Introducing Leila – half Egyptian, half European – the newest addition to our team! Give her some joooooon love!
When it comes to claiming that things are universal, it’s always good to be careful. But one thing that seems to be almost everywhere is the infamous double standard when it comes to men, women and sex. Now some places and people are more open to sexual experiences than others, but the thing that seems to be the same no matter where, who and when is this:
it’s good for men to be sexually experienced, and bad for women.
Now that’s obviously a simplification but I seriously can’t think of a single person who hasn’t—at some point or another—believed in this! In fact it’s so pervasive that it’s unconsciously accepted by so many of us.
In Egypt, this particular belief expresses itself in society’s obsession with The Virgin Woman. Virginity is such an important part of a woman that people will literally go out of their ways to find creative ways of having sex without it “showing” when they get married.
From non-penetrative sex to hymen reconstruction surgeries, there seem to be endless methods that ensure a woman will look and feel like a virgin on her wedding night.
Chinese companies have even started manufacturing “fake hymens” – little sachets you put in there that release fake blood during sex (although I honestly don’t get how they work)!
I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t thought or obsessed or worried about this at one time another. Because they believe it’s important? Not always. Usually it’s because society believes it is.
Men, on the other hand, face a more complicated (read: relaxed) situation. While male virginity is somewhat praised in public, in private it’s a different story.
Countless male friends have told me about their fathers/uncles/older friends encouraging them to “experiment” before they settle down.
Why not have some fun, it’s not like it’ll completely annihilate your marriage prospects!
So the result is a society where women have to constantly worry and question their sexual practices, whereas men can just breeze through life, doing whatever they want and getting “experience” until they decide to get married—to a virgin, of course. (The fact that very few men are willing to marry non-virgins, even though they’ve had sex before—is another rant for another day.)
Now all of this is fine if it were what women wanted to do. But a lot of the time, women just feel they can’t. Women have sexual urges too, but freaking out about their reputation/future husband/family stops them from indulging in anything remotely related to sex.
So next time someone tries to make the stupid argument linking sexual harassment to male sexual repression, ask them: