From birth control pills to female genital mutilation, men are obsessed with the idea that sex should determine the way women live, if only to serve the male ego.
"They only have one thing on their minds."
That's what we're taught from a very early age, men are always thinking about sex. I see no problem in their mind taking them places, I don't think anyone does. The problem I have is with the male obsession of bringing sex into places where it doesn't matter, and more importantly, where they (men) don't matter - a woman's education, her career, her family, and her life. The world does not revolve around sex or a man's idea of what's right and wrong about sex.
Try telling that to any man in any position to make decisions for the common people and you'll understand why I'm writing this article.
Last week, in an interview with Egyptian news outlet, Youm7, Egyptian Parliamentary Member Elhamy Agina called for mandatory virginity-tests for all women entering universities. He even went on to say that he should be in charge of reviewing all virginity tests.
Not only does no religion permit such an act, virginity tests are also a complete invasion of a person's privacy, are not actually valid, and virginity does not define a woman's status.
Despite all this evidence against virginity exams, and the backlash Agina has received, he continues to stand by his "suggestion" that women receive periodic virginity exams. Why?
To rid Egypt of common-law marriages. The funny thing is, in Egypt, men take part in common-law marriages as well, but no one is asking them to prove their virginity. Despite the fact that 200,000 Egyptian women report being raped a year, Egyptian men (or all men) are not held accountable for sex, consensual or not. Say a woman was raped at some time in her life; should that stop her from getting an education?
According to Agina, yes.
In fact, his excuse of ridding Egypt of common-law marriages is a weak one, as he goes on to say that the parents of any women who fail the test will be notified. So this isn't a way to stop common-law marriage, but to scare women out of:
1) Having sex or natural sexual desires (Agina also suggested recently that women should undergo genital mutilation to curb their sex drives to match that of "sexually weak men").
2) Speaking up about being raped/assaulted.
3) Getting an education.
Oh, and this guy is part of Egypt's human rights committee.
Contrary to popular, bigoted belief, punishing women for sex (whether they wanted it or not) does exist beyond the Middle East.
We've been fighting for reproductive and women's health rights in America for decades. We still don't have access to universal birth control, victims are blamed for rape both on and off campuses, and we slut-shame girls who do exactly what "players" do. America may not require virginity tests in the literal sense, but it does implement the idea in every aspect of society.
The issue isn't religious or cultural. It's a universal, gender based idea -
If you are a woman, sex will hinder your life. If you are a man, congratulations, it's always on your mind, and nobody thinks less of you for it.