Once I saw this advertisement I was so confused, should I laugh or cry?
I don’t see it as a cosmetic thing for pleasure, but more as a way to save the oppressed lives of the ‘virgin’ wives that many religions demand, and the ‘honour’ killings that can, and do happen a lot afterwards.
As someone who comes from a country where virginity is valued, the blood is important because there is the concept of the imaginary virgin. That is, there is only one type of virgin: demure, with an intact hymen, and pure. Somehow, she is also a better sexual partner because she is “tighter” than other women.
The obsession is not necessarily with the blood per se but with the whole package, with this weird ideal of a woman. The idea is more twisted. According to some men virgins, for example, are always young and attractive.
In my community a virgin is a prime product. Men will sleep around with many women but when marriage time comes by they desire a virgin. It is almost a status symbol. Virginity is also tied together with other notions. So, for example, a woman who sleeps around a lot must be a slut, or an easy woman. In contrast a virgin excels at these skills. She is not quarrelsome or difficult like the “easy” woman.
This advertisement reminds me about a friend’s story who came to me once crying and told me:
“I am not a virgin. I am kind-hearted, sort of religious, I pray, I don’t lie, but losing my virginity has turned my life upside down. How it happened is a long story but the most important thing now is that this incident has turned my life into a living hell.”
Of course no one knows about it, but she feels so bad and she has been punishing herself for such a shameful thing.
“I know that I am not a good girl and that God is not happy with me or what I have done. This is why I decided to wear the veil. I hate it and I hate how I look and feel while wearing it but I put it on because it protects me from people staring at me or who gossip about me. I feel that everyone knows my deep dark secret and I am hiding my shame behind my veil.” She said
I told her that losing your virginity does not mean that you are a whore, having sex with a man you love makes you human – nothing less and nothing more, and virginity means nothing today or before; if a woman is a virgin it does not mean she has never had sex before and if she is a virgin it does not mean that she will not have an affair after marriage.
Decency, integrity, respect, and modesty are far deeper qualities than a piece of skin.
In spite of all I said, she was not convinced, and kept saying no one will marry me and I will never wear the white dress because I’m not virgin.
Then she asked me
“Have you ever sat dreamily imagining yourself in a fairytale wedding dress, about to marry your very own Prince Charming?”
Millions of girls and women that dream of the perfect marriage have a vision of the perfect white wedding dress in their minds, but I was not one of those millions who dreamt to be a princess in her white dress and her prince will come on his white horse to save her.
15 years ago, I read an article about wedding night in Egypt, and I was shocked, I was about 10 years old, I admit I was even afraid.
I understood from the article that historically, bridal virginity was prized in many cultures. A young woman was expected to maintain her chastity until she was deflowered on her wedding night. In some of these cultures, this led to the ancient custom of showing a bloodstained cloth on the wedding night as “proof”* of the bride’s virginity.
Incredibly, this custom is still practiced in some Egyptian villages to this day. Relatives of the bride and the groom actually sit outside the newlywed couple’s room on the wedding night waiting for the bloody bed sheet to be exhibited.
While the practice of parading ‘proof’ of bridal virginity has almost disappeared in the educated families, it is still widely believed that a woman should be a virgin on her wedding night.
The honor of a man is not related in any way to his own behavior, it is related primarily to the behavior of his wife, his daughter or his sister. A man who commits all the wrongdoings in the world is considered ‘honorable’ if his wife doesn’t deceive him by having an affair with another man. A man who is known as a wrong-doer is considered ‘honorable’ if his daughter safeguards her virginity. So the honor of a man is not related in any way to his behavior; such as being honest and respectable and always being truthful. This is a skewed understanding of the concept ‘honor’.
Honor killing is one of the forms of killing women because they have sex with men outside marriage. A man who is closely related to this woman who ‘misbehaves’ kills her in order to safeguard the honor of the family.
In the past, people used to say that a female can wear a chastity belt to keep her virginity till she finds the right prince who will open the lock.
We all know the origins of the chastity belt, right?
Chastity belts are surrounded by myths and folklore. The most common of these myths is that they were first used by crusading knights for their wives.
A Crusader goes off to fight, doesn’t trust his wife (or doesn’t trust the villagers left behind alone with his wife) and decides to fit her with a locking belt that will prevent her from having sex until he gets back with the key to unlock the belt.
The premise of the belts are simple: Stick your significant other (female or male) in this belt, fasten the lock, take away the key… and presumably your loved one will stay chaste until you return to unlock it. The practice was condoned by the Catholic Church because infidelity was considered a sin and usually any woman caught cheating was killed anyway. A man caught cheating usually got away with it.
The chastity belt can be also used to make sure that a women practices sexual abstinence before she is married. The chastity belt will ensure that she can’t have sexual relations.
Or, don’t worry about losing your virginity. With this product (artificial virginity hymen), you can restore your virginity again without going into the trouble of plastic surgery “hymenoplasty”.
It is also for those women who like to play the appearance game of being virgin. This is just another added lie to a tapestry of lies.
This product could influence future behavior, and the common assumption could be that all brides will be virgins on their wedding night.