Friday, September 20, 2013

Abusive, Inaccurate ‘Virginity Tests’ Won’t Help, Educating Children Will

In reading the article titled "Abusive, Inaccurate 'Virginity Tests' Won't Help, Educating Children Will," I began thinking about the way in which this matter would be viewed across a variety of cultures. This article talks about the way in which this virginity tests keep reoccurring in Indonesia, and it made me wonder about the gender roles and the influence of religious leaders in the country. These practices seem to occur mostly in countries where women may not be seen as equal to men, especially considering the fact that these virginity tests are designed for and geared towards women. Upon reading this, I thought about the novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Marquez. In the novel, the brothers of a young woman set out on a task to kill Santiago Nasar, the man who presumably stole their sister's honor. This was due to the fact that the woman, Angela Vicario, did not bleed on the first night of her marriage to another man. The novel is set in Colombia, and everyone in the town allows the Vicario brothers to proceed with the deed because it is a matter of honor. This novel was published in 1981, yet this idea of a women being punished for not being a virgin is a practice which still occurs in areas such as the Middle East. This makes me think of the virginity tests happening to these women. The societal expectations are placed upon them so heavily that in some areas, people deem it not only necessary but just to enact these abusive tests. I am glad there are laws being passed to prevent these things from happening, but that does not mean that they will end instantly. The article talks about how educating children will help. I agree with this statement in the fact that more knowledge leads to better self-awareness and awareness for other people's rights and concerns. Here in the United States, there are sex ed classes offered in public school systems. It sometimes poses moral questions because if abstinence is preached so much, why are there classes offered that deal with the opposite of that? I think in a way you have to look at it as a progressive kind of thinking: rather than take horrible regressive actions such as the virginity tests after the initial incidents are over, it might be better to take steps to better prepare oneself before. In that way, the article is definitely correct in saying that educating children will help in this matter.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I cannot imagine living in a society in which my only hope for a decent future depends on whether or not I remain a virgin until the night of my wedding. I read a story by Edwidge Danticat about Haitian women testing their daughters once a week. So it's not even the men, other women see this too as the ticket to security and happiness.