Thursday, December 23, 2010

Virgin Territory?

Disclaimer: this post is for adults only. You've been warned.

Since we are in the season when Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ Child to the Virgin Mary, it seems somehow appropriate to discuss the subtopic of virginity. Consider this interesting, if bizarre story from yesterday's Washington Post: Knowing Cultural View of Virginity, Chinese Women Try Surgical Restoration.

Yes, Dear Readers, from China - the land of counterfeit just-about-everything, where intellectual property rights are pretty much ignored - comes the opportunity to purchase fake (or, at least, surgically-restored) virginity. For the average price of about 5,000 renminbi (about $740), a young woman whose virginity has been compromised through strenuous sports or sexual activity can undergo a half-hour procedure which will restore her hymen to its former place of honor as the guardian at the gates of her Celestial Temple. It is also possible to purchase "revirgination" in some sex shops in the form of an artificial hymen that has all the properties of the real thing, but doesn't require surgery.

Oh, for Pete's sake...

In many countries, particularly in the Muslim world and in strongly patriarchal societies, virginity is a prized asset that defines the value of a woman. In some of those societies, the mere suspicion that a woman has lost her virginity is considered a stain on the honor of her family, and often leads to the woman's banishment, if not outright murder. There is, sadly, seldom an equivalent stigma attached to the man who helped bring about this condition. He's a manly stud, while the woman is merely a tramp who likes to play around. After all, it was Hester Prynne who wore that scarlet letter, not Reverend Dimmesdale, and young men in the Middle East aren't blowing themselves up because they've been told there are 72 sexually experienced women waiting for them in an imagined paradise.

To me, the loss of virginity per se isn't the real issue. The real issue is the potential for the birth of an unexpected or unwanted child who may end up paying the ultimate price for those few moments of pleasure.

Is virginity important? Perhaps. Is it worth committing murder over, or ignoring a potentially wonderful partner? Certainly not.

A popular joke here in Disneyland-on-the-Potomac at this time of year tells why there will be no Nativity Display on Capitol Hill: while there are plenty of asses for the stable, nobody has been able to find three wise men or a virgin to participate.

Just a little something to ponder as you celebrate the Christmas story.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Kerrie Logan Hollihan said...

Great post, Bill. Did you ever see the news report that the 72 "virgins" in terrorist paradise might be more appropriately translated as "white grapes?"

Mike said...

Thanks for the link. (the second one) I learn some new stuff today. Time for a nap.

KathyA said...

Female virginity is only precious in male-dominated societies. Go figure.