Thursday, 22 March 2018

Cisi Eze: The Virginity Fraud

We have heard of how we (women) are encouraged to tighten our vaginas via steaming. From the requirements (ingredients) and procedure, it would seem as though we have to cook our private parts. Asides this, we hear constant sex widens the vagina. People who say this easily forget the path they came from. Several amusing claims revolve around this body part. The most salient, so far, is the idea of virginity.

What makes one a virgin? Virginity is “the state of never having had sexual intercourse.”

This brings us to the definition of sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is “sexual contact between individuals involving penetration, especially the insertion of a man’s erect penis into a woman’s vagina, typically culminating in orgasm and the ejaculation of semen.”

Most people say the presence of the hymen indicates virginity. Nevertheless, hymen varies in size, and consistency from one girl to another, just as the male sex organs differs in size from man to man.  The hymen is a thin membrane that surrounds the opening to the vagina. (You might want to read up the different types of hymens.)

These definitions are very problematic, as sex is only valid when a penis penetrates a vagina. A sizable number of women claim they do not have orgasms via penetrative sex. Penetrative sex is useless to them. They are biologically programmed that way. Oral sex does it for them, pun unintended. Do we invalidate their orgasms and experiences because it happens in the absence of a man’s erect penis?

I have more questions:

If we agree that sexual intercourse is only valid in the presence of a penis and vagina, why do we get angry with people who engage in same-sex sexual relations? It inhibits procreation, some would say. But how about couples who use birth control?

Penetration also takes place when a woman masturbates with a sex toy. What if she tears her hymen while masturbating? Would we consider her a “virgin” even though she tore her hymen and had an orgasm all by herself?

What happens if her hymen gets torn when a man pleasures her with his fingers, not his penis? Would we still call her a virgin? We can say she had a sexual experience with a man. It is a sexual experience because her sex organ is involved.

Some women have torn their hymens through activities such as sports and dancing. Do we say they are no longer virgins due to the absence of a hymen?

To keep their hymens, some women decide to enjoy orgasms via manual sex (hand job), oral sex, and anal sex with their partners. Should we consider them virgins, even after they have experienced the joys of sex?

Would these women go for oral and anal sex if they were born with an absent hymen?
Not all women were born with hymens. Would we call these women virgins, even when they have not had sex?

Some women’s hymens return to normal after childbirth. Would we call them virgins because they have hymens, even when we know they are very sexual?

By what figment of imagination can we profess that the hymen was created to block the passage of the male sexual organ when it seeks to penetrate through the external genital organs of the female into the vagina, during the period prior to marriage? – Nawal El Saadawi, “The Hidden Face of Eve.”

Is virginity a yardstick of morality? If it is a moral code, why does it apply to only one group of people? Moral codes should apply to everyone without discrimination. Else, where is the morality if it is not just?

There are many questions and when you consider it, virginity is but a concept created to stifle women’s sexuality. The moment we erase the insistence on female virginity, we would have a large population of women who are willing to have sex before marriage. Women would not have to protect the useless tissue that lies betwixt our thighs. Who knows, women would not imagine sex is something that has to be given, and men would not see sex as something to be taken. Sex would start being seen as what it truly is – an intercourse, an exchange.

To heighten women’s sexual dependence on men, society invented the trifecta of slut-shaming, virginity, and circumcision. Why is society scared of sexually independent women? Without these three – slut-shaming, virginity, and circumcision, women would be able to have sex with men who are not their husbands. Coupled with financial independence, women would be able to raise children without having husbands. Inadvertently, children would trace their origins through their mothers. Is society scared of a matriarchy? When you spin a narrative over a long period, it embroideries itself into the collective psyche of a group of people. Time and consistency can turn a lie into truth. This is the case with the issue of virginity. Virginity is a fraud.

P.S. Some people believe nature gave women hymens as a way of proving virginity. “The anatomical and biological constitution of human beings, whether men or women, can have no relation to moral values. Moral values are a product of social systems (…) imposed by the ruling class with the aim of serving certain economic and political interests. (…) The biological characteristics of the body are aimed at fulfilling certain physiological functions related to the protection and maintenance of life.” – Nawal El Saadawi

Photo Credit: © Rawpixelimages |
Article culled from Bellanaija

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