“How can you even consider marrying a woman who’s not a virgin?”, opined a friend of mine. A view, that is shared by an exceedingly large proportion of men with whom I’ve had a chance to interact on this matter. Even men who have had girlfriends and multiple female companions in their past, and probably even have a few more lined up in their future, invariably, shared the same opinion. Men, who never missed a chance to proclaim themselves as modern, would suddenly turn coy when asked whether or not would they consider marrying a woman who is not a virgin. Hardly an isolated opinion.
So, why is it that we Indian males, who never miss an opportunity to condemn the theocratic regimes of Islamic countries for suppressing women freedom and are far more quicker in aping, whatever we can, of the west and its culture, have such an obsession with an issue , which, incidentally, is hardly an issue in the west? Did somebody just happen to mention double standards? Naah!! ,we are just following our culture, tradition ,etc ,etc. So, what exactly is our culture .Probably, more of Victorian era than Indian. Probably, we even intend to deny Khajuraho, Kamasutra or the existence of Kamadeva in our Hindu mythology. Our hypocrisy reaches such obscene levels that we do not , even for a moment , desist from calling a women a whore and anointing her with such slanderous titles if she admits that she has had a relationship with someone else in past. Quite surprising, considering that most of us aren’t virgins by choice but virgins out of compulsion. The fact that we were unable to get a woman to our bed sounds so insulting to our bloated male ego that we prefer to hide behind a veil of chastity and proclaim ourselves as self appointed guardians of morality.
But, the roots of the problem lie somewhere else .As more and more women have started reaping the benefits of education and there has been a gradual rise in their social standing, somewhere down the line our male ego has been dented. Fed from our very childhood with visuals of man being the sole breadwinner of the family and woman, a symbol of love and devotion, living at the mercy of her husband/father, we refuse to believe that women can be our equals in intelligence, knowledge, power, and most importantly, sexual desires and preferences. Hardly surprising, that we have coined terms such as ‘marriage material’ and women who are high achievers just don’t fit the bill. Anyone who thinks that this is just a case with less educated men is probably indulging in wishful thinking. just as probably someone once said ‘men will be men’ and education has got nothing to do with his thinking or his libido.
- ▼ 2009 (5)