Staying Pure: A Story Of Virginity and Oppression 0 23

Image Reference: https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/end-virginity-testing-2.jpg?ua=1

What happens when a young woman, let’s say 18-25 years in age, spends a whole night outside her house? So what? Not a big deal, right? What if she happens to spend the night with a special someone of the opposite gender? Now some eyebrows would’ve raised. Even though I didn’t explicitly state what happened that night several judgments have been made; most of them about the girl rather than the guy she was with. If anyone from her social circle was to find out about that night, they would have just one question: IS SHE STILL “PURE?”

What does that mean? What do they want to know? Translating from skeptical and judgmental to the progressive language, they essentially want to know if she is still a VIRGIN! In the modern world where we’ve accepted several forms of relationships, orientations, and races, we are still yet to let go of the ancient beliefs of virginity. What is virginity? Most dictionaries define it as the state of never having had sexual intercourse; however, most orthodox households like to call it “the golden ticket for a girl to be guaranteed a marriage.”

In the olden days, many women were victims of ruthless and embarrassing procedures to prove their chastity and ‘pureness.’ Even in the religious bible of the Hindus, The Ramayana, it was Lady Sita who jumped into a pyre of burning fire to prove that she had remained untouched during the time she was held hostage by the demon king Ravana. One would think people have matured and progressed forward in the world of today, right? Sadly several people worldwide in both rural and urban communities engage various methods to test a woman’s virginity.

How does one event test virginity? Is it revealed in a blood test, swap test or maybe an internal examination of the female genitalia? In the medical world, several professionals resort to the two-finger method to check for virginity and actually consider it reliable. The two-finger test is performed merely by inserting two fingers into the female vagina to check for the laxity of the vaginal muscles and to check for the presence and girth of a hymen.

This process is a) not accurate and b) very humiliating for the concerned female. Another even more preposterous practice to check for virginity is to see if the female bleeds during sexual intercourse on her wedding night. The more concerning side of the story is that if she does not, several men from various communities have separated away from their wives, leaving the women in utter shame and dismay.

So is it guaranteed that a ‘virgin’ girl will bleed on her first account of sexual intercourse? NO! Like all body parts, every hymen is different both in shape and flexibility. Young girls of today are engaged in several hard-core sports and activities. It is highly plausible that one may rupture or loosen their hymen during their young age, which means they may not bleed during their intercourse session. Others may have a really flexible hymen that does not tear and bleed during intercourse! Some women just don’t bleed at all!! There is a lovely Ted Talk that addresses further causes of not bleeding during intercourse.

I can sense some misogynists wondering, “so how do you check a girl’s virginity? What is the best way to obtain accurate results?” There are NONE. There is no way to 100% know if a girl is a virgin, just like there is no 100% way to know if a man is a virgin. The best way to go about this is to keep an open mind and simply ask the concerned women. Again, remember she doesn’t HAVE to tell you, no matter who you are!

TED TALK:

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My name is Srinidhi Balaji. I enjoy learning about various cultures, traditions and languages. Hope you enjoy my words as much as I enjoy writing them

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