Wednesday, April 17, 2013

MEMO TO MEN: So virgin-shaming is a thing now...

MEMORANDUM
TO: Men all over the planet
FROM: Melissa
RE: Down with virgin-shaming!
DATE: April 17, 2013
Oh, boys, where do I even start with this one today. It used to be -- in a galaxy far, far away -- that women were made to feel guilty if they were, well, overindulging in a certain activity. Now, it looks as though the tables have swiftly turned: Women are shunned for not doing said activity.

Yes, you read that right, boys. In 2013, being a virgin is sometimes a fate worse than death. YourTango recently ran a piece on the new trend known as virgin-shaming. Young women, argues the article, "fear being disparaged for being too much of one or the other." They're too promiscuous. They're too much of a prude. And, no matter how hard they try, women just can't seem to find a happy medium. No matter which way they go, there is no middle ground.

As you can imagine, boys, this is a trend that I just simply can't get behind. It's not one of those innocent little innocuous trends like poodle skirts or pretending a rock was actually your pet rock. No, no. The consequences of this trend go far deeper than those here-today-and-gone tomorrow trends. Virgins, it seems, must be doing something wrong and need to get with the program. At the very least, their "status" is something they should be ashamed of. For example, have you ever noticed how people lower their voice to a faint whisper when they announce their virgin status? With virgin-shaming, you don't want to alienate or offend those around you. You might be completely comfortable with your status (like me!), but society isn't, and that's what matters the most, right, boys?
Because, really, it scares me. It makes me afraid that this is the sort of trend that, unfortunately, has some staying power. But I say that we at least try to squash such narrow-minded thinking. A woman should be respected for such a personal decision, not publically shamed into feeling guilty about it. Are you with me, boys...?

[Photos via We Heart It]

12 comments:

  1. I don't think this concept is all that new. I was a late bloomer among my sexually active peers in the early 1990s and while I didn't think of it as shaming per se, I was made to feel like the odd one out as a virgin back then.

    I think it's all just the classic Madonna/whore complex and more apparent now with social media.

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  2. Virgin-shaming? That's just horrible. I think people are really throwing a dart a wheel of possible things to shame and it just landed on that part this week. There is no shame in being a virgin. I'm not a virgin, but people once tried to shame me because I lost it later than other people. I hope this trend does NOT stick and people stop shaming others!

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  3. I was a late bloomer, too. I think sexual shaming, in general, is ridiculous. Shamed for being a virgin. Shamed for being sexual. Shamed for being fetishistic. Shamed for being plain vanilla. It is just silly. Live and let live.

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  4. You are exactly write Melissa. There is NO happy medium. Either you're a prude or a slut. We have lost the ability to simply be defined as a woman rather than some kind of sexual status. How about you be Melissa and I be Hayley, rather than a slut or a prude or whatever!

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  5. This is really sad. I think there is a feeling that guys have of 'why is this girl still a virgin? There must be something wrong with her.' Between one extreme and the other, no wonder young women are so confused and uncomfortable with themselves...

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  6. I just don't get why it's anyone's business how many people someone has been with. Whether you're a virgin or you've been with dozens of people... the only person/people who should care are your sexual partners.

    I don't know. It's just ridiculous to make someone feel shameful for something like that.

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  7. Did you read the article? The only cited instance of this "trend" is a fictional character who shamed herself.

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  8. Yeah, this isn't exactly a trend. It's been around for hundreds of years- just depends on the cultural mores of the social circle whether virginity is seen as a positive, neutral, or negative thing (and how much of that is public posturing vs. more private opinions and practices). Think 'maiden aunts' and 'spinsters' and those women supposed destined to become them. And 'slut'-shaming remains alive and thriving, too. There is really no way to win.

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  9. One other thing: the ways that virgins tend to feel shamed, ostracized, or unwanted are a bit of a direct result of all of that 'super special purity' nonsense that we keep perpetuating even today. Many guys with an aversion to virgins will cite lack of bedroom skills, and that's certainly part of it, but the deeper underlying reasons tend to have to do with 'sex with a virgin = much more commitment, destroying something valuable, corrupting an innocent, should be extremely special (beyond his confidence in his abilities to perform), yadda yadda yadda.' It is still put on a bit of a pedestal, and that's a big part of the problem. But until virginity becomes an accusation that allows people to escape the consequences for assaulting someone, it isn't the 'new slut-shaming.' Not by a mile.

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  10. I have to agree with some of the others here, virgin shaming isn't new. Notice how the most revered women of the Bible are virginal, docile, etc.? Fact is, since the dawn of, well, everything, no matter what women do we're made to feel guilty for it. Just as women talk about their virgin status with a quiet voice so too do they hesitate to speak about how many people they've had sex with.

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  11. So true, Caitlin -- it seems like it goes both ways, with women losing out no matter which road they choose. that's why i've always said it's so important to just be confident in your choice, no matter what the rest of the world thinks. :)

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  12. It almost seems as a society we want to shame people for not making the exact same desisions as one another. In high shchool there was a divide between kids based on sexaul choices and "shaming" to get girls to sleep with more guys and there was the other side putting girls down for being sexually activie. As a parent I deal with people try to shame me from only wanting to have 1 kid. It's kind of silly. I will never understand people trying to shame me to valiadate their decisions. We all make our own choices and as long as we are happy with what we choose no one else should get an opinon.

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