The Vaginal Corona

I don’t have much time to blog lately because I’ve got a bunch of mid-term essays to write, but I wanted to at least pass on this link.

Last year I read Virgin by Hanne Blank (which I highly recommend) and had been trying to collect my thoughts to make a post on virginity, but that never really materialized. Basically, I am convinced that the concept of virginity, or at the very least all the emphasis on the supposed “purity” of virgins, is an archaic concept that no longer makes sense in a society with DNA testing and birth control—and especially not in a world where women are no longer considered property passed on from fathers to husbands. I should hope that we are moving towards a society where women’s choices about their bodies are valued and respected (though we are not there yet), where neither a woman’s choice to have sex NOR her choice not to have sex are something for which she is shamed.

The idea of this membrane that has two possible states—intact/unbroken or damaged/torn—and that first-time penetration inflicts a wound to the woman which can be measured in blood, is extremely problematic, and has been used as a way to sentence countless women (some of whom were undoubtedly still virgins despite the lack of blood) to slavery, imprisonment, rape, mutilation, or murder. We may want to believe that we are more civilized than to kill, maim, or torture a girl because she has lost her virginity, that this just doesn’t happen in our society and that the most that we have to contend with is slut-shaming, but here’s a news flash: in 2004, a twelve-year-old girl was forced to drink bleach by her own mother because the mother believed she had lost her virginity.

So I am all for the idea of changing the terminology we use to describe this highly misunderstood part of a woman’s anatomy. The more education there is about this, the better. And changing the name to something more accurate is bound to catch people’s attention, and allow for more widespread education about what women’s bodies are really like.

Virgins

A month or two ago, I remember reading a thread (or part of one anyway) on AVEN started by an asexual who is attracted to virgins. Several others piped up, saying that whenever they found out that someone wasn’t a virgin, they were immediately turned off by that person.

One member in particular had an unreasonable, extremely negative, judgmental view of anyone who had ever had sex, and the thread quickly devolved into an argument with this person (who IMO made a total ass of him/herself). The thread was at least six pages long, so I didn’t read all of it. I read just enough to get the gist of the argument, and see that it wasn’t going anywhere–it was like arguing with a fundamentalist. This person was beyond being disgusted by sex. S/he HATED sex, and seemed to put a great deal of time and effort into avoiding it. Such an extreme viewpoint, to my mind, casts doubt on a person’s claim to be asexual. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say this person might actually be a person suffering from sexual anorexia, or just regular old sexual repression. It seemed dubiously similar to the kind of fortresses that people in denial build to keep reality out. This sort of “us and them” mentality, this militant rejection of ANYTHING sexual, is something that I think damages our cause. After all, how are we ever going to get sexual people to accept us if we won’t accept them? For this reason, I think it’s important for asexuals to be sex-positive.

But enough about that. What I wanted to talk about was virgins. Continue reading