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A Man’s Virtue or a Woman’s Flaw?!

As I recall watching the film Miss Representation I can once again see the great pressure of virginity toward women. If a woman loses her virginity at an early age or involves herself in sexual relationships with more than one man she is automatically without question labeled a “slut” or as being “too easy”. But if a man loses his virginity at an early age or is with many women he is labeled “manly”. To dispute with this idea there’s Reading 27: The Cult of Virginity by Jessica Valenti (2009) from the book Women’s Voices Feminist Visions. In this she challenges the idea of virginity, an idea that she explains to be only a myth but yet many women are getting discriminated against. This idea cannot even be medically defined or proven. What is virginity? Is it solemnly a society based conclusion that depicts a women social standing in sexuality? She also argues that if virginity is lost the first time a person has sex, then what is defined as sex? There are many difficult words to come to terms with. So why are women being victimized against and some are even being said to be unworthy of marriage.

Virginity is always in a way only dealt with women. Going back to the movie when the young girls and their fathers participated in a ceremony of swearing they will be virgins until they get married. This isn’t the best to guarantee that a girl will stay a virgin ’til marriage. First off many of the girls are so little and barely know what sexuality is all about, second of all the persons doing to promise are the fathers. The fathers promise to care for their girls and not permit them to lose their virginity before marriage. Wouldn’t it be up to the girl since it is her body? Much pressure is being added to the girl, and Jessica explains that once again male dominance takes a role in this situation. She states in page 183 that “women who had sex are damaged goods” because they were owned by the male counterparts. Also women have to not be sexually active before marriage so that would assure the male that whenever she became pregnant the child was his. But doesn’t the idea of “damaged good” seem so ironic? The idea of virginity should not label woman as being good or bad. If a woman is sexually active that shouldn’t give society the right to call her “easy” or that she is a bad person.

In the same way, now a day’s society isn’t pleased either way because if a woman is a virgin they say she’s too good.  So what should the social norm be? What is correct for woman to do and what not to do? Unfortunately society is never satisfied because it is composed of different people with different beliefs and different personalities. That is why it is up to the person to do with their body whatever they feel is best for them without having to worry about being judged by society. This would be influenced by their beliefs, life experiences but should NOT be influenced by what people think.

1 Comment

  1. hebasha says:

    Great writeup, you raise a lot of good points! Just another thing I’d like to mention: There’s often a problem with what exactly virginity is, in a biological sense. There are so many different interpretations of virginity that certainly do not transcend different cultures. In fact, various cultures find that a virgin is a girl who has not had any contact with males at all. It’s a bit silly to be so keen on maintaining something we can’t easily define…

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