The Herald Tribune published an article about Muslim women in
Is virginity really important for marriage? Which is better for a Muslim woman: to tell the truth about not being virgin or to cheat her future husband in believing that she is virgin by resorting to a medical operation? Does the importance of virginity affect women’s rights, especially when it comes to sexual freedom?
Virginity is still a big issue in Muslim societies. In
Although girls and women try to keep their virginity till marriage, many of them engage in sex in one way or another. Virginity is important not only for the woman but for her family. A woman losing her virginity is a dishonour to her family. For them, she can have sex with anyone. She can even be described as a whore. The catastrophe for her family is when she falls pregnant. This means, besides being a disgrace to them, she has little chances of getting married. There were cases of unmarried women who died attempting abortions as there are cases of women who abandoned and even killed their new born babies because of having them out of wedlock or from an unknown father.
A man wanting to marry a woman has the right to ask her to produce a medical certificate showing her virginity in case she has never been married. He also has the right to divorce her in case he discovers she isn’t virgin. One of the reasons is that the husband fears that she can have sex with another man days before their marriage and in case of pregnancy, he will father a child that isn’t his.
It is still an insult in
What is interesting to notice is the hypocrisy surrounding the attitude to women sexuality before marriage. A woman can secretly have sex before getting married. But the important is to keep her virginity. There are degrees concerning this.
1) The woman should keep chaste until marriage.
2) She should keep her virginity in case of having sex. This is the minimum damage, as she can keep intact for marriage.
3) She can lose her virginity, which a disgrace to her and her family.
Men should become realistic about the sexuality of women. In the past it was possible for women to get married as young as 14. Now with social changes, the majority of women get married later in their twenties. It is unimaginable that they can abstain from sex, especially if they have a male friend they trust and love.
Marriage after all means coexistence, mutual support and love. What matters is marital life after marriage contract is the personality of the couple. Degrading a woman because of not being virgin is like sentencing a person to long term imprisonment for an act that harms no one, but which is seen as harmful by the others who can’t at least be forgiving. In other words, women shouldn’t be seen just a mere bodies. They are persons with their own personalities.
Sex is sex. Some men accept to marry a divorced or a widowed woman but refuse to marry one who isn’t virgin. It’s better to marry who isn’t virgin but proves to be a good wife than to marry a virgin who later becomes unfaithful or keeping her love for another man she never had the chance to have sex with. Don’t they say, “Don’t commit adultery in your heart.”? Some women can be adulterous by keeping their love for another man and there is no physical evidence to find it out because it’s all in their hearts.
It is just the mentality that decides the attitude. In