You Little Virgin!

So the other day I was browsing through Bitch magazine’s blog entries when I came across an article about a situation that many of you may be familiar with; it was about a woman selling her virginity over the Internet. Anyway, the article got me to start analyzing the concept of virginity.

Virgin - someone who has never had sex. Instead of using definitions that dictionaries use, I like to use the definition that society uses. Though it can be argued that those are the worst kind of definitions, let’s use this particular definition for the purpose of this blog. The concept of virginity certainly involves an element of possession. Womyn “give” away or “lose” their virginities. Womyn in this patriarchal, homophobic society are always expected to give a man something in the context of a hetero-normative relationship. We “give” a man a child. We save our virginity so that we can “give” it to “the one.”

When is the last time you heard about a man “giving” a woman his virginity? Usually when people are referring to a man “giving” his virginity to a woman, they are BOTH virgins in the situation. Why are their sexist roles involved in sex? Can’t sex be something that is uninhibited by the confines of society? It certainly surpasses the spirituality of society.

Men “take” a womyn’s virginity, which involves an implied situation of coercion and force. The word ‘take’ is synonymous with rape. Take is synonymous with “take advantage of”. And what happens after a man so-called “takes” a woman’s virginity? Does he still have that virginity for the rest of his life? No one ever says, “he has your virginity”.  If they have sex again, does the woman get her virginity back? If you “lose” your virginity does that mean you can’t remember the guy that you “lost” it to? Does the man pass that woman’s virginity on to other girls? And how many “virginties” do trans people get? What if you were raped before you had the chance to willingly have sex for the first time, are you still considered a virgin? Is a person still a virgin if they have sex with a member of their own sex? Why does virginity never come into the situation again after it is given, taken, or lost? Why can’t we “share” in a person’s virginity? Why is virginity deemed a one-time event instead of a process done over time? Better yet, why can’t the idea of virginity and America’s obsession with it just die? Why must a woman feel guilty or inhibited when it comes to having sex for the first time, when a man is encouraged to have sex with the first opportunity presents itself? I think the whole “give, take and lose” politics of virginity is a manifestation of the objectification of women and our bodies and the fact that sex is treated as a commodity. Sex is used to sell everything from movies to cannibus club memberships. Sex is also used to make womyn feel bad about themselves, men are allowed to be sexual whenever the feeling suits them and womyn are not and if we are, we are harped upon.

In the rape culture that this society perpetuates, the man must always be the aggressor in relationships and sex. The man must always make the first move. Virginity is synonymous with pure. Why is innocence attriubuted to keeping your virginity? Why when you have sex for the first time, you aren’t “innocent” anymore? This can allude to the fact that womyn having sex is seen as a bad act in our culture, like there was a illegal act committed. In our culture, sex is taboo. It is seen as a right of passage, a defining moment in our lives that will bring about some drastic change. Little girls are taught to dream about the moment that they will have sex for the first time and with whom.

These are just a couple of the questions and problems I have with this concept. Will someone please tell what the fuck’s up with virginity?!
*cross posted at Refuse the Silence's Blog*

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