Liz Says, Week 3: On the question of virginity
The fact that women still worry about virginity makes me sad. But it is a very valid concern, because virginity (for some irritating reason) is still attached to how a woman is valued by society - like proverbial meat on the dating market. Here is S's concern about virginity, and what I think about it.
Hi. I'd like to ask for your opinion on virginity and the value of being a woman. Does a woman's value decrease when she's lost her virginity? Like, should she have looked after herself before her wedding night and she's dumb for not doing so? I've read forums by Filipinos and there are some men that say they prefer virgin women over non-virgins for marriage while it's okay to play around and have girlfriends that are non-virgins.
I, for one am no longer a virgin and I'm concerned that when I find the right person he might turn away because of my non-virginity. Also, I think it's quite chauvinistic for men to want to be gifted with a "pure" woman to marry when they themselves aren't "pure" (in terms of religion and morals) to begin with.
I know God detests premarital sex and I vowed to wait till marriage but the uncertainty of what this truth may bring to future relationships scare me. Like I might be forced into doing it because "I've lost it and there's nothing left to lose". But there is something I don't want to lose, and that's my self-respect. Hoping for your two cents Liz. Thank you for reading this.
Let's get a a few things clear about sex: it's not dirty. It's not evil. It's a natural, healthy expression of ourselves and there is absolutely no need to feel guilty about doing it even if you're unmarried. God isn't watching and God doesn't care. That's just what guys tell you so that they'd be the first to fuck you.
In the dark, medieval days before women started working and earning as much (or even more) than men virginity was one of the precious few assets that they can trade with. Marriage offered them a home and financial stability - there was no other way to go about it. If you don't get married, you'll die in a poorhouse or be cast away by society. A woman's value, therefore, is dictated by the men who work and provide for them. So being a virgin was crucial for women to have a decent life.
The year is 2012. Women now have the tools, skills, and opportunities to build a life and a career outside of marriage. We now go to college (whee) and learn things that are supposed to equip us for a bright, independent future ahead. We can vote. We can wear short skirts and makeup and not be admonished as the devil's whores.
Men cannot tell us what we are worth - not anymore. We're worth exactly what we make of ourselves. Our self-respect should not depend on how many men we've fucked but on how we achieve a productive, happy life. How we find ways to help the people we care about, how we practice kindness and honesty in everything we do.
S, if your Mr. Right pressures you into having sex or leaves you because you're no longer a virgin, then forget the mofo. He is not Mr. Right, but just another manipulating, narrow-minded jerk who wants to use you. Free yourself from men like this and just work on getting the happy life that you deserve. There will be other men who will love you because you make them laugh or make them better versions of themselves - not because of some silly, shallow reason like being a virgin.
You will respect and thank yourself for that in the future.
Relationship woes or lack thereof? Career issues? If you want your own letter published and answered on Liz Says, feel free to email it to liz at projectvanity.com or leave your message here. I'll see what I can do!