Virgin or no virgin ? What is so unusual about a woman’s virginity that it has been almost at the center of human interest for centuries? What constitutes its uniqueness? Why is the issue of a woman’ s virginity repeatedly shaken up publicly in the media? Why is it the subject of gossip in smaller and larger communities? How, after all, does it differ from male virginity and is it not a manifestation of biological gender discrimination?
Biological sex discrimination can conventionally be called the so-called hymen, whose rupture during the first sexual intercourse leads to a small amount of bleeding “confirming” a woman’s virginity. In the culture of some Arab countries, the norm is to hang out a bloody sheet on the balcony after the wedding night. This phenomenon is described in the book“Burned Alive,” among others. Already the first sexual contact of the partners in a certain way gives the opportunity to judge the woman in terms of her previous sexual experience. A woman, however, does not have the same opportunity with respect to her chosen one.
A woman’s virginity is considered particularly valuable in underdeveloped countries where a woman’s fate lies, in the vast majority of cases, in the hands of a man: a father, a brother and later a husband. These are mostly African countries, countries of the Arabian Peninsula and India. The biggest social discussion of recent years was sparked by a book written by a well-known Somali-born model, Waris Dirie. “Flower of the Desert” turned out to be not only a bestseller, a film with the same title was also made. Sherry Horman’s picture is a poignant screen adaptation of the fate of a Somali girl, subjected in early childhood to the ritual of circumcision, i.e. cutting out the clitoris. Following the success of the novel and film, efforts were launched to educate communities of African tribes about human sexuality. A circumcised woman will never be able to experience orgasm, and she also experiences much more severe menstrual pain.
However, the most dangerous consequences (also described and filmed in the movie“The White Masai“) for a circumcised woman involve pregnancy and childbirth. Many of them, in villages far from large cities and hospitals, bleed to death. The woman and her baby die. Why? Because at the root of these gruesome and primitive customs is a deep belief in the sinful nature of every woman and the usurpation of her right to manage her body, to deprive her of her“sin.” In part, this is due to the privileged position of the man, who demands a “pure” wife. What arouses the greatest surprise, and even outrage, however, is that circumcision is usually performed by the women themselves. The circumcision ritual is supposed to guarantee a woman’s virginity until her marriage.
This type of “ritual” is not used in the so-called civilized world. In highly developed or even developing countries it would be unacceptable to either governments or societies. Virginity in countries such as the United States, France, Spain or Germany is not treated as an indicator of femininity or masculinity.
But is it really? Or, after all, does biology not let up? What kind of social status does a man publicly known for never having had sex achieve, and what kind of status does a woman achieve? How do we view a man who changes partners like gloves, and how do we view a woman? Are we sure it’s the same? Even in civilized societies, the myth of virginity hiccups both men and women. One can be either “macho” or “nerdy,” or “slutty” or “virtuous.” All of us, whether we want to or not, are subject to social stigma for being sexually inactive or overactive. The reasons for this can be traced to the extremely hedonistic culture of the West. Or rather, the West’s consumption-oriented pop culture, which preaches the cult of money and sex.
Although it is hard to believe, today’s teenagers very often begin sexual intercourse under peer pressure. Virginity in such circles is almost an insult to honor, which should be washed away as soon as possible. There is also an increasing phenomenon of “buying virginity.” Over the Internet, of course. Just like that. Like a blouse on Allegro. Only for much more money. How much? 5,000 thousand zlotys? 8 thousand zlotys? Someone sells, someone else pays. But is it worth it?