‘Virginity’ decoded by JU professor, but why?
The beautiful Kareena Kapoor alone on a deserted railway station with the head of goons eyeing her with lusty looks. And that infamous sexist lines from the movie Jab We Met….“Akeli ladki khuli Tijori Ketarah Hoti Hain...” (a lonely girl is like an open box of treasure!) And now we have the famously infamous professor of the IR department of Jadavpur University who says: “Virginity of women is like sealed cold drinks’ bottle. Will you buy if its seal is broken?” Professor Kanak Sarkar has proved again sadly that the sense of stinking patriarchy is not confined just to Bollywood films, it transcends even the educated-uneducated divide.
But what about this ‘open’ code about women? Khule tijori? Broken seal? Does it refer to the ‘opening of a vagina’ that a man enjoys so much and again feels immoral to make a woman his wife who is not a virgin? The open and shut case of the vagina, that seems to rule over our moral values! Do we ever speak of the ‘openings’ of a man? Or try and test the skin folds to know if the husband that Indian women marry was virgin till marriage. Well, this breath of toxic patriarchy is not just confined to the Indian society. Even a decade back, British royal family medically tested their brides who had to prove their virginity before marriage. Even Princess Diana had to do so!
However, in India virginity seems to be synonymous to ‘purity.’ When it comes to marriage, virginity is the most desirable quality required in a bride. The very concept that a woman is an object of consumption of a man and has tobe kept sealed until it is untethered by a man, the husband who has a supreme ownership over the body of his wife. Isn’t that the ultimate of dominance? We often come across hideous advises pertaining to virginity: “Do not give it to anyone. It is a gift to your husband.” The sole purpose of their existence is to keep their vagina protected by the sacred gatekeeper – the hymen -- and satisfy their husbands physically after marriage.
Indian parents too live in fear and leave no stone unturned to make sure that the virginity of their daughters are protected until they are married. They live in the fear that their daughters might become ‘second hand products’ if their virginity is violated. Forget, about the entitlement of a woman to a normal sex life! Pay no heed to her carnal needs as a normal human being. Surprisingly, there is no such pre-requisites similar to this when it comes toa man. This enables men to proclaim her to be sole possession. They are unable to come to terms with the fact that their wives (sex slaves) have been intimate with someone else. Women’s expression about their sexuality is deeply resented and is considered highly immoral. We do not invest more than a minute to slut-shame them. In certain areas, brides are subjected to highly humiliating virginity tests like the white bed sheet test, two finger-test to determine her chastity. The honour of a woman still resides in her vagina. Such is the sad reality of progressive India.
The ignorant masses of incredible India fail to realize that virginity is an unreal concept. Women of today, can lose their hymen from non-sexual activities like swimming, cycling, dance and a lot more, since girl children these days are not confined to homes, but have the privilege to be coached in various sports. This prevents them from bleeding even while they are engaging in sex for the first time.
After facing criticism from every quarter of the society, Kanak Sarkar, defended himself saying that he is entitled to his freedom of expression. Freedom of speech offers him the entitlement to offer such golden words. Also, being a hypocrite of the highest order, he has deleted his highly deplorable comment. Sadly, being subjected to criticism and question, the highly respectable professor could not stick to his misogyny.
Trina Bhattacharya, a professor of Rani Birla Girls College feels, “Kanak, as his name suggests, meaning gold, has blurted out golden words of patriarchy. I am at a loss for words. As a professor, I am ashamed. I do not know how can a professor who has the responsibility of framing the future of the country can afford to say something so demeaning? It is rather a foolish act and I am sure, everyone has lost respect for him. I do not even think he understands the damage he has done. He has set a terrible example. He was talking about values. Little does he realize that he is devoid of values himself. He needs a therapist. Further, I think the authorities of Jadavpur University should take a strict action against him.” Well, Kanak Sarkar is not an exception. Most Indian men who look for ‘only virgin’ wives and go around enjoying with ‘non-virgin’ female friends, need therapists.
Ladies, own your bodies. Let no one tell you what you can do with your body. Resist to objectification. Do not conform. Do not go by an orthodox rule book. Resist to moral policing by self-professed custodians of Indian culture. Do not allow yourself to be belittled, maligned, humiliated or disrespected. It is about time you stand up for yourselves and shed your virginity!