“The scary thing is that it’s not only religion that makes our bodies not our own; it’s engraved into (dare I say) all cultures. Idolizing fashion and celebrity style, dress codes at work, anti-nudity rules, cliques, ageism, female vs. male appropriateness of dress…
“Your body is *the only* thing that belongs to you in this world and in this life; until you realize this, the decisions you make that build your personhood may be on a very fragile foundation. The sole realization of the fact that your body is the only thing you own will make you realize that *none* of us are free, ever, in any circumstance, yet we can be.” – VP
This strongly resonates with me. My family was not religious, but from the moment I was born to this day, I have been – and still am being – bombarded with expectations in regards to my sexuality. From something as outspoken as deriding the local International Baccalaureate school for having a daycare for single mothers trying to finish their high school diploma to speaking with disdain about female colleagues discussing birth control pills – “They should be ashamed they couldn’t wait” – to denouncing all my male friends as “wolves” and cautioning me against being too relaxed, I grew up afraid and confused with my sexual urges.
I remember wanting to experiment with masturbation, and being afraid because it was “wrong”. I remember being taught shame when I got my period, because apparently, having my period, something I have absolutely no control over but something that is emblematic of my impending sexuality, is shameful.
I remember shooting the breeze with a male friend of mine sometime during my undergraduate, and him fantasizing about his future first time with his girlfriend.
“What if it’s not her first time?” I asked. He literally stopped in his tracks and admitted that that scenario had never occurred to him.
How is it that we still so highly, abnormally, prize female virginity?
I remember the years it took me to talk myself out of my fear of losing my virginity, the talks I had to have with my girlfriends and myself, before I realized, understood and accepted that any future partner I had who could not accept that I wasn’t a virgin would not be someone I would want to be with.
Where does the “love me for being me” fairytale our society feeds us come into play with maintaining female virginity?