Call it double standards; the cost of straddling a la-la land between tradition or modernity or just plain old hypocrisy, the fact is that the youth of urban India hardly practise what they preach. According to a survey, an unprecedented 61% believe that premarital sex is no longer a taboo. Only, when it comes to marriage, 63% want their partners to be virgins.
“India’s obsession with ‘purity’ could be the reason for this mentality. Virginity is interlinked with purity in our Indian psyche and Sita having to prove her ‘purity’ is an example of how deep-rooted the mindset is in our culture. Men also tend to view sex as a way of claiming ownership over a woman,” says Deepthi J., a beautician from Kerala.
As bizarre as that may sound to a reasonable mind, that does not stop it from also ringing true when mini-skirts are being termed seditious when politicians like Subramanian Swamy have repeatedly called Krishnan a “Naxalite who has free sex” as if one were walking hand-in-hand with the other.
These days, couples who are in a relationship have no qualms about getting sexually intimate with each other even though there may be no guarantee that the relationship will culminate into marriage. However, when it does come to the question of marriage, especially in the case of arranged marriages, a woman with a sexually active history still raises eyebrows and sets tongues wagging. What then is the big deal about virginity and how does this kind of a mentality hamper the lives of numerous women?
The discrepancy in the percentages of men and women who admit to premarital sex in the sex survey is also puzzling. If three times the number of men as women are having premarital sex, then either a majority of these men are visiting brothels, or there are more women with multiple partners. More likely there is a social reluctance on the part of women to admit to premarital sex.
Today, women are as independent as men. Reconstructing the hymen through a surgery to please a man is really silly. This is a regressive view. Women shouldn’t ever fall for a guy who says he wants a virgin for his wife. She’s bound to end up in misery. Virginity is a concept, which does not matter at all in today’s day and age.
As far as parenting goes, once a girl attains puberty, virginity feels like the elephant in the room. Something every parent wants to acknowledge and protect but doesn’t want to address and strangely it only extends to the girl child. Mythology and popular culture have played their part in inculcating a gender-biased response to sex.
Whether a woman wants to be a virgin and wait until marriage or whether she wants to express her sexuality should be her prerogative, but men and women alike should refrain from giving virginity the importance it doesn’t deserve. Remember, virginity and chastity are not the only measures to base a happy marriage on, honesty and trust are far more important traits that both partners should possess.