The interwebs are a-buzzin' with talk of 22-year old Natalie Dylan and her plan to sell her virginity online to pay for a master's degree. The bidding on the women's studies major's "maidenhead" (and yes, Fox News called it that in all seriousness) is up to 3.7 million, and the um, transaction, is set to take place at the Bunny Ranch in Nevada. It seems that people can't wait to ask questions about this situation like, Is this legal? Is the price too high? Can Dylan do this and still call herself a feminist? The blogs and articles go on and on.
Obviously these are valid questions to ask of this situation. But I think that to get to the root of this issue the question we should really be asking ourselves is, Why do we care so much about this in the first place? Is virginity really THAT important? And why is everyone being so creepy about it?
After all, this situation could not exist unless we as a society placed an extremely high value on a woman's virginity (which clearly at least some of us do). I can't imagine Dylan getting bids for up to 3.7 million dollars for sex if she was no longer a virgin, which to me indicates that there is this weird notion floating around out there that a woman is a different person after she "gives it up." A person who is no longer worth 3.7 million in the sack (sorry, non-virgins).
Keep in mind that Natalie Dylan has been subjected to several lie-detector tests and will undergo a physical examination to prove that her hymen is still intact before any money changes hands. Obviously these dudes REALLY CARE about her being a virgin.
Can you imagine if a man in the same situation decided to auction off his virginity to the highest bidder? I doubt that many women would take the multi-million dollar bait. This is clearly a gendered issue, and one that I have a hard time wrapping my brain around. As a woman, I don't personally feel that virginity loss makes someone a different, less-hot person, and I think most women would agree. (Although I also don't have millions of dollars to throw at an offer like this, so maybe I am not the one to weigh in here.) So why are certain men encouraged to care so much about it? Is it that much of a sexual turn-on? Is it a status thing? Are non-virgin women no longer sexually exciting to these bidders?
This discussion could go on and on, especially if we take a moment to consider the cultural implications virginity has internationally. We have all heard of men committing unspeakable acts for the promise of virgins in heaven, and of women being punished for losing their virginity before marriage. What is UP with virginty? Let's discuss.
Why do you think virginity is so valuable to certain people?
What do you think might need to occur to change these people's minds?
Do you value virginity in that way? Why or why not?
What do you think these bidders should be spending their 3.7 million on instead of Natalie's virginity? The possiblities are endless!
So get to it.