Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Virginity and hypocrisy

I attended a salon that took place in Bardo - Hamra, it was a discussion with Joumana Haddad creator of Jasad Magazine about the language of the body, sexuality and relationships, and the last part was about how virginity and the lack of it are perceived in the Lebanese society. The hymen restoration was brought up, and yada yada...

Gynegologist Testimonial
A gynecologist who was there told a story, he said he works somewhere in the mountains, 1000 meters above sea level, and one day, the father in law of a new bride, brought that bride to him and told him:
- "Check if she was open (--maftou7a-- the slang word used in Arabic to refer to women who lost their virginity), or not.

The doctor answered:
- "Ok will check her but you'll need to get out."

The father in law insisted to stay inside, but the doctor told him:
- "You can't because you are not her husband."

The doctor then asked the newly bride what the story was, and she told him that she was "open" as she slept with a man she was once with. He told her not to worry. He called back the father in law, and told him the girl is a virgin. The father in law replied:
- "I will go to the city and take her to the syndicate of doctors and have her checked, if you are lying to me, I will cause you a problem"

And then the gynecologist's answered brilliantly:
- "I will give you a paper saying that she's a virgin when she left my clinic, and then you took her..."

I was the first in the room to applaud.

Thoughts and opinions
Thoughts? The pompous ass presenter wanted the male feedback on the matter, whether they would marry a none-virgin. A guy replied: "I would only marry a none-virgin". His reasons were:
  1. She's lying
  2. She has done everything without losing her virginity 
  3. She had her hymen restored
"And I don't want to build my future with someone who lied to me." 

He forgot that it is possible that she's really a virgin. But what difference does it make? So what do you think about women's virginity or the lack of it in Lebanon, do you think it's a retro subject and we in Lebanon should be beyond it, or is it still a taboo for you or your surroundings?

Painting by Salvador Dali "My wife naked watching her own body"


  1. I wouln't mind if the girl was a virgin or not.

    What happened before me is none of my business, and I can't expect someone to be a virgin when I had my share of fun already.

    In fact, I think I'd prefer someone who has had sex already, after all, if the sex wasn't good (or partners incompatible in bed), how can the relationship last?

  2. I won't marry a virgin!


  3. @woords -- Smart :P

    Well , Gino said it , the guy is a restored virgin after a shower and that in his little mind gave him the pretentious right to judge a girl based on the "account for" of her hymen...
    it is not a retro subject , actually i believe it shouldnt be a subject at all ...

  4. 1. Thanks for this great post!Apologies in advance for the long-winded comment but its a very interesting & contraversial subject!

    2. I love Jassad Magazine for their interesting articles & for breaking the taboos surrounding sexuality in the region.

    3. The issue of virginity is, unfortunately, still relevant in our backward society. Much like one would judge the value of livestock, I can safely say the majority of men in Lebanon still consider a woman's hymen a major deciding factor in whether she is a worthy "mate" and potential wife and mother. The fact that the woman may have been sexually active without damaging the precious hymen is seemingly irrelevant.

    4. Im happy to see that the relatively younger generation are becoming more enlightened and judging their potential life partner on more than a kleenex thin tissue.

    5. This issue matters because its a blatant infringement on a women's rights over her own body. It is yet another "bo3bo3" inflicted upon us women to prevent us from going beyond limitations, and crossing society's lines.

    6. This shows how more sexual education is needed in schools and how important the fight for women's rights is. The government will not give us anything if we don't fight for it.

    Thanks for the interesting dialogue!

  5. Wish I were in Lebanon, I would've loved to be there. I like Joumana Haddad and her work (although I may have an issue or two with it)...

    Virginity should be a no-topic. But it is not because the reality is that it is still a very important issue in Lebanese society (and this is a society considered to be most liberal amongst its neighbors).

  6. I think the question should not be will you marry a virgin girl or not??? or at least the answer should be i will only marry the girl i love which she might be or not a virgin.

    And if there's a man out there who insist of marrying a virgin, he also must be a virgin.

    As for a comment that was said also yesterday that "There are women to have sex with and women to marry", i have to say that this statement looked like men are *animals*, i am not trying to defend, nor to generalize but this statement also works Vice Versa and women divide men in two categories.

    Nice post.
    Keep the good work.

  7. Everyone has a history, none of us are perfect...male or female. I would be more concerned if the woman I were marrying is currently engaged in risky or unwise behaviors, such as poor financial management or abuse of alcohol (or drugs).

