TW: rape. If this is triggering for you, feel free to move on. Get any help you may need with any personal issues you have.
Last night, I watched a repeat of the Insight episode about virginity. It was good to watch it again, actually. What struck me, is that how virginity is valued so much in cultures. I’m not saying it’s wrong, necessarily. It’s just…. wow!
In some cultures, where a woman’s virginity has a financial price, like in Zimbabwe, the attitudes have moved slightly in recent years, from what I can understand. If a woman has an education, for example (and from what i can see, the higher the better), she’s not totally invaluable if she happens to lose her virginity before marriage.
I was still shocked at some of the double standards between men and women, but stil equally surprised when men did take on personal responsibility as well. Look, if you want to remain a virgin before marriage, fine. If you want to be lifetime celibate, go ahead. If you want to have sex, I’m not going to judge. But I still think the whole putting all of a person’s value on their “virginity status” if you like as potentially dangerous. For example, one topic that was bought up when talking about virginity and the replacement of the hymens, etc, was the issue of rape. This is when things like purity cultures are really dangerous. The world needs to start differentiating between sex and sexual assault.
I’ve heard (or read rather) about victims of rape in American Evangelical circiles being shamed. It’s also common in other countries, particularly Islamic fundamentalist countries where victims of rape are actually accused of adultery/ fornication and disowned by family or worse.
Whether one believes in keeping virginity until marriage or not, I firmly, firmly believe that people should be properly informed. This means up – to – date and accurate information on contraception methods, informed consent, etc. Men and women should be able to acknowledge that they are sexual beings (for most people anyway), without guilt or disgust. Just like asexual people should be able to acknowledge they’re asexual without feelings of inadequacy or a need to “change” (which is most likely not possible… I’ve tried). People should also be able to live with their values and not be shamed by their own decision.
Here’s the crunch. It has to be THEIR decision. I’ve said before that I don’t think celibacy can be imposed. And the shame mentality, especially for abuse victims, is no short of barbaric.
What do you think? Did anyone else see the show either first time or last time? What did you think?