The Absurdity of ‘Revirgination’

MSNBC ran a story on February 28 about “revirgination.” Yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds. Look, if you’ve had sex, if you’ve had children, you are not a virgin. Get over it. No, even if you spend $5,000 for a new hymen — and who wouldn’t want one of those — you are still not a virgin. (God forbid that the money go for anything that is actually of some value.)

Thankfully, I do not have to spend my time pointing out all of the absurdities of “revirgination,” for Diana Hsieh has already done the job. She writes,

Virginity is not even a real quality of a person: it’s just an ignorance of and inexperience with sex. Ignorance of sex means incompetence at sex. So for a rational, value-seeking lover, virginity can only be an obstacle to be overcome in the pursuit of the pleasures of sex, not a positive value. For a person to seek virginity requires a mangled set of sexual values.

There is a very dark side to the story, though:

Dr. Red Alinsod’s… typical patient [for hymen reconstruction] may have been born and raised in the United States, but with significant family in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, India, the Middle East. Without evidence a new bride is a virgin, she risks being rejected, or, worse, the victim of an “honor killing.”

For many women around the world — particularly in Muslim countries — such threats of murder are difficult to avoid. But surely women “born and raised in the United States” might consider the option of not marrying someone with homicidal siblings. At the cultural level, when women have to lie about their virginity in order not to be murdered, that’s a large problem, and surgery is hardly the appropriate remedy.