    A person's sexual history isn't something that can be easily forgotten but unless the past is something that is heavily impacting the present (STD or pregnancy) the past is the past and virginity is not a deal breaker. Too many double standards and people that hold unreal expectations, of themselves and others.

  8. Definetly agree with the hypocrisy on this issue. However I think people have lost the topic here a little. From the blog and tones I feel as if it's became the norm that non-virginity (for males or females) is a sign of modernity or dare I say post-modernism. Frankly it's not.

    One thing people in Lebanon do not appreciate is the preceedent this topic creates. Virginity emphasizes the importance of marriage by the sacrafices and the patience one requires to do so. Marriage emphasizes the importance of the family structure and family values. Families tend to creates a healthy and natural way of living. Thats why I believe this view that virginity is a "past" issue is very short sighted, the ramifications are massive.

    If anything, learn a lesson or two from the west. Only maybe 60 years ago the west was relative to Lebanon conservative. The breakdown of the importance of virginity, the breakdown of wholesome values, the breakdown of the family has led to a divorce rate over 50%. That's not a world I would like to live in.

    And this is not even considering the teachings of religion, all religions to those that belive in a faith.

  9. First of all, thanks everyone for your comments. I won't be able to reply to each one of you separately, but will be replying to you indirectly by stating what I think about the matter.

    1- I will start with "Vision". I agree to some extent with what you said, moreover I still don't think that BOTH virginity or the lack of it, should be the main reason to decide whether to marry someone.

    2- I don't like generalizing such as the male who replied during the salon saying "I wouldn't marry a virgin".. for me, it is as bad as saying "I wouldn't marry a non-virgin"

    3- Family values, and later divorces are not solely based on the fact if either party of the couple was or wasn't a virgin. the issue is definitely much deeper, and I guess "Vision" this is what you meant right?

    4- I agree that virginity topic is retro and should be no-topic (from the feedback I got here and on twitter) yet, unfortunately it's still there.

    5- Hypocrisy, even though I didn't explain it in the post, and only mentioned it in the title, is the KEY ISSUE here. I believe that we have double standards for sure, I believe that someone judging another on the presence of hymen is completely ridiculous and stupid because one we have hymen restoration, and 2, the woman could be legitimately still a virgin, but yet have done everything else, and thus I believe she'd be lying to herself and to her (non) significant other, consequently building a family on dishonesty, denial and much more deep complexes which will route back out from their children, and so on and so forth.

    I believe in Lebanon particularly and the middle east and arab world in general, we have a very very very deep issue with sexuality, sex and women's relation to it, and men's relation to it.

    I will post a new post about our deep issues :) too long for a comment, plus I prefer it gets attention on its own.

    SORRY FOR THE LONG COMMENT, and thanks again for your comments.

  10. i don't think that we should care whether a girl is a virgin or not! or at least in my personal opinion. whether a relationship is successful or not, it is not based on virginity,so there is a lot of other issues we should take into consideration, other than virginity itself. and as someone mentioned in his comment, it's not our business what the girl has done in her past.

    thank u Lilianne for sharing this topic with us.

  11. Ah moral values and dilemmas! So which is it? To deflower? Not to deflower? To deflower and then re-flower?

    The question is definitely not retro. I have a theory on moral values, I call it the "tide" theory of moral values. They gain prominence and retract in a tide-like motion but never quite disappear. This question was posed centuries ago and will be posed for centuries to come but will never be resolved.

    Of course, this being a man's world, let us take a look at man's point of view. The value of a virgin lies in her not having had someone before him - i.e. ego at rest for being the first. The other value is that she lacks a yardstick to compare his performance in bed - i.e. ego at rest for being the best. The third value is her having an untainted reputation - i.e. ego at rest for conforming to the "other's" moral yardstick.

    Seriously, it's all related to the insecurities of the mediocre averages who unfortunately set the rules in this world.

    I cannot give an opinion for in my case the idea of exclusivity for life is a non-starter which makes the question of virginity moot. Nevertheless, if I were to ever consider the idea of marriage it will have to be a non-virgin. Who in his right mind would even consider an exclusivity for life deal with an untried, untested, incompetent - and potentially incompatible - sexual partner?

  12. Non-virgins are sinners and should be burnt in hell!!!!!!!

    No seriously, what's the point of these questions? We're not gonna get anywhere since each one will talk aimlessly about his/her view on this matter as if we're trying to find the right answer.

