Monday, January 12, 2009

Virginity

Losing it is a big deal. For men, it is a matter of pride, even if they are not married, for nobody is ever going to find out. It is something you boast about, and describe to your friends in a vainglorious fashion. And celebrate it. But not for the ladies I guess, at least in India . The perfect woman stays a virgin till she is married. That is what the society dictates to her. And why is that? What I think is that this conditioning process was initiated just to prevent unwanted pregnancies. You got a daughter, she is young, and but not yet married (read, conveniently disposed off), so you fill her head with stories of virtuousness and chastity, not for the rights reasons but the wrong ones, so that she doesn’t do something which will make you lose face. It is all about that. Isn’t that why the phrase “mooh kaala karwa diya” exists ? I do not think it has anything to do with the ethics or morality associated with premarital sex .May be a little. But definitely much more about the girl getting pregnant and bringing “dishonor” to her family . I don’t remember getting any lecture on staying away from premarital sex. But I sure do know of parents who would indoctrinate their daughter on this issue. And this appears to be one reason. The other apparent reason being, that a non-virgin girl is not pure/pious/pristine enough to get married too. “Real men” want their goods in perfect and un-tampered condition. And how do you ensure that ? By ingraining the belief that virginity is a virtue. And I bet this must be one of the reasons why sons are in more demand. I remember reading this somewhere – In some damned village or the other, on the morning following the ceremonial wedding night, the sheets were checked for blood stains. If there were none, the accursed girl would be beaten/tortured/humiliated to reveal the name of her lover. This would go on till she named someone, even if she was actually a virgin . And now the lover boy, whether he was or not does not matter, had to shell out some moolah as an emollient for the wounded ego/honour of the groom and his family . An absolute win-win for the in-laws of the bride. If the dowry was the cake, this would be the cherry on the top.

Moral of the rant- Do not have daughters. And make sure that those who do, keep them chaste; for your sons. And the honour of the family comes before the life and liberty of a woman. Three cheers to “Man”-kind !

A good movie - Juno. Those who haven’t , do watch it . And a regular but interesting one - Saved.

p.s. A promiscuous woman is more affectionately called a slut . What is the synonymous term for a promiscuous man ?

32 comments:

Kartikey said...

The moral does not go with the story. Maybe you could have written more. For instance finishing the talk about virginity being a virtue (or not)
Maybe another post on this topic

And I have my doubts about the term 'promiscuous' woman or man
As a psychologist or psychiatrist has put it... promiscuity means someone is having more sex than you are.

Ajit said...

I believe that it is time, we have similar stds for men and women......
Juno is a good film....... it drives home the point.....

"is the synonymous term for a promiscuous man ? "

Ans: A Player......

@lankr1ta said...

Virginity what an issue about a tissue!!!

That village story is like "returning damaged goods". On another flippant note, one never relaizes the burden it is, unless lost...

No, there is no equivalent term for a man, because, don't you know women can be either sluts or goddesses, no inbetweens. How conveniently stereotyped. Makes my blood boil.

nimis540 said...

" and but not yet married (read, conveniently disposed off) "
True to a great etent,especially in rural areas..

I am not to comment on whether one should remain a virgin till marriage..To each its own..But it is wrong and unfair for a non virgin to expect a virgin spouse..Either you preserve yourself for a relationship or choose to become a second/third or nth hand item and end up having a similar spouse..

The Quirky Indian said...

Well said, Kislay.

Aren't we bunch of hypocritical assholes?

And as Ajit said, the term for a male is player, or stud. Or just plain "lucky dude". All the negative connotations are reserved for the women.

Quirky Indian

Pro said...

What a hypocritical society we live in. Guys may spend half of their twenties "playing the field" but when it comes to their wives, they expect her to be undamaged "fresh goods"... something to be "unwrapped" on the sacred Suhaag raat.

And until I read your blog dude, I never observed how little guys are "coached" at retaining their virginities... keep the rants coming!

Bones said...

Good post...

The reason men want ""fresh goods"... something to be "unwrapped" on the sacred Suhaag raat." is to ensure that the son borne by his wife is his...That's why the shastras have equated a woman's virginity to purity...

I frankly think men want virgins because they don't want their wives to compare them sexually to somebody else...

Smitha said...

Great Post!
The other day, I read the other day, that girls of Asian origin in the UK are now resorting to surgery before getting married to be able to 'pretend to be a virgin'. Society and it's expectations!
And sure there is a high premium of virginity, why would 72 virgins be such a lucrative proposition :)

Indian Home Maker said...

1.I agree with Bones about insecurity that men feel, they fear being compared. Not their fault they are made to feel their 'manliness' lies in their performance.
2.What they do not realise is that there are equally strong chances (maybe more) of being compared Emotionally.
3.Also the fear that the heir should have their DNA. DNA testing is a very new concept - so some more insecurity.
4. Over a period of time it has become an ego issue, a matter of pride to marry only a 'pure' and chaste girl.

Where's the problem?

1. The hymen can rupture in many ways like in sports etc or hymen can be absent from birth. I blogged about it here.
2. Human relationship should be based on more than the absence or presence of a tissue. This attitude is from a time perhaps when we weren't really evolved ...?(just wondering) Today we have evolved too much to base a life time commitment on a girl being or not being a virgin.
Famous e.g. Prince Charles (Although I can't stand him otherwise because he kills animals for pleasure) didn't find happiness with a chaste Diana but with his present wife, who had been married when he first met her.
3. Of course the double standards are as always unjustified.
4. But the worst victims are the unacknowledged babies (and I am sure their heart broken mothers) that are abandoned, drowned or left in garbage bins, and if they are lucky, left in indifferent orphanages. There has to be something seriously wrong with a culture(s) that has allowed something like this to go own for centuries. Karan, Sita, kripa-Kripi, kabir ... we have so many such sad stories.

