First things first: virginity doesn’t exist
Well, actually, it does. It’s the state of not having had penetrative vaginal sex as yet.
Whether it’s important or not is entirely another matter. But it does exist.
and there’s no way to test it. Hymens can be broken by things other than penises. Some girls are born without hymens. Many women and girls who have never had penetrative vaginal sex nonetheless lack an intact hymen; some women who have had penetrative vaginal sex see their hymens remain intact.
All of that’s true. And yet none of it changes the falsity of the first assertion.
Of course, the entire concept of virginity is misogynistic: men aren’t valued for their sexual inexperience, there’s no male virginity test, and male sexual desire and experience are considered both normal and appropriate. It’s also just plain stupid, logically and conceptually. If a woman has sex exclusively with women and has 500 partners in her life, is she still a virgin? Why is a woman who has anal but not vaginal sex a technical virgin, but a man who has only had anal sex with men not one? A woman could ostensibly have a long and active career as a porn star and still be a virgin, so long as the vaginal sex was the one act she would not engage in. Is a woman still a virgin if she’s penetrated with a sex toy but not a human penis?
What fun with the hypotheticals.
And yet it has been something our forbears placed great importance upon. Why so for all those thousands and thousands of years? The absence of contraception of course.
A bloke is going to spend the majority of his life’s work in supporting his family. The aim and purpose of the entire idea of life itself is to be raising part copies of one’s own DNA. Thus the treasure of his labour should be spent upon his children, not those of the bloke next door or the wife’s first boyfriend.
Thus the importance placed upon the woman’s chastity. One useful signifier of which is her virginity.
This isn’t complicated and it may not be all that relevant these days. But knowing how we got to where we are is useful.
But then that’s asking a woman to be logical, isn’t it?