As a little girl, I have always been taught that virginity was an important for me to keep till I was married. When I was 13 years old, I was given a promise necklace to keep my virginity till I was married. When I was given this necklace, I struggled with why it was so important for girls to be a virgin for their wedding night. I can remember that I kept asking the question why it was so important for me to keep my virginity but not boys. I think if girls are asked to keep their virginity so boys should too. Society is so concerned with girls being sexual that they let boys slide by and lead boys on to think it’s okay for them to have sex before marriage. In society not many boys are told to keep their virginity for marriage. There is this idea that it’s okay for boys to have sex but not girls. Girls are called names and boys get a pat on the shoulder for conquering that girl. Why is it okay for boys to have sex before marriage and not girls?
Sex is a huge business in society now and in the past. Sex is an entertainment for people. There are music that talks about sex, there are movies, and books. In my generation we have books that tell us how beautiful keeping your virginity is to a man. Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey are great examples of this. In Twilight, Bella meets Edward and its love at first sight. Bella develops love for Edward and wants to try sex with him. Edward denies her because its the one rule he does’t want to brake. In the book he makes her feel bad for wanting to have sex. I feel for this because I thought it was attractive to a man to have my virginity intact. Then there is Fifty Shades of Grey, Ana meets Christian its love at first sight. Christian has all these problems and Anna isn’t sure how she feels about them. She has this immediate attraction to him. Christian introduces her to the dominant/submissive thing and she has no clue how that works. Christian later learns that Anna is a virgin and makes her feel beautiful. Once again I believed that it was attractive to a man to keep your virginity.
The entertainment industry is telling girls that its attractive to a man for a girl to have their virginity intact. For a woman that’s a way for a man to even look at you. Once you don’t have your virginity than men think that women are objects and men think that women will have sex no matter what. She becomes a whore and is looked down upon. She is expected to have sex when she is needed for a man. She is subject to sexual violence and the question is asked “what was she wearing” “what was she drinking” to get raped. Society creates this trap for women and society does’t play fair. She is an object in the eyes of society. I think about myself in this mess, I’m in a war. We are all in a war. Is virginity a biological part of a woman? Is virginity meant for religion? Is virginity a way to control women?
In current times parents don’t even have the sex talk with their teenagers. Teenagers have zero idea how sex works and the risks. Teenagers don’t know how STDs work and how pregnancy happens. Parents ignore this topic and expect the school to teach their teenagers. If she gets pregnant, she is shamed by society. These girls have no win in society, they are not told how sex works and when sex does happen then they get pregnant. Parents need to have the conversation about sex and not let their teenagers go out there and not know anything about sex. My mom was very honest about sex with my sister and I, she talked about how special losing your virginity can be. I thought it was require to have that special person to make it so magical. Society has this culture of sex in every entertainment out there for viewers to see. Its something that people don’t think of when watching Beyoncé or Fifty Shades of Grey. We are setting up our young people up for disaster. Society can’t push sex at people than expect our young girls to keep their virginity for their wedding night. It can’t work that way, it has to be expected out of everyone to keep virginity till marriage.
I think that girls are trained for the attention of men. It’s been this way for a long time and each generation change happens. There are a lot of challenges into the word virginity, what does that really mean? The word virgin means, in the state of purity and inexperience. The word is said to be used for women and when the term is used for men means, no intercourse. Why can’t that word be the same for both women and men? My favorite feminist writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says in her “We Should All Be Feminist” “Men and women are different. We have different hormones and different sexual organs and different biological abilities.” (Pg.16) With that men think they can control women with the word “Virginity”.
“We spend too much time teaching girls to worry what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case.” (Pg.24)
“We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way boys are.” “We police girls. We praise girls for virginity but we don’t praise boys for virginity.” (Pg.32)
“We teach girls shame. Close your legs. Cover yourself. We make them feel as though by being born female, they are already guilty of something.” (Pg.33)
In my life I can relate to this, when I got my period I was congratulated that I was a woman. Later I was told to cover up, don’t wear things that show yourself, don’t make yourself known to the men. I felt like I was already guilty of something that I didn’t even know about or do. My grandma was very hard on me, she said I was beautiful but that I shouldn’t broadcast it because that will attract men to me. Society says to stay pure for my future husband. Someday I will submit to my husband and be the wife I need to be. The wife that has children, the wife who has breakfast ready and a lunch to go on the counter, and the wife who has dinner waiting on the table for my husband.
The little girl looking back at me in the mirror, she is proud that her older self is not performing the gender norms. She smiles at me with great proud. The necklace is still in my jewelry box, I wear it to special occasions. It is not my promise to my future husband of my purity.
Today I see change but there still a lot of change to be done. We educate our young girls, we can tell them that this is not a man’s world and virginity is for you. Young girls should be told that it’s not attractive to a man that your virginity is intact. Someday when I have a little girl, she will know the importance of the word “Feminist”.
It should not matter if its a girl or a boy, virginity should be an equal discussion for each gender. Gender should not be a factor when it comes to sharing yourself for the first time. We may have different biological parts but women should not be policed by this topic. The question of why is it okay for boys to have sex before marriage and not girls. Is that its a society problem, society still wants to control women. Men want power and they think they can control. Society is the problem.