It is weird that in the 21st century the world is still obsessed with virginity in relationships, than love. ‘What does virginity mean’ is a popular question on Google. People are searching for the meaning and importance of virginity is important for marriage, especially in India.
There is a reason why this is called ‘global’ obsession with virginity and not an Asian obsession and more particularly, an Indian obsession, where the problem is much more acute. Ideally, this article should be called lack of importance of virginity, but then perhaps nobody would click on it.
The reason is that the subject of virginity affects lives all over the world, in some cultures; somewhere, in a small way, and somewhere in a massive way.
Are you a virgin?
Oops, did I just ask you that? So, you answered it to yourself, right? I know you did. Don’t lie. I mean, who would you, lie to; a reader has only himself or herself to lie to. So, either you are a virgin or you are not. No, there is another possibility, which is that you are not sure of the answer. In case, you are not sure of the answer, I think your doubts will be dispelled, somewhere through this article. So, I suggest, stay with me. I hope we can dispel the importance of virginity by the time you are done reading this.
The male and female virginity
While we are trying to understand importance of virginity or the lack of it, we should consider what it means for either gender.
So, if you are a man, you were never a virgin. I mean technically, nothing changes when you have sex. Nothing was there which was supposed to be removed. Men never have any virginity. Now, I am not talking about your sexual life. I don’t care how good or how awful it is. I am talking about a so called moral issue or metaphorical perspective.
If you are a female, things are different. For some reason, nature wanted to mess with their bodies and therefore, installed a flap, technically called a hymen. Now, this extra layer of skin has caused so much mess in the lives of human beings around the world, especially in societies which are conservative and illiberal in their attitudes to sexuality.
Let me talk about the situation on the importance of virginity in India
Indian men have so much moral and intrinsic pressure to marry a virgin that the first thing that comes to their mind when they are considering marriage is ‘would my wife be a virgin?’ Most marriages that happen in India are arranged marriages. Let me expound the subject of arranged marriages for the readers of this blog. Arranged marriages are the most illogical and accommodating system of finding a life partner. First of all, in the case of arranged marriages, a man doesn’t marry a woman in a marriage. A family marries a family. Please read the previous line again. Now, since a family marries a family, there are ways to go about it.
India is a country where caste and religion are the two key pillars of identity. We are human beings later and we are Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, and Parsis first.
In addition to religion, there are caste divisions and there are further preposterous divisions which have lead to certain ‘honor’ killings in the country lately. This means, for example, a Sikh, the community I was born in has a few dominant and a few not so dominant castes. Similarly, other religions and castes have their own divisions and quite comprehensive ones. There is no logical basis to this distribution and therefore, I will not get into it. It only gets more ridiculous.
Arranged marriages and virginity
Now, back to arranged marriages. Since people are known by their religious and caste communities, they want to stay in their religious and caste communities. Therefore, in case of arranged marriages a Sikh ‘caste X’ family will want to marry a Sikh ‘caste X’ family. Now, since you want to marry in the same caste and religion, the entire market of girls and boys is not available to you. Your supply source, if you are male looking for a bride, is the marriageable girls in your religion and community.
See now, you being the man want a virgin wife and if a girl who is looking for a man through the arranged marriage route, knows that your husband eventually will want a virgin wife.
So, she has to preserve her virginity. Boom!
Virginity over love?
For men and women who seek partners because they love them, there are issues, which are different but then everyone wants a virgin, or at least hopes to have one. I wish that people get into relationships, including marriages, not only because they want to want to have sex (which everybody does), but because they seek someone’s companionship, whose presence can take their life to a beautiful place.
In Indonesia, reportedly, women who want to be police officers have to go through virginity testing, which means a degrading two finger test to establish the hymen. Apparently, sex is not the only way hymen can be broken. It can be broken because of a sporting activity. What a shame, is all I can say. This is one of the most bizarre and meaningless things I have come across. What does a police officers’ duty have to do with virginity?! Well, if you can, try to figure out an answer.
The Church’s view
Whatever exposure I have had to western culture, I believe it is more liberal with virginity, the Church may disagree. I found this bit online, when I searched for Church’s view on virginity***. Try to make sense of it, if you can.
“According to the Protoevangelium, Joseph was required to regard Mary’s vow of virginity with the utmost respect. The gravity of his responsibility as the guardian of a virgin was indicated by the fact that, when she was discovered to be with child, he had to answer to the Temple authorities, who thought him guilty of defiling a virgin of the Lord. Mary was also accused of having forsaken the Lord by breaking her vow. Keeping this in mind, it is an incredible insult to the Blessed Virgin to say that she broke her vow by bearing children other than her Lord and God, who was conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
It’s a fortunate thing in this world, to find love and companionship. We are all broken and battered by relationships that don’t last. They break us.
If you find love, don’t search for a hymen.
Thank you for reading.
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