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Woman's Empowerment Vs. The Virginity Trap

The title of Virgin has chained women for decades, and the shackles have finally been shaken off.

Woman lying on sheets with apple

Image by Jill Burrow | @pexels


Warning: This article discusses adult topics which are unsuitable for anyone under the age of 18.


Defining Virginity


Virginity holds a different meaning depending on which biological sex it is applied to. For a man, being a virgin can be a sign of shame, and of inexperience. It is an undesirable trait. Whereas for a woman it can be the main reason for her marriage and diminishes her worth as a person should she ‘lose’ it.


The indistinct label of virgin has been defined differently over the centuries it has been used. At times, it can be used to describe a person who has had no sexual experience at all. Other times it is a person who has not experienced vaginal intercourse specifically. In the past, it referred to women who bled during their first sexual encounter, because their hymen broke. Before a marriage an inspection of a woman’s hymen could occur, to determine if they were truly a ‘virgin’. Bloody sheets would be prominently displayed, showing proof of that woman’s ‘loyalty’ to their husband. Victims of sexual assault would be regarded as impure and tainted. Methods such as creating a fake hymen or pouring blood onto sheets have been used to hide against these virginity checks, creating a society of fear.


However, the hymen is an anatomical myth. The hymen is something that can be stretched and opened over time. It can be torn, not ‘broken’. It can be stretched during your first time, but it can also be stretched during activities such as horse riding or cycling. Sport activities such as gymnastics will stretch it too. It is this very myth that has controlled and broken-down countless marriages, sending the lives of women to the gutter.


This vague definition has been held over the heads of women endlessly. It has been the bane of women, restricting their lives and freedom. And in today’s era, it is finally shattering.


Women Today


The idea of virginity has shifted in the modern era. The ideal woman no longer must be a virgin. In fact, there is a developing preference for experienced partners or no difference in preference between a virgin or a non-virgin. Virgin has a new definition to be careful, ensuring their partner’s comfort in their new experience. Victims of sexual assault don’t have to consider themselves broken or unable to get married anymore.


The stigma of inexperience has broken down too, as people have come to accept that not everyone is ready just yet. It is no longer a social requirement to lose your virginity at a certain age or time. People can wait until they are ready. And that is okay.


Some people still prefer the traditional ‘pure’ woman and insist upon values such as certain behaviours being prohibited before marriage, but this number has decreased and continues to diminish as time goes on. Instead, people focused on virginity can be regarded as a red flag, something to be avoided.


Empowerment


We must take strides to protect the rights we have and block any attempts on our freedom as women. Not all women are free of the virginity trap just yet. It is important to keep them in mind and work towards both protecting our own rights and helping them gain theirs. Society has to continue pushing outdated values out of prominence, dismantling the myths that have tormented women.


Do not encourage sharing and shaming body counts, or laughing at inexperience. Celebrate the successes and happiness you’ve had. Avoid those with traditional views or educate them on the misconception with virginity. Take action to ensure woman’s empowerment stays bright.


Whether you are a virgin or not, it does not matter. There is no such thing as ruining yourself. It is time for women to finally have confidence in their self-worth, without shame of what kind of experience they may or may not have. Do not let anyone shame you for a body count, or inexperience. Women have worked so hard for their freedom; it is time to own and enjoy it. Be confident!


Happy woman with sunset background looking up at the sky

Image by Jill Wellington | @pexels


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