This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Sumana Chowdhury. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

There’s A Thin Line Between Being A Virgin And Not Being One, Both Are My Personal Choice

What do people wish for in India? Fresh vegetables and fruits, pure milk, pure ghee, refined oil, cheaper petrol, diesel and LPG, clean streets, corruption free ministries, clean money and “pure” women. For many, it might be a foreign term, an alien word, a meaningless concept. But for the rest, who pretend like they haven’t heard of it, or sought it, deep inside will curse me for having said that out loud in public. You read the first few lines and judge me, saying, “Another fake attempt of feminism or rather, femi-nazism”. But this isn’t so. I have eyes that have seen enough, ears that have heard enough and mind that has read and known enough. Enough to at least realise that I do have the right to speak and I can place my opinion in public. I will not say that I can opine without fearing about being judged. No. I know I will be judged by many. But what good does fear do? Will I not be judged when I keep my mouth shut?

Sex is a taboo here. Everyone here chooses not to discuss it. A couple of years ago, I was one amongst them. But you know what my pride is, I am not the same. I have grown over the years, learnt over the years, and I have changed over the years. You cannot discuss sex in public here. You aren’t supposed to watch pornographic materials, be it in the form of video or paper. You aren’t supposed to know about human reproductive anatomy. Read important questions only from that chapter. You aren’t supposed to date anyone, keep aside physical relationships. But you can judge a woman based on the presence or absence of a thin flesh, the hymen. I will not even consider the possibilities of losing it through extracurricular activities, because that is what people here do.

The worst part is that women judge women as well. Again I will say I have done the same few years ago. I have been one in the crowd of a thousand others. But my victory lies in abandoning the crowd. Once they know it, all you receive are smirks and some other remarks which you are yourself not aware of. I, sometimes, feel the need of asking them a fundamental question.

“Do you consider your body as yours? You do, right? So do I. Then why make it a public concern as to what I should be doing with my body. I might decide it to lose my virginity with someone I am in love with since the last ten years, or maybe ten days. Why do you care? Or I might choose to lose it with someone who I do not harbour any feelings for. It is solely my choice. Isn’t it? Then why do you choose to look at me through the corner of your eyes with scorn and tag me a slut? Does that make you feel superior to me? Do you never realised how much it degrades you and not me?”

Now you would say it is easier for me to ask the women such questions who would not be spending their lives with “one such woman”. But what about the man who has decided to do so. According to what my 23-year-old life and years of education have taught me, it is easy to say “I love you” but difficult to delve into it and feel it. But once you do, you do not find virginity a reason for desertion. Rather you find a scarred soul, a pure soul you love. If you cannot do that, and if her virginity is the only “commodity” you seek, you may leave her as well. She deserves better. It isn’t wrong for a woman to fall in love and want to spend her rest of the life with a man. It isn’t wrong if she decides to share all her happiness, sorrow, worry, insecurities, success, failure and her bed with him. And it isn’t her fault if the relationship doesn’t end the way she had dreamt it to be, be it for any reason you can think of. Can you blame her for that? No. You can easily say, “It is okay if you had a past relationship.” But why do you raise your eyebrows once she chooses to share with you how scared she is for having shared her heart, soul, and body with someone who left her. Why does this very statement make you reconsider your decisions? Why is it such a big deal? Why is it something which can be abandoned in public but can be used to judge someone’s character in private?

You know there is a thin line between being a virgin and not being one, a thin line which may be crossed at any point in time. Any situation, any circumstance, any thought can change this. And when you come across such a woman, there is a thin line between being supportive or being a despicable, contemptible, mean, vile, worthless person. It is all your choice on which side of the line you want to be.

Created by Sumana Chowdhury

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