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The Culture of Unvirginity

By Concerned Atenean
Lets face it. A large number of students in Ateneo de Davao University engage in,
either safely or unsafely, in premarital sex. This has already become an open secret,
if it still is a secret, among students, faculty, and the Jesuit administration alike.
Freedom of sexual practice and promiscuity has become the trend in more liberal
circles of the Ateneo community, and one does hear or, more specifically, read
stories from AdDU Confessions Im sure our brothers in the Society wont be proud
to hear of. The culture of unvirginity in our school is rampant, and Im worried about
it.
Now, now, dont get me wrong. I have completely nothing against the freedom to
choose and make informed choices. What I do see as a problem is the common use
of the term as an insult to a persons masculinity, the practice of virginity as a
measure of a persons maturity or ability to socialize, the connotation that being
a virgin makes somebody less of a human being. When somebody calls a person a
virgin, more often than not it is followed by a chorus of laughter.
If you do not believe me, then allow me to shed some light. