they feel.
"Respect yourself. Wait." If I had only a quarter for every time I heard that one! It absolutely absurd to suggest that women who engage in healthy, responsible sexual activity have no self-respect. If any of them feel this way it's not because of having sex, it's because of this lie that our society has been planting in our heads.
"Save yourself for marriage, it will make you a good person." What happens when you spend your whole life waiting for the right person to come along only to find out that they didn't save themselves for you like everyone said they would? Are you going to "give" yourself to them? That's not fair, is it? Well, life isn't fair. In fact, I'd prepare myself for a letdown because not many people wait til marriage.
Just to be clear, I'm not putting down anyone who waits to have sex til marriage. That's a personal decision that everyone should be allowed to make for themselves. Nothing wrong with waiting, but there's nothing wrong with not waiting either.
Does waiting make you a better person? No. Does waiting mean you'll have better sex? Definitely not. Does losing your virginity mean that you lost part of yourself? Nope.
Before you let someone define you, why don't you try and define yourself?
What message do you want your children to hear about themselves, their sexuality and virginity?