Premarital Sex: A taboo worth paying heed to?

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Premarital sex is defined as any kind of sexual activity that a person commits before his/ her marriage. This has been imposed upon us not just by social mores and norms but also religious texts that aim at preserving the patriarchal social order. This taboo is not only confined to India but also conformed to be the Western societies. No matter how empowered women have been, no matter what efforts have been made to make them feel at par with their counterpart, the very question that pops up about virginity unempowers them. Women who have consensual sex before marriage are considered “bad”. On the very same note, marital rape acquires a social sanction. Was this body only created to please men?

I own my body. I have every right to give it to someone I desire. If social sanctions were to be deemed the sole perpetrators of order, why don’t all rules apply to males equally? No matter how educated a man is, the virginity of a woman become a priority before marriage. Women discovered to have lost their virginity are tortured by their husbands. The society bad mouths you and shames your family. Why on earth should someone else be bothered about my sexual activities and preferences? What purpose does it serve? How does it make their life any better or even worse? Is the existence of a hymen the sole judge of my character? Aren’t there instances of “hymen- intact- good- girls” bringing shame to their families in ways other than having sex? You call that fine, but having sex, which is a basic need of the body, just like food, water and shelter is bad? KUDOS!

Even a survey report conducted by the Hindustan Times, “63% want virgins for marriage but majority approve premarital sex” is reflective of the hypocritical attitude. Earlier social institutions sanctioned arranged marriages: that your family was the best judge of how compatible your partner was. Nowadays, practically this argument would be laughed at. Women feel that they have every right to choose who is physically, emotionally and mentally compatible. It includes exploring and understanding their partners. There are instances when a woman discovers that her man is impotent or even has a different sexual identity or preferences. What is she supposed to do then? Sit and cry for the rest of her life? Is she left to sit and contemplate over any possibility? Is divorce even an option for a girl from a middle class background whose parents have slogged hard to get her married, to give away all their life’s savings for dowry that is so rooted in the culture? Or do you suggest that she might just do away with her life considering the fact that she will be under tremendous social pressure?

I value my life just like a male does. Your religious scriptures speak about a lot of values that you need to confirm to. It also speaks about love for fellow humans and non- violence. Does your community or even your family follow that strictly? Don’t your morals and ethics fall apart when it comes to satisfying your selfish motives? Then why question my morality? I am responsible for my choices and actions. I don’t do drugs, I don’t steal, I don’t kill or anything that’s not legally acceptable, isn’t that enough for you to live and let live?

Anushree Ghosh


  
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