"It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue."
Back on the trip in March, during one of the 12 hours plus train rides we endured between the cities we made our stops, talking was the most logical way for us to spend our surplus time, and if you've ever traveled with anyone for any length of time, you'd find yourself spontaneously loosening up before too long - even if you weren't very close to them to begin with. You want to get to know a person beneath the obvious? Invite them along on your vacation, get trapped with them for a whole day in a moving train carriage and prod a little. Every human being, I find, is a full bag waiting to spill. Everybody wants to be heard.
One recurrent conversational topic was about love and relationships, something we all can identify with (regardless of whether we have it or we don't) . Somehow after a few hours, the topic morphed into one centering on virginity and what each of us thought of it. Unsurprisingly, views were schismatic - and are basically polarized into two camps. One is for it, and the other thinks that it's better to be done and over with.
One guy thinks that virginity is paramount and said that he will only marry a virgin - or to put it in his own words; "I like my presents unopened." I won't bother listing out his reasons and arguments here because (1) I am sure everyone knows what they are, and (2) I won't be able to reiterate them with much conviction because I - well, I have a differing opinion on the subject. So I'll only talk about what I think.
I think virginity is bothersome, pointless and meaningless.
I was a bit surprised by myself when I said those words in that train carriage chug-chugging in the evening through the Indian countryside because prior to that moment, my vocal views on virginity was one of conservative conformation. I'm Asian. Sex outside of wedlock is evil and immoral. Blah and blah and blah. It's funny how one's mind can change so drastically without one noticing until that mind starts speaking again.
I remember a friend, a girl, told me that she lost her virginity to her boyfriend, after holding out and denying it for many, many years to all her previous boyfriends. What she said about that was this,
"I used to think that virginity is something very, very precious, and must be protected no matter what until the day I get married. It's only after I lost it that I see just how worthless it is."
Those words rattled in my head a lot till it came as a sudden revelation to me that virginity is (or will be) just like my sixteenth birthday. I don't know why it was significant but everyone seems to think it is in some ineffable way. No one seems to give much thought to all the other teen years. Why not fourteen or fifteen or seventeen? Why bloody sixteen? I remember looking forward to my own sixteenth birthday, being all excited and anticipatory of some magical transformation of my sixteen years old person or some secret knowledge which would be telepathically telegraphed into my sixteen years old mind - or something! I don't know what. No one ever specified that. And when my sixteenth birthday finally came for real, I felt just the same as I was before I was sixteen. Nothing changed the least bit at all.
Like what I said in that train carriage about virginity that evening,
"Virginity is a lot like a person's sixteenth birthday. It seems like a big deal before you reach it. But once you're there... Meh."
I think that the concept of virginity - especially of female virginity - is terribly unjust. It is used as a standard marker of a girl's virtuosity or purity. If an unmarried woman is virgin, she's clean, good and loved by God but if she's not, she's some promiscuous skank who is dirty and used. I find that that standard leaves much to be desired. Say if a virginal girl is raped, what does it say about her morals? Is she still virtuous or pure? A lot of people would say that her virtuousity is unsullied because she never had sex till it was forced upon her, but is no longer pure because she had been violated. I find that incredibly insensitive and degrading, and this is precisely the sort of thinking that puts so much stigma on the women who have undergone such an horrifying experience - as if they haven't been punished enough just for being a victim.
Some would even consider a virgin who was raped to be neither virtuous nor pure! No shit! They still stone rape victims to death in some parts of the world.
Anyhow, I agree that rape really have no bearing on this discussion, but it does reflect a bit of just how most people view women, including the women themselves.
Discounting that, what about those who have willingly given up their virginity premaritally to a person they thought they love or used to love? Can we consider them to be promiscuous or loose (no puns intended)? Again, most guys do. I used to be just like that. I used to like my "presents" unopened too. I used to think that girls who gave up or would give up their virginity before marriage are sluts. It isn't until recently that I started to realise that if a person have truly loved a girl before, he would never ever think a her as a "present" - an object, a thing. I think all guys are guilty of this, at least for some part of their lives. Anytime the loss of virginity is mentioned in the same sentence as "dirty" or "used"; that's objectification in action. That's a failure to see a woman as a real living, breathing person - one who is capable of making mistakes at some point in their past.
Heck, I don't think I even consider that a "mistake" on the women's part. A woman's body should be her own and however she wishes to express her love, and that shouldn't have any bearing at all on any relationships she gets into afterwards. A lot of guys will disagree with me, with variations of the same old chauvinistic arguments which demean women. I believe I am above that now. In case anyone starts running with scissors with just a gist of what I'm aiming to impart here, I would like to say that I'm not preaching promiscuity or infidelity here. I believe that wanton or unprotected sex with multiple partners is bad and I advocate sticking with the one you love as long as you can. All I'm saying is that virginity need not be such a big damn deal.
So in summary, let me just say that I don't give a fuck whether the person I'm marrying next time is a virgin or not. But if she is - well, more power to her!
P.S. On a related note, some guys think that it is their prerogative to control what their girlfriends wear on the pretext that it's to "protect" her. To a certain extent, it can be true but the tales I heard of some guys going as far as to only let their girlfriends wear formless T-shirts and pants - that's just another form of reducing a girl to the level of property. I think it's perfectly fine for a guy to dislike their girlfriend dressing in revealing clothes, but he ought not think that he has the right to prevent her from doing it. Or as a wise person (me) always say, "Just let her wear the clothes she like now, before she's too old to wear them."
P.P.S. There's this T-shirt quote I read once that goes, "Virginity is a disease, and I'm the doctor."
P.P.P.S. So, a show of hands if anyone wants to hear my thoughts on abortion, homosexuality and slightly burnt food?
k0k s3n w4i