My virginity is not my “Pride”

Disclaimer: I am not in any way implying that being a virgin isn’t a beautiful thing and a thing of pride, neither am I saying that chastity is not a desired virtue. Now that we’ve gotten this out of the way, let’s get on with today’s post.

I was going to title this post- “I am not my hymen” or I am more than my hymen but I decided to tweak the popular Nigerian maxim “virginity is a woman’s pride”. Earlier this month, we celebrated the International Women’s day and there were various programmes held across the world to commemorate the occasion. Coincidentally it’s been twenty years since the Beijing women’s conference of 1995, I remember the conference fueling national discourse for weeks, from TV to radio and print media. I’m not sure the lofty ideals of the conference has resulted to any concrete benefits but that’s not today’s focus.

This post was inspired by a random conversation that took place at my bead making class, three sisters in their early thirties were discussing the breakdown of the marriage of their friend. The lady had been married for less than a year and her husband kicked her out of the house last week. The women had plenty to say about his wickedness, his dead morals and even his poor sexual prowess and the wife was made out to be a living saint. They went on and on about how evil the stronger sex can be (I partially agreed with them). Then one of them raised the trump card, prove that their friend was an angel.

“She was even a virgin!” and they all agreed it was sad and the man was so terrible to leave a woman who’d given him the most precious gift she could give a man. With the rarity of virgins, they rationalised that he should have worshipped the ground she walked on as well as forgiven her every sin because she had “kept herself”. At this point I asked them if being a virgin made a woman the perfect wife, did her virginity cover for her character flaws,  inability to love or at the very least tolerate her husband. They launched into a winding lecture on the rarity of virgins in modern times and how such women (notice how they didn’t mention men) should be honoured and even revered. I switched off from their conversation and continued with my project.

  However the conversation bothered me for sometime. Remember that the women who were having the conversation are in their thirties and are all mothers to very young children. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to think that they would pass on this mindset to their children, and we’ll have another generation believing that it is the woman’s prerogative to “keep herself” and the young man does what he wants.

    Am I saying that not indulging in pre-marital is archaic or quaint?… No! I’m saying that if we teach our daughters that the value they bring to marriage is sexual, that their brains, hearts and brawn are only secondary to their hymen, then we have not equipped them with the skills they need to function in the institution. Have we taught them that they are not objects or trophies but intelligent, wonderful women and that whatever they choose to do with their bodies, the only person they are accountable to is God. Honouring God by not committing fornication is beautiful, so is avoiding STIs and other unpleasant occurrences by practising abstinence. But teaching our daughters that all they have to do is “keep themselves” and they can sustain a relationship on the strength of their hymen is pure crap. I wouldn’t have thought that such mind numbing theories still float around today if I hadn’t heard that conversation.

   Seriously, if the most valuable thing I’m bringing to the partnership called marriage is my unbroken hymen, then my husband is unfortunate indeed. If I don’t learn the basics of maintaining relationships, if the husband and I have no skills in interpersonal relationships then the marriage is dead on arrival.

In a world where sexual intercourse is as casual as a handshake, chastity is a beautiful thing but it is only one of the things a person can be proud of, just like the ability to cook sumptuous meals, run a home on a budget, tolerate situations that would make others go crazy. It is an awesome part of who you are but there’s more to a person than one awesome part….

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32 Comments

  1. This is an interesting piece. I had a similar discussion on a forum and basically my assertions were that saying a guy is ‘nice’ and a girl is a virgin really doesn’t mean the relationship will be perfect. There’s more to be expected from a person than their degree of ‘worldliness’ and ‘douchiness’. People must first learn to develop themselves…

    Then again, the things we celebrate! I could write a whole post on it.

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  2. I totally subscribe to all your points on this matter… Many guys these days are even more interested in other elements that make up a girl (lady) than the “state of the hymen”. The once that find those elements intact or nearly intact and still find an unbroken hymen, counts themselves the most luckiest men in the planet. The general notion is that virgins are few, so much so that they may not even exist (…even though I will contest this notion any day).

