As Free as a Bird

Spreading my voice on the injustices of rape culture, misogyny, and human trafficking in an effort to educate others and empower like-minded women.

The Cultural Concept of Virginity

The Cultural Concept of Virginity

I’d like to hear from anyone:

What do you think about virginity? Do you think that the idea of virginity can lead to slut-shaming and victim-blaming? How so? Does it devalue women? Some people believe that the concept of virginity is an archaic belief system that encourages property ownership. Is that what it is still suggesting today?

I am not saying that I feel one way or the other, I would just like to know how you feel.

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8 thoughts on “The Cultural Concept of Virginity

  1. I do believe that we should all wait until we’re married, boys and girls. Rape has nothing to do with sex and we need to educate our children about that also. There is a vast difference between giving and having something taken away but society has a blind eye to this.

  2. I think it’s important to distinguish between a cultural valuing of virginity, which implies that a woman is somehow a commodity, and a personal valuing of virginity. By that I mean, realizing the physical and psychological consequences of intimacy and valuing one’s self enough to be very selective about when, how, and with whom one has intercourse with.

  3. Thank you for your insights! While I do see what you both are saying, I personally feel that it is each individual’s own business who they are intimate with. My problem with society and sex talk is that people force their own beliefs on others. I do not believe that any one belief is right or wrong, per say, but that it should be the individual’s choice what to do with their own body as long as they aren’t harming anyone in the process. The problem is that women who are sexually promiscuous are seen as less valuable than a woman who is pure/virginal. Because of this, men feel they have a right to a woman’s body if she has been promiscuous in the past. This is a false perception and an unhealthy concept of sex. A woman is no less than another if she has had sex before marriage, and rape is no less heinous for her either. Rape is rape. I am not necessarily promoting sex before marriage or not, I am simply saying that because of this concept and ideology behind virginity, a woman is seen as trash if she has sex, or she is seen as a goal/prize if she is a virgin.

    Another thing to consider is that many women are sexually promiscuous due to past trauma. It may or may not be a conscious reaction, but it is certainly a common reaction. I think the more we label people, the more room there is for judgement and maltreatment.

    Let me clarify, Kerri, when you say, “Rape has nothing to do with sex”, do you mean that in the sense that it is mainly a power play on the rapist’s part? If not, what do you mean? If that is what you mean, I do agree with that. Rape usually has very little to do with sexual desire, but quite a bit to do with power and control (arguably misogynistic views and upbringing, and at times extreme religious acts). I do think kids should be educated on consent and the factors that revolve around rape, as well as the factors that may lead to rape. Unfortunately many schools turn a blind eye to these topics because they mainly want to teach abstinence. While abstinence is a valid choice, by the time kids are learning it in schools they have already had sex. Teaching kids about rape and consent has nothing to do with encouraging sexual activity, but everything to do with sexual assault and violence prevention.

  4. Here is my personal experience and take… I longed to ‘save myself’ for marriage…not so much of a religious or faith belief but because I longed to feel special and have that ‘moment’ once someone loved me so much and found me ‘worthy’ enough to spend the rest of their life with me.
    However, 2 weeks before my 17th birthday a friend I’d known since the 6th grade raped me. I used to say ‘took’ till I began my healing process years ago. I realized physically, yes, my virginity might have been ‘taken’ but really TO ME virginity was more of a ‘spiritual/ mental’ concept/gift. I had never GIVEN it to him therefore he never received it. What he ‘got’ was not my gift of virginity.
    Had I accepted this concept when I was 17 I would have saved myself a lot of continued hardship and despair. After that moment I felt ‘used’ and so I gave myself away willingly because there was nothing more to ‘save’ myself for. (or so I thought).

    Once I met my husband (to date we’ve been together 20 years, married 17) I longed to have that special ‘moment’ yet I ‘gave’ myself to him 2 weeks after meeting him. Because I had no worth in ‘sex’ anymore and I felt it was the only way to keep him. However, years later in discussion I realized he would have been fine waiting because I was WORTH IT. During our year engagement I so longed for that ‘special night’ that I insisted on us stopping all sexual activity and become a ‘born again virgin’….problem was I didn’t accept that emotionally.

    It wasn’t until 8 years into our marriage in marriage counseling after having 2 children that we had to ‘begin again’ and I had to relearn my boundaries. I had to learn that I had a ‘right’ to say ‘no’ or ‘I’m not in the mood’ and I wouldn’t lose him.

    To date I truly am the luckiest woman worthy of the man I married. He has his moments (as all men do 😉 ) but he adores me and I adore him and that’s what matters.

    Someone like this is who (in my belief) God created the most intimate encounter to be shared with.

    And that’s my two cents. Oh…by the way… It wasn’t until just this past December that I had memories surface of some very traumatic sexual experiences as a very little girl (by my grandfather)….really 2 weeks before my 17th birthday wasn’t really ‘losing my virginity’ if you put it in a general / physical sense. Maybe, sub consciously, that is why I longed for that ‘act’ to be special and not something that only gratified another….

    Blessings
    Shannon

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Shannon. I know/hope that many will benefit from reading it.

      Being a sexual assault survivor is definitely a process and a life journey, but the most important thing is to remind yourself that it does not define you. You survived, but you’re not just a victim, not just a survivor, but you ARE Shannon: you’re a mom, a wife, and from what I can tell, a caring and insightful person. No one can take that away from you.

  5. Hi I want to break free and lose mine but I don’t want to get in trouble with my church

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