From The Guardian, a short piece about hymens, property, moral worth, and gender. As author Sara Pascoe argues, “the hymen is an erratic witness,” even as its presence (or, gasp, absence) have been used to control women.

For thousands of years, a woman’s virginity had literal worth; it was sold like property by her father in exchange for a dowry. In some countries and religions this is still the case. Hundreds of British women every year undergo operations to have their hymens reinstated, wanting to bleed to prove something, either to a lover or themselves. The construct of “purity” has solidified over centuries in order to shame women and separate us from the possibilities of our own pleasure. We must try to support women in other countries as they fight to reclaim ownership of their bodies, and keep working to liberate our own.

Want to read the whole thing? You can find it here.


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