Debate Magazine

Stereotype Slayer #13: Virgins Set Women Back

Posted on the 31 March 2011 by Thefriskyvirgin
I cannot tell you how badly it chaps me when I hear a fellow woman accuse me of setting the Women's Movement back "one hundred years" simply because of my decision to wait for love. 
Their argument is as follows: For years, women were expected to be virgins come their wedding night.  If they were not, they were condemned, ridiculed, and mistreated.  Thus, women were sexually repressed by men.  Having gained sexual freedom, women finally freed themselves from the restraints men and society once placed upon them. Today, any woman who chooses to be a virgin is, in effect, reimposing past sexual restraints on all women. 
Compelling argument, is it not?  However, I must counter. 
First, and foremost, I have never preached that this decision is for everyone, nor will I ever do so.  I'm simply trying to show that this IS an option and hopefully convey the fact that not all virgins fit the ever-so-popular virginal stereotype(s).
Second, while in school, girls would tell me they felt as though their virginity was something they HAD to lose in order to "get" or "keep" a guy's interest; they told me they didn't feel like they had a choice.  This is something I have heard in various forms all my life--even into my 30s--and most, if not all, admitted regret for being pressured by a guy that it ultimately did not work out with. 
Perhaps it's just me, but I have to wonder how standing my ground in what I believe in could possibly set women back. If anything, isn't it showing women that they have CHOICES? Does it not help women understand that they don't have to "give it up" simply because a guy pressures them? That they can wait for when it's right and wait for the right man?
Please, tell me what is so wrong with showing strength.  Yes, maybe it is old-fashioned in theory, but in the heart, mind, and soul, this choice is about as independent as you are going to find.
Lastly, just in case you were curious, allow me to list a few famous women rumored to have been virgins until very late in life, until their wedding night, or upon their death:
*Queen Elizabeth I, "The Virgin Queen"
*Jane Austen, author of Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, etc.
*Julia Child, virgin until she married in her 30s
I'm going to go out on a limb, here, and say that none of these women can be accused of setting women back.
Done and dusted.
Stereotype #13: SLAYED.

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