When I read the abovementioned quote on virginity, my mind started wandering and I began to question myself. Why is remaining a virgin something to be proud of – what if you’re not? You shouldn’t feel proud then? If not, then why not? Many thoughts and questions started swirling through my mind. I suddenly started feeling uneasy about having this thought. This is something I need to know, I said to myself. Then all of a sudden, I found myself seeking the answers to so many ‘why’s.
Is Losing One’s Virginity Before Marriage a Big Deal?
As per this study, in 2013, approximately 450 women in Madhya Pradesh were forced to undergo virginity tests during a state-conducted mass marriage under the Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivah Yojana. A man in Bengaluru conducted a virginity test on his wife without her knowledge just because she was throwing up post-marriage.
So yes, losing virginity before marriage is made into a big deal. Despite education and experience, sexuality in India is still a taboo for most people. Even now, most grooms in India still look for virgin brides. No matter how progressive a man’s mind may be, virgins are always their first preference – thus deeming chastity as a quality.
In 2013, approximately 450 women in Madhya Pradesh were forced to undergo virginity tests during a state-conducted mass marriage under the Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivah Yojana.
Virginity has always been a major obsession amongst Indians. As per the societal norms, for women – losing their virginity before marriage is considered the absolute sin because virginity is considered synonymous with purity, integrity and a ‘proper’ upbringing. That being said, if you as a woman are a non-virgin, you will be labelled as ‘impure’ and will never be embraced by our society because you will not be considered ‘acchhi ghar ki ladki‘.
Though, interestingly, this mandate does not apply to the men in our country. In India, sex before marriage among men is considered to be fun and a source of pride. In fact, most men wear it as a badge of ‘manliness’; while for women – sex before marriage is regarded as shame and it is something that can cost them a lot more than a marital prospect.
Is Virginity A Must For A Happy Marriage?
In 2013, India Today conducted a survey that shows men are three times more likely to have premarital sex than women. After all this, 77% of men still insist on a ‘blushing virgin bride’. I want to ask them all – sharam nahin aati? [Aren’t you ashamed?]
Pre-marital sex might not be a taboo somewhere else, but in India, it is. Moreover, it is a gossip kind of situation – looked at as a disreputable and shameful act. Especially when it comes to arranged marriages – a woman with a sexually active past still raises eyebrows and sets tongues wagging. When asking one of the known gynaecologists and sex counsellors about why Indians have such a regressive mentality about virginity, he said: “this kind of mentality is largely present because our traditional values related to sex are embedded in us strongly but wrongly.”
77% of men still insist on a ‘blushing virgin bride’.
In our country, if a woman admits to a sexually active past, it is held against her. It shouldn’t be this way – the very fact that she’s admitting it (even though she could have hidden it) is because she wants to be honest and upfront. It is high time our society must understand and accept that virginity and chastity are not the measures to base a happy marriage on. Honesty, trust and love are some of the traits that both partners should possess.
The Answers To All ‘Why’s
So, is virginity a big deal? – I don’t think it is. It is just like any other experience in life.
You’re a virgin? – That is nothing to be ashamed of.
You’re not a virgin? – Again, that is also nothing to be ashamed of.
It is always a matter of choice and it has always been our personal choice. The only thing here that is wrong is judging a woman’s character by her intact hymen – making her the ‘hot topic’ among gossipmongers, treating her in an ill-mannered way based on that and whatnot. An intact hymen can never be something that would make a woman socially acceptable because every woman deserves to be respected – irrespective of their virginity status.
Featured image used for representative purpose only. Image source: Media Education Foundation