Once Was, Virgins Had A Lot of Sex
In its original meaning, virginity had nothing to do with sex.
Virgins were women who took ownership of themselves.
They were autonomous, complete and holding status in their own right — not bound to any man. So virgins could have a lot of sex, if they wanted to.
But over time patriarchy took such hold that all women were “owned” by fathers or husbands. Then the meaning shifted to signify who controlled a woman’s sexuality.
It’s all highlighted in the contrast between female “purity balls” and male “integrity balls.”
In some American communities a young woman’s rite of passage trods thru a “purity ball” where she pledges chastity to their father until marriage.
But the young men don’t pledge chastity to their mothers until they wed. Instead, they vow to hold integrity. Because it’s just wrong to have sex with someone’s future wife, and damage his “property,” isn’t it?
very much about real, palpable, tangible policing and control of bodies, specifically women’s bodies. You always have to ask the question when you see an apparatus of control like this: who is at the reins (who is doing the controlling) and who benefits from that control being done?
Probably not women. After all, the virginity-promoters are same folks also seek jurisdiction over a woman’s ability to use contraception or terminate a pregnancy. They think women should obey their husbands — as heads of home — too.
Hmmm, I like the idea of virgins being “women who own themselves” a lot better.
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Posted on October 6, 2014, in feminism, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged feminism, integrity balls, purity balls, sex and sexuality, sexism, virginity, women. Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.