  13. Serpico well I personally am enjoying the give and take I am getting on this post as comments, so yeah, will keep talking about it. and plus I think it's a good way to break the taboo.

    Dionysos all I can say is :) i love the theory, the rhyming, the choice of words, and your last paragraph is simply hehehe ... very good

  14. WTF? here's my souppy answer: I don't want my future wife to be a virgin, I hate loosing time to teach.

    on a serious note, WTF? seriously WTF?! A guy is allowed to mess and sleep around, he's a stud! but a girl is a slut?

    Sexual relationships play an important role in ANY relationship, it's not just a "mating process". Virgin or not shou khossrane?! Double standards...

  15. Oh and thanks malek for commenting :) am glad you enjoyed reading the post

  16. I can't get over Vision's comment. Something about it disturbs me. I definitely do not hold the West on a pedestal and I actually wish to reach a point where we are more independent of copying the West in each and every thing. The West has its own dynamics and it is a very unsound and generic comparison that he draws.

    And alluding to virginity being the cause behind the breakdown of family values, marriage and other moral codes in our part of the world is absurd. What women decide to do with their hymens is remotely related to the disintegration of certain societal values. There are other more responsible catalysts (such as the media, imitation of Western ideals of independence, Western modes of building and architecture where once our homes were designed in a way that brought the family together as opposed to the drastic change in spatial design over the past decades where family members are able to be secluded within the household, and the list goes on) that for Vision seem to be overshadowed by virginity.

    And bringing in religion is just a failed argument in my opinion. Religions are all archaic man-made constructs that originated from very patriarchal mindsets (there is an insistence on the chastity and virginity of both the male and female but the emphasis was on the female especially as advertised by the institutions or supermarkets running these faiths). But let's assume otherwise, I still think that religion is as personal as virginity and only the person in question decides what action they need to take.

    And one more thing, I think the assumption that virginity may be responsible for the increase in divorce rates is parochial. In my opinion, and not forgetting the many other elements that may be at play, a reason why divorce rates have increased so dramatically is because it has become more socially and legally possible to separate from a spouse as opposed to enduring an unhappy monogamous marriage for the rest of one's life. I think divorce is a blessing because who would want to be stuck in a loveless marriage? And please don't even tell me divorce is a Western concept because it is not as evidenced from early Christianity and Islam.

    Sorry if I appear blasphemous, it is not my intention. I just mirror my own opinion and I apologize if I overstepped in some places.

  17. Why did the woman agree to go with the father in law? Where was her wimp husband? She's a fool if she doesn't dump him? More should be done at the level of women's rights. Lebanon needs liberation from mental slavery.

  18. Posh, eloquently put and so clear. you have a way with words. loved your input. and couldn't agree more with it.

    Moussa, thanks for your comment. You said it. the husband is definitely a wimp.

  19. my name is Oussama: I am not from Lebanon, I am actually originally from Morocco. Culturally, very similar. The problem is not virginity, the problem is oppression by society from young age that leads to dishonesty. i.e. A 16 y.o girl watches MTV and reality shows, then discovers her clitoris. When she meets a sexually charged guy (like her), they are going to do it one way or another. They are going to lie their asses off!! And dishonesty is going to become so natural to them, especially her, because she will have to lie much more...And that is the real danger. Believe me, I just ended relationship with a Lebanese woman ( a Doctor but she was a master in lying). So the parents, and the society should put the importance on educating the children and the teens to avoid STDs and unwanted pregnancies, not avoiding sex all together. On the contrary, sex should be encouraged to promote honesty in those counties like Lebanon and Morocco LoL.

  20. talk talk talk, omg guys where do you live!!! i started reading comments but then i stopped coz they are long and stupid (most of them).

    to make it short, there are religion, the way someone was raised, location, and other stuff that imprints the idea of accepting or rejecting a woman based on her "openness".

    and for those who want a girl to be virgin, Sooooo... you dont mind if she was played with but still virgin!?!?!

    i personally know that my girl friend is a virgin coz we've been together since she was 13 and i dont know if i would accept the idea of marrying a non-virgin girl.

  21. Heh,and i thought people married each because of love and not what's open or what's closed.

  22. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work.

  23. Thank you gratis for your comment :) glad you enjoyed the post and the discussion

  24. I dnt think that the fact of not being a vrigin is wrong... u know it happens like boom suddenly u r not a virgin anymore
    but I think that having sex with many guys is wrong, from a girl point of view having sex with a person u truely love , a person u are passionate abt isnt wrong