Dealing in V-Cards

by Priyal Thakkar

Stills from the music video ‘Pillowtalk’

Life is a game that follows two sets of rules, particularly in regard to virginity. Although the v-card can only be played once, for all alike, it trumps when it comes from a man, and a woman, instantly loses a suit if it’s expended. So, men can’t win unless they play theirs, which automatically means a woman has to surrender hers since this card is always played in pairs, and for a woman to play hers means instant defeat - where does the math add up?

When humans weren’t too far ahead in the evolutionary timeline and you couldn’t just walk in for a paternity test, the only way a man could make sure the progeny his wife was carrying contained one-half of his superior genes was to either be sure he was marrying a virgin, or trust her. Naturally, blood on the bedsheet won.

Let’s take a closer look at the hymen. Did God place the sacred flap at every woman’s gate to ensure there was a mechanism that would always make women lose at this card game? Majority of research believes the hymen to be a mere vestigial tissue, that could possibly have had a function in an evolutionary stage, but at present is inessential. One also always assumes that the hymen covers the entire vaginal opening, like the paper seal on a brand new Nutella jar; unlike popular opinion, the way to access this chocolate isn’t the same. Healthy hymens are perforated i.e. they have openings. An unbroken hymen is a birth defect, not the norm.

An illustration on virgin-blood

So, why should an archaic paternal test offend you so much today? Apart from the fact that it’s hypersexualized and fetishised and reduces women to sex objects, it has also become an unhealthy fixation. If earlier it was used to keep bloodlines clean, in some parts of Africa today, it is believed that ‘sex with a virgin’ can cure AIDS, which has led to an exponential increase in the rape of young girls and even babies. In many parts of Asia and the Middle East, “honour killings” are the cause of death of roughly a thousand girls each year, where a woman, if found to have murked her image through sexual/obscene activity before marriage, is killed.

The concept of virginity — never a good idea to begin with — has become utterly redundant for a long time now. In a patriarchal society, a virgin is nothing more than a sex object. Today, it stands to be a desperate attempt to de-sexualize a concept meant to objectify. Virginity is actively being replaced with the term ‘purity’ and a woman’s ‘honour’ is still continued to be placed in her vaginal opening. If being a virgin is pure, then why does the act of impurity bring shame only to the place that has been vandalized and not the instrument causal to the adulteration?

Our obsession with virginity also reinforces the regressive supposition that women can’t experience sexual desire, that the sole point of their existence is to please men. That they somehow are the instigators and victims of male sexuality. That they are in control; which in turn only paves the way for victim blaming and ‘you brought it on yourself’ mentality.

If men are promised 70 virgins in Heaven and women aren’t, it’s definitely not our Paradise, nor our War-zone.

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