Kislay said...

@Kartikey
It does not . I should have expressed it more elegantly .
@Ajit , Quirky and Pro
Thanks guys . Good to know that sensible people are around . But I must say that a player cannot be the equivalent of a slut . While slut sounds and is offensive ,player suggests that is something good and cool .
@Alankrita
I think it is more about making a few more bucks .
@Nimmy
Exactly my thoughts . If you are a virgin , it is somewhat justified to expect your partner to be the same . But even if not , that does not imply that the woman is not worth marrying to .
@Bones
Good point . It escape me . And yes, it could be that Men do not want to be measured against yard-stick .
@Smitha
I heard about that one too . And yes , there must be something about virgins that 72 vestal ones are promised to those who willing to lay down their lives . :)
@IHM
I did read about how a woman can be a virgin and yet do not have an intact hymen . It is nothing but double standards .

Thank you all for sharing your views .

Indian Home Maker said...

Chronicle of a Death Foretold is an account of the killing of Nasar, who was stabbed to death by twin brothers Pedro and Pablo for a perceived offense against the honor of their family. Their sister Angela had been married to a wealthy young man, then returned to her family during the night when he discovered that she was not a virgin. (All of this is revealed in the first chapter, so no spoilers here.)It's a brilliant account, an eye opener, a Nobel Prize (1982) winning work of fiction by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Kislay said...

@IHM
Will have to give it read .

Indyeah said...

Kislay this is a very well written,thought provoking post and one where a comment won't do ,a post is required...so many thoughts are swirling right now...that it's all a jumble...till later then...

Kislay said...

@Indyeah
Thank you . Glad to know that I made your head swirl with thoughts . :)

Chirax said...

Ha ha ha Brilliant, I had though we stopped caring about any ones Virginity anymore. Then I have a tendency to be wrong, I will echo all the point made b IHM, here.

Men do feel now there is a benchmark, Ha ha ha LOL. That post also reminds me my friend just got married, ha ha ha

Have seen Juno, other one not yet.

Kislay said...

@Chirax
Thanks . But seriously , is it that funny ?

Vikram said...

My understanding is that people in the villages and the urban poor are a lot less stuck up when it comes to sex. I think in general men in India, esp. the North tend to look at women as property to be protected from 'damage'. Notice the abundance of abuses directed at female sexuality (u know what I mean). Somehow sex for many Indian men is like war, something to pull one over somebody, to prove u r better than somebody.

Vikram said...

Actually, by extension many men think about 'Mother' India in the same terms. They mostly only think about protecting India from physical aggression from outside, but forget to think about the internal wounds the country carries due to their actions and dont care much about the values it espouses.

Kislay said...

@Vikram
As far as I know , I think the problem spans across urban and rural settings , and I am not sure whether men from the Northern parts alone tend to look at women as property . Ans as far as Mother India is concerned , don't we Indians think of our country as our motherland ? Then why wouldn't we anthropomorphise her , and call her "Bharat Maata" ? And I agree that we must also pay attention to the internal wounds . The threat from those is as grave as the external aggression .

Indyeah said...

Please do drop in and pick up something:)
http://ofsongsforthesoul.blogspot.com/2009/01/overwhelmedand-love-and-appreciation.html

chiragchamoli said...

Well Kislay,

//Sarcasm Intended: Men do feel now there is a benchmark, Ha ha ha LOL.


//Funny: That post also reminds me my friend just got married, ha ha ha

1conoclast said...

Dudester... :-)

Congrats on the Award!

Hate to post off topic, but don't know how else to contact you...; response awaited on a comment & also on a tag.

Game?

Kislay said...

@1con
Thank you . I saw your comment . That I will respond too . The tag might take a while , or might not come at all . Will have to marshal a lot of thoughts for that , and I am busy with work these days .

1conoclast said...

Respond or accept that this old guy is talking some sense...?

Just kidding. Am waiting...

Usha Pisharody said...

Well said!!!

We exist in double standards, and have gotten so comfortable with them, that it does not really matter what on earth it is all about!

Hard hitting post, and the satire is served great!!

Kislay said...

@Usha Pisharody
Thank you . Double standards indeed .

1conoclast said...

Mere Yuva Mitr...

Kahaan ho? I'm genuinely missing some conversation...!!!

Indyeah said...

You are tagged!:)http://ofsongsforthesoul.blogspot.com/2009/02/tagged-once-more.html

freespirit said...

While virginity shouldn't be an issue, losing it shouldn't become the norm-especially when you keep AIDS and other STD's in perspective. Then again I guess it's an issue only for those who happen to lack a Y chromosome, since they also have a hymen-I wouldn't know because my parents decided to spare me the pure/vestal virgin "talk". Anyway thought it was a good post; nice job!

Kislay said...

Thank you . The bone of contention here is different standards for men and women .

Destination Infinity said...

I think it is more related to the attitude one develops. If someone is able to be a virgin till his/her marriage, then they would have a better attitude towards sex after marriage. They won't feel they are struck up or cheated etc. Simply because there is no comparison! We can also have a world where we can sleep every night with a different partner. But would that make us the satisfied and the happiest people?

Destination Infinity

Phoenixritu said...

That stupid tradition of checking the bed sheet is so demeaning! And any sensible girl would simply cut her self and smear the bedsheet if she so choses