Throughout this quarter, the main two female characters that appeared in my stories were both virgins. They were also held in very high regard due significantly to the fact that they were virgins. That got me wondering, how did the idea of virginity come to be so important?
I looked online to find some explanation and the one idea that I found very reasonable was that virginity started to pop up when humans shifted from hunter-gatherer to agriculture: “Once men owned property they could pass on to their sons, it became very important to make sure you knew your wife’s kids were your own.” Vogels then goes on to talk in her article that the more patriarchal a society was the more virginity is valued. I have to agree. Look at the middle east where virginity is still valued so highly that some girls are killed in the name of “honor” because they do not appear to be virgins.
Part of this blog is about self-reflection and I have to confess that there is something alluring about virgins. Yet, is this belief something that is natural to men or is it something that has been put in my head by society. Men are definitely attracted to innocence and this is implied by virginity, but it could be that innocence actually corresponds to youth. This makes sense because it is only natural to be attracted to younger women due to the higher chance that they can produce successful offspring. Therefore, I think it is more half a natural instinct due to the idea of youthfulness and half the idea of society.
Modern feminists are against virginity and I totally understand why. Men have always had it easy because it really is impossible to tell whether or not they are virgins. Also, patriarchal societies have made it so that men are freer to do what they want whereas women are more constrained. I would consider my mom a feminist, but she does not believe in sex before marriage. She does not say it out loud, but I think that she believes in virginity because of the fact that it prevents unwanted pregnancy. In this sense, I still think the woman’s virginity is valued more than the man’s because they are still the ones that have to carry the baby.
Still, with the advent of birth control only around 3 percent of people wait until marriage to have sex.
However, even before birth control 11% of people still had marriage. To me this shows that people just want to have sex(haha, what a surprise), but also that the idea of virginity is starting to fade away.
I think that virginity is not an evil concept, but it has been made to be one through the patriarch. I think that if a society wants to value virginity than it should do so the same for both men and women. Conversely, if a society doesn’t want to value virginity then that’s also perfectly ok.