I read a disempowering article today on a certain celebrity gossip website; apparently, Brooke Shields said in an interview that she lost her virginity when she was twenty-two years old. Apparently, “Brooke believes that ‘not learning to love the way [she] looked’ prevented her from having sex at an earlier age.” To which this website narration seems appalled because she was a model.
Basically, I’m wildly offended at this. It is completely backwards on so many levels; first of all, why does anyone care when Brooke Shields (or anyone for that matter) lost her virginity? It seems that the idea of virginity is thrown around all the time and lost or given away so easily in contemporary society, that many junior high and high school students probably couldn’t imagine being a virgin past the age of say, thirteen or fourteen. And thus, they might look at Brooke Shields now (pending they know who she is) as a lesser woman or human being. Is that what virginity means today? A measure of who you are as a person? If you’re a virgin does that make you worse off than someone who’s not? Of course, if you’ve “hung onto” your virginity for religious reasons, nobody really discusses that. But if you’re a virgin by choice, or you just simply ‘are’ one… that’s somehow construed as problematic.
Sometimes when people claim to a virgin, someone will ask them why? As if this is a burning question — why would anyone be a virgin? I learned somewhere that asking ‘why?’ in any situation conveys a judgmental attitude, and I can see, particuarly in this case, that this rings true. Asking someone why they’re a virgin seems to suggest that there must be some reason for you to not have had sex. And to borrow one from Queer as Folk character Brian Kinney on being ‘called out’ as homosexual, “if it’s not you I’m fucking, it’s none of your business.”
I understand that today sex is made very public — think about shows like Sex and the City and so on, in which characters meet in trendy bars and discuss their sex lives with each other; it is always the burning topic, the important topic, the one that everyone seems most dying to know. I hate to sound like a prude, but… why? Why is it fascinating for people to know the ins and outs of sex lives of their friends? The deal is, I understand and appreciate; a) the love of gossip and b) knowing what your friends are up to and caring what they have to say. Still though, I can’t help but think that some things are just meant to be private and between you and your partner. I appreciate sacrednicity.
Also, I’d like to consider for a moment, my definition of a ‘smart woman’, not one who flits around, silly and aimless, fucking whatever (some of these women consider that empowerment and feminism and I TOTALLY disagree) and allowing themselves to be played around with by anyone for some non-quality time. I just don’t think smart women subject themselves to little hangups like virginity and when one ‘loses’ theirs and so on. I think smart women focus on themselves and do things that are worthwhile and completely selfish. They indulge themselves in spending time with people and things that make them happy and instill self-value and confidence. And thus, this article really offended me. No matter what Brooke Shields meant by it.
If she’s implying that once you love who you are, you’ll instantly be surrounded by potential sexual partners, that’s a bunch of bullshit that doesn’t even need to be commented on. And conversely if she’s implying that self-confidence and sexual activity should go hand in hand, that’s a bunch of bullshit too. Whatever the case, I don’t need to hear it, and I don’t think the already-doomed contemporary youth do either.