Wednesday, 14 January 2009

And apparently it isn't just 'teh scary arabs' that have an obession with virgins

One of the common arguments that I hear about why Islam is bad is because followers of Islam treat 'their' women so appallingly. Now I'm not going to defend the indefensible but sometimes I see something in the west and think WTF?

The gist of the story, an American student is auctioning off her virginity in order to pay for university. After over 10,000 bids, the going price for some cherry-popping action is almost $7 million.

The woman in question is free to do with her body what she pleases but what kind of guy pays $7 million for a root and what the fuck is up with our society when an intelligent young woman's most precious asset is her hymen?

Fuck (yes I realize the irony in my usage of that word).


A Blogger said...

Your comparing Islam's treatment of woman with the west?

I think you need to live in America for a year, then live in a middle eastern country, see who gives you more rights.

Stephanie said...

My point was that both cultures have an odd male obsession with unsullied vaginas. How they choose to police that ownership might be very different (cash versus violence) but in both cases the hymen is seen of far more importance than the woman it belongs to.

A Blogger said...

Your comparing a college student selling off her virginity to a culture that will stone a woman to death if she has sex outside of marriage??????

Like I said, I think you need to live in the states for a year, then in a middle eastern country for a year.

Anonymous said...

I think the story shows an extreme selection effect - a well publicised auction is a great way to find the one person in a wide area who most wants the item. Media interest in the story, on the other hand, shows a wider obsession. I'm stunned by the amount offered, and suspicious about whether she'll be able to collect.

Rights are all very well, practical behaviour in the ground is more important. The US is notorious for having lots of rights but little freedom. Freedom to die a pauper is a kind of freedom, true, but I'd rather have the freedom to live in a social democracy.


Anna said...

Brett, if you're going to use the issue of women's rights to demonise another culture (or as one justification to invade Afghanistan), you should be above reproach yourself.

E-E is not at all saying that the US is like an Islamic country (which differ amongst themselves). She is simply noting that virginity is prized in the auction situation in a way that is rather denegrating of women. And the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave has been quick to point to the denegration of women in Islamic states.

As Moz says, rights which are enshrined in law but can't be accessed in reality aren't worth much. The US emphasis on (and social sanctions around) abortion, stem cell research and homosexuality as political issues have the effect of cutting down women's options re their sexuality and reproductive. So too does the use of welfare conditions to coerce solo mothers into being sterilised.

backin15 said...

I don't think the comparison's false or misleading - I didn't read it as equivalence and don't think it needs to be to make a meaninful point. I'd not seen the story. It's the kind of purient crap that the media love. The woman in question's free to do as she wishes as ex-expat says. Likewise I'm free to think she's a fool.

Carol said...

As Anna said, there's differences between Islamic countries. And there are some I wouldn't want to live in. But I haven't wanted to live in, or even visit, the US under Bush with the cut back on civil liberties.

In some cases Western (and USSR) intervention in some Islamic countries have turned back the clock on gender liberalisation. I have talked to many women refugees from Afghanistan in the course of work. Some were professional women, engineers etc. Some wore head scarfves, some didn't. The Taliban came to power as a result of being supported by the US against the USSR. The result was a return to severe oppression of women.

Stoning of women does not occur in all Muslim countries. And there are some quite strong Islamic feminist organisations. Many Palestinian women have been very assertive within the movement for Palestinian liberation and rights.

And in NZ the killing of prostitutes seems to be fairly common too.

A Blogger said...

Im no fan on Bush, but bloggers are still allowed to blog, people are still allowed to protest, believe me people in the states are living their lives as normal without that much interference from the government.

Heck the labour party of New Zealand has also interfered with the daily life's of its citizens.

With Obama taking power things are going to get better, but if you think the states under bush was like apolice state, then that is just plain wrong.

Azlemed said...

i agree with e_e's point that there is an unhealthy obsession by some people about unsullied vaginas....

its a recidulous situation that arks back from a time when women were chattels.

virginity shouldnt make one person better than another, its a strange thing to prize.

Muerk said...

I read Mills & Boons to relax and there;s often a virginity theme in them. Virgin woman wants sex, has one night stand (of course they marry by the final chapter) with experienced hunk who discovers her virginity and is often angry... "If I had known that you were a virgin Madison, I never would have taken you with my manly maness!"

The West definitely has a thing about virginity in women.

Anna said...

Manly maness! Fantastic dialogue!

I'm reminded of when Lady Di (as she was) underwent a medical exam to ensure she was a virgin when she married. I think at least part of the importance placed on virginity historically is to do with securing bloodlines and hence inheritence - ie so men can be sure the children they're raising are biologically their own.

Anonymous said...

I have always wondered how virginity can be defined, or sexual encounters quantified as my friends at least seem to follow quite different definitions as to what consititutes "sex". Does it count if it was hopelessly brief, for example?


Anonymous said...

Im in the "what she does with her body is her own business" camp here.

What the hell this has anything to do with Muslims is beyond me. I cannot wait till Obama comes to power so all this Islam v Christianity BS ends.

Brett, how has Labour 'interefered with the lives of ordinary New Zealanders'? Apart from not letting you take to your kids with a hosepipe and getting away with it?

Julie said...

Anyone else thinking of the Family Guy episode with the ear sex?

I totally understand if it is just me.

Anonymous said...

I believe the rule when I was at university was "if you only do it once and it's not much good then it doesn't count"

Julie said...

Was that once with each different partner hm, or once full stop? Clearly we went to different universities ;-)

Anonymous said...

Once per partner if I recall correctly.