Why I Don’t Use The Word “Virgin”

Over a week ago, shocking news about the rapper T.I. broke out and spread across social media. In an interview, he discussed the fact that he takes his daughter to yearly gynaecologist appointments to “check her hymen”. Everyone was taken aback by his comment and rightfully so. I immediately took interest in the matter because just a few days prior, I had asked my best friend if I should write a blog post about the reason why I refuse to use the word “virgin” when referring to a human being.

My issue with this is the fact that it is doing more harm than good. Which girl wants their father to accompany them to the gynaecologist to make sure that her hymen is still in tact, just so he can be satisfied knowing that she is still a virgin? First of all, the hymen is an inaccurate indicator of whether or not a woman is a virgin, so she is being put through such an invasive process for no reason. Secondly, she is and always will be his daughter, but her body is HER body. If she doesn’t want to go to these appointments, she has all the rights to say no. However, the rapper basically said that if she has nothing to hide, then there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to know what the results are.

I was sickened by what he said in this interview, however, I wasn’t surprised. I grew up in an extremely religious family and I attended an all-girls Catholic high school. Needless to say, it was etched into my brain that a girl’s “virginity” was SACRED and shouldn’t be given up until she is married. I always wondered what’s the deal with this whole virginity thing. When I vocalised my question, I was given the whole rundown about virgins being pure and clean and when you lose your virginity, especially before marriage, you’re considered to have lost that “purity”. I fully accepted and believed that this was correct all up until I realised how demeaning it is to women.

It objectifies women and make them seem like property that will depreciate in value if it’s been “used”. In some societies, women who have “lost their virginity”, even women who are victims of rape, are considered not worthy of marriage and have brought shame upon their families. Women, especially young girls, are often judged based on this one little detail and their worth is automatically determined by it. The frequency of engaging in sex and the quantity of partners a woman has helps some people in determining their worth and/or how much respect she deserves. This also dictates how impure the woman is. They are made to feel dirty and unclean by some people and this may have lasting psychological effects on them in some cases. Sometimes they themselves start determining their own worth based on that tiny detail.

For these reasons I refuse to use the word “virgin” when referring to a human being. To me, it just doesn’t exist. I don’t consider people pure or impure. I don’t believe your sexual activity status determines your worth at all. You are not someone’s property. It’s not something to feel guilty or ashamed about. Quite frankly, it’s no one’s business except your own. This is an archaic concept that needs to die out. There’s more to a woman than just her reproductive organs.

I find it quite astonishing that in 2019 “virginity” is still a controversial topic among people. I mean, why is it even still a topic at all? Here’s my take on this before I throw it out the window once and for all: “Virginity” is a social construct. There are people in this world who have had sex and there are people in this world who haven’t.

Social constructs exist because a society agrees that they exist. As it literally says in the name, the beliefs were constructed by the society. We should all agree that it is time to move on from those trivial concepts.

Giovanna
xx

Thank you for reading!

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