Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A brief ramble about virginity

I'm sure I've written about this before, but as usual I'm too lazy to actually look it up.

We've been watching Downton Abbey (late to the game again, but we're catching up!) and without going into spoilers or plot points, someone's virginity/virtue is taken and she is considered by everyone, including herself, to be a lost cause. Simply because she had sex without being married, even though the sex [spoiler alert, I guess] was kind of rapey. Once again I find myself enraged with the absurd reverence placed on virginity. I grew up in a very conservative, very religious home, so the idea of virginity as a kind of currency is not new to me. It isn't really new to anyone - we in the modern world (in America, at least) place a very high and almost ubiquitous premium on virginity. It's in our language (think 'virgin forest') and it means 'unspoiled.'

Clearly this is an idea taken completely from religion, since a woman's virginity (I know that men can be virgins too, but no one cares about that) has no real relevance in secular society. It's true that there is an evolutionary basis for jealousy of a kind, but from a modern, practical standpoint there is no difference at all between a woman or man who has had sex with one, two, fifteen or twenty different partners.

I guess I don't have a real practical solution to propose here. It's just something that bothers me because it's a stupid, pointless and potentially damaging thing to value. And I don't mean to suggest that virgins are just as good as non-virgins; I mean that virgins are just as good as Virgos. That is, the very definition has no value and should not be used.

1 comment:

Miriam said...

I think the relevance is a throw-back from when a woman was a commodity...and a "used" women was, buying a "pre-owned" car...only more personal. I believe we are working our way out of this harmful idea, but are far from free of this kind of proprietary view about women...someday!