Second-hand virgin

I don’t know if this qualifies for a heroic deed on my part, but it happened a few years ago and I’m still mulling over the underlying issues that were raised that day. It was an argument with a former colleague, and like all arguments it was quite silly to begin with and quite pointless, too.

My former colleague... well, let’s give him a name, shall we?... perhaps, Rudolph would sound better because that way no one will be able to guess his real identity. Anyway, Rudy and I were talking about long-term relationships and marriage because he thought he needed to talk about these issues with me since I happen to be single and he happens to be married, and well, he thought, I needed to do something to change my single status.

Why my single-status should be a source of concern to a colleague at work is something that I’ll never understand, but hey, that’s a digression.

Anyway, I told Ruddy that I don’t plan on remaining single forever but will only marry if and when I meet someone I want to grow old with, and someone with whom I can talk and not get bored. I thought that was a reasonably good explanation even if it’s me saying so, but Ruddy had to ask another question.

“Will you marry a girl who is not a virgin,” he asked, “or will you even consider a woman who had a serious boyfriend in the past?”

I didn’t think of this as a serious issue, and so I told him, “a woman’s past really doesn’t bother me unless she is still pining for her lost love, but if she is not, then, it shouldn’t matter.”

Ruddy couldn’t believe his ears. He thought I had lost it completely, and he became increasingly aggressive as I explained my position. And finally he questioned my manhood because I refused to take a firm stand against women with previous relationships.

I felt this argument was getting to be quite pointless, and wanted to look for an escape hatch and leave my colleague alone with his regressive views. But no, it didn’t end up that way at all because he had to explain his position and that made matters even worse.

He told me that a wife has to be a virgin because a real man must marry a woman who is untainted either physically or emotionally. And if any man does marry a woman with a past it’ll be like purchasing second-hand goods.

It took me a while to digest what he said and then, I told him that it was a load of bollocks. Not a good move because it only made him more furious. My point was, if it’s ok for a man to have relationships before marriage, then, why should such a big deal be made about women? His answer was that women are different because once they lose it they lose itforever, but then, I asked him, doesn’t the same apply to a man because once he’s done it, then, he can never do it for the first time ever again.

What really made me mad was this assumption that women were some kind of a product that must be acquired in its pristine form only. And that this product (for want of a better word) must be seen as a baby-making machine because, according to Ruddy, that’s the purpose of marriage anyway.

I felt sad for Ruddy not because he missed the whole point of marriage, which is lifelong companionship with someone you love, but more so, because he failed to recognize that women are, after all, people with feelings, emotional experiences and their own unique perspectives on life. What a sad life, I thought, if one has to live an entire lifetime without being able to relate with women as the human beings that they are.

But the really sad thing is. . . Ruddy is not alone. There are many more Ruddy’s out there who think along the same lines. It is these Ruddy’s who have given ‘men’ a bad name in the eyes of women everywhere. It is these Ruddy’s who seem to define gender equations… and I think it’s about time we say, ENOUGH!!!