    Basics of maintaining relationships, skills in interpersonal relationships, domestic skills, economics/management skill etc are very key for the woman and man alike. Sexual aptitude too shaa…

    Great post Mami: A must read for our young girls who don’t have a clue.

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    1. Like you, I believe virgins exists… male and female too. It’s sad that we don’t emphasise the major requirements for fulfilled relationships and we wonder why marriages flounder.

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  3. Very insightful piece!
    I keep saying this – we need to raise our children differently but then I forget to add that we ourselves, need to re-educate ourselves before we can raise our children differently!!!
    Well written, Ada-daddy!

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    1. You hit the nail on the head. if our mindsets do not change, we can not influence the next generation to be better than we were.
      I hope you’re putting finishing touches on that story…

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  4. Beautiful piece. If only young girls can realise this (like im old Lolzxx). It pains me when I see girls with sio much to offer throwing away thwir life because they feel their worth has reduced as they are no longer virgins.
    As far as im concerned, its just hymen simple & short. That you don’t have it doesn’t make you a prostitute nor does it mean you should find it easier to sleep with a new guy you just started dating. No one should guilt trip you into that.
    By the way, for the virgins (both male & female), the ability to keep oneself for that special someone is a gift and you are a treasure but don’t expect to receive special bonanza for that

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    1. You’re definitely not old :-p. Guilt trips… I should write a post on that one day, some people take it to deplorable depths. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this post nwannem.

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  5. Societal hypocrisy as usual, expecting the girls to be virgins, those other girls nko? Who disvirgined them? Somebody that I know that just got married, she was a virgin but she can take a cocktail of all sorts of alcohol without ‘shaking’ . I know she will soon discover that it takes more than the hymen to hold on to your marriage. Nice post Adaeze.

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  6. The organ to reckon wit most is d mind. Some hav lost their virginity to natural courses or evil schemes and thinking this way could ruin the confidence left. God would be unjust to package a persons personality between the persons legs. We, both male and female should be virgins with respect to sex and the grace available and we should be experienced with respect to what knowledge we should acquire.
    Nice piece, but just as life is…many may crucify you for this but for me, you just wrote the intro of the whole concept. You are on point

    Reply

    1. Thanks for stopping by Emeka, I love the point you raised about God’s packaging of our personalities between our legs, we’re a full package and not just a part. Thanks again for your comment and your encouragement

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  7. Nice Write-up…I love d point u raised abt when a girl lost her virginity,doesn’t makes her prostitute sleeping with every guy dat comes her way

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  8. “But teaching our daughters that all they have to do is “keep themselves” and they can sustain a relationship on the strength of their hymen is pure crap.” Touchè! I heard that some virgins aren’t actually virgins like that; many collect from behind and do all the other stuff. But let’s not even talk about that today. Religious leaders need to start talking about these things. Virgins go to heaven, virgins go to hell.

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    1. Owgee! Lol @ “many collect from behind”, which is very true by the way. I’m still reading your posts and I’m entranced by your writing and the fact that you’re in Uniben is icing on the cake for me.

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      1. Nne, thank you so much for bringing my blog back to life today. I had almost forgotten about it. LoL. Wait, do/did you attend UNIBEN too?! Let me just start all the razz aluta hailings here now. LoL. I graduated in December. Awaiting results.

      2. Biko don’t abandon your blog, I noticed that the posts were old. You write very well! I hope you’re still writing in other forums though. It would be sad if you limited your gift to writing assignments and final year project. I graduated from uniben December 2012, read pharmacy and I’m still serving… lol @ razz aluta hailings… na our trademark be that.

  9. Ahahn! That’s Hope(male and female), Itohowo, Amaka,Waga, Obus, Tochukwu, Kanayo, Ebuka, Azuka, Faithful, Humble’s class and Akudo, Esi, Maurice, Nwachukwu, Modupe and Jidekene’s former class na!

    Reply

    1. I was actually a year their senior but spilled over in final year, guess that’s why your phoenix post resonated so deeply with me. The fall after a smooth academic journey and getting up… but seriously how do you know all of them?

      Reply

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