I just read a great blog post by Isis called Rejecting My Virginity. I think every woman should read it. I especially think women coming from African/Arab and for lack of a better term conservative families and cultures should read it. Virginity is what makes or breaks a woman’s honour in so many societies. I’m not endorsing or criticizing this because it’s just the way it is.
And this is what makes me ask if we are all “post-conservative” in a sense. Things being the way they are means that we are ultimately aware of the way things are. No matter how moral, principled, religious, etc. a person thinks they are (of course this is only for God to judge) we can no longer pretend not to know about the various forms and abuses of and traditions and taboos related to sexuality in so-called conservative cultures. First of all, we do know– from our own experiences and anecdotes from our friends and family. So no use pretending. Secondly, illiteracy would probably be the strongest excuse for not knowing and most of us here in the West are literate. So we can talk about sex and culture without cringing. Although I’m known to cringe, probably because this was never brought up in my home and my parents are pretty high on the conservative factor. And thirdly, in the age of HIV/AIDS and STDs, why would we want to pretend we don’t know? People are having sex. Some are having very unsafe sex and others think they are having safe sex in order to maintain their virgin status but are not having safe sex at all and in fact are putting themselves at risk for future health problems.
I was proud to see this blogger write so in-depth and unflinchingly about the issue. It takes courage to describe this perspective. You can see from the post how political information really is. It’s all about power. Even describing sexuality is dangerous. It makes us question who we really are – as individuals and as cultures.
Thanks for this post Isis, you did a great job.