I went on a date with a great person last night. He was so well read about racism and white privilege, particularly in the LGBTQ community and in the Trans community. He's a transman and is most assuredly not going to be stealth when he completes his transition. He just doesn't want to "walk into white male privilege" like that. It was an awesome date. At one point, I mentioned something about my kid and virginity and stress to "lose it" etc. And he perked up. "What is virginity?" he asked. I said,
"Well, I guess it's when one person is penetrated or penetrates another person in whichever orifice the person wants to be penetrated or to penetrate - or the one that she or he or they feel is the significant hole." Augh! I've been more eloquent, half asleep. WTF? He spoke of teaching health at his high school and doing a class on virginity.
"What if you have two women and neither or them want to be penetrated in any orifice? Do they never lose their virginity?"
"I guess," I responded, "I guess, virginity is just kind of meaningless then. Huh?"
"Yep," he said with a slight cocky grin on his lips. "I hope to see it obliterated in my teaching career. I don't think it'll happen that soon, but it'll happen soon enough. It doesn't mean anything."
I mentioned how I was talking to my kid about her "girl virginity" and her "boy virginity" and that she's got two to look forward to whenever she decides to go ahead and "lose" it/them. And how my kid was really into that idea. And off of that he said his students have identified that they figure there's "kissing virginity" and "fondling virginity" and "oral virginity" etc...etc... Which I find really interesting.
What happens if we get rid of virginity? -- The invisible line drawn between the "kids" and the "grown ups." How many times have we seen some media image of a young woman talking to her mother (or a son talking to his dad) and when it comes out that he or she has had sex (heteronormative sex, penis in vagina), and the response is "Well, I guess you're growing up now. You're becoming an adult." If we erase virginity, do we erase that rite of passage? Do we need more gradated rite(s) of passage? Do we even need a rite of passage?
Is it not a better idea to just base each individual teen's passage into grown-up-ville on his/her/their behavior and how they handle themselves and the various situations that they get themselves into? Identifying loss of virginity (however it's defined) as the rite of passage is just like saying "Well, you're 18 now, so you're a grown up." Ridiculous.
I know many of us were raised with this meme regarding what it meant to grow up. For me it was getting glasses. I got glasses when I was 13 and I pretty much felt I had reached the pinnacle of adulthood at that point. Virginity be damned, having those specs made me mature!
Growing up is difficult enough without arbitrary hoops to jump through. So, maybe my date is right and we should just get rid of virginity all together. Might do us some good.