Recently, the University bursary scholarships for female South African students who stay virgins has been declared unconstitutional by the Parliament of the country and has also been knocked out. Has it been neglected that the body is meant to be kept and undefiled? Is this what the South African government has forgotten and has disregarded the special recognitions meant for the virgins?
Finding a virgin in our present society has seemed to be almost impossible. Do we say it is because of exposure and civilization? Do we call it the way to the new life? Is it because of peer pressure? Have we so neglect the old time religion of our forefathers? So many questions flood the mind of the average person when the issue of virginity and virgins are raised, especially among the female folks. Some ladies even go as far as expressing timidity and shyness while owning up to their virginity status among friends and peers. This they do out of fear of being laughed at or made fun of.
Virginity used to be a very core and essential criteria for ladies to get married, but today, ladies have less value for themselves, low self esteem and have never thought of themselves to be what they want to be without ‘opening their legs’ to the male gender. Although some ladies just find themselves doing it without the intention of doing it, there is nothing in this world that can make a rape victim get her virginity back; it is not possible. Although it is often misinterpreted that once the hymen is torn or broken, a lady is no longer a virgin.
This has caused a lot of argument in many places, especially in this part of the planet. The hymen is a thin, fleshy tissue that stretches across part of the opening of the vagina. The hymen can be torn or broken the first time a girl has vaginal sex, which might cause some pain or even bleeding in most cases. And despite what you may have heard or seen, the hymen cannot grow back once it has been torn or broken. Some people and some cultures, believe that once a woman’s hymen has been torn or broken, she can no longer be considered a virgin. But having a hymen and being a virgin is and will probably not be the same thing. There are other ways that a hymen can be torn or broken, by inserting something into the vagina (like a finger) riding a bicycle, or doing sports. And some girls are born with so little hymenal tissue that it seems like they never had any.
Many people, individuals and group actually forget the fact that this generation is not one of those generations that should neglect the few who have managed to ‘keep’ themselves.
“My advice to other girls is that it pays to wait because virginity is too special to give to just anybody. As an African woman, I am proud to be a virgin and I have decided not to give up my dignity till I get married.” These were the words of Ikem Augusta, a 100 level student of the Computer Science Department of the Delta State University as she emerged Miss Virginity. Miss Virginity is a contest organized by the Delta State government to reward virgins.
But in a twist of fate, the South African government through its parliament disqualified a bill that was passed about giving bursary scholarships to female university students who remain virgins. The Commission for Gender Equality in the country said, “Virginity is not intrinsic to the task of studying,” giving the impression that these virgins are not to be awarded or rewarded for being pure.
Also, Sisonke Msimang, a Policy Development and Advocacy Consultant for the Sonke Gender Justice project in Johannesburg, said in January that the scholarship was “a terrible idea that had so many layers of ridiculousness.”
She added that “being sexually active and seeking an education have nothing to do with each other”.
The biblical injunction, “Your body is the temple of God” has been the clich￩ for many years as parents will always advise their children on what path to tread in dealing with their bodies. Days, months and years go by as these words keep chorusing in almost every home.
Adebisi Ogunnusi, a 25 year old entrepreneur had these words to say when asked how she feels about being a virgin, especially at this end of the world.
“Many times when I ponder on the situation of us youths on this side of the world, I begin to marvel and shake my head in either shame or despair and taking a glimpse into the future of our generation, all I see is nothing but dim and unpromising. So many people, especially the ladies have neglected the fact that most of our fathers get married to their spouses mainly on the basis of virginity.”
Bringing it home, sometime in the recent, the Osun State government suspended a school principal and recommended psychiatric checkup for him because he decreed that female students of his school must be tested to ascertain their virginity status.
Was he really meant to be suspended? Has he done a wrong thing by asking female students of his school to be tested on virginity? A lot of people actually have different shades of opinion. Also in the same state, a pastor was arrested for fingering his female members of his congregation to check who is a virgin and who is not. Although, he, according to other members of the congregation and community have painted what he did as very bad and unbiblical in any way.
If we consider what Africans think about virgins and virginity, it will become obvious that the South African government had committed an error in judgment. Though the method of ascertaining virgins is not certain, medical practitioners believe that body changes, especially among the women can easily point to a virgin. And of course, what happens to virgins who lost theirs through strenuous activity or other means other than sex.
But if girls are rewarded for purity, what happens to the male folks? Well, that is a question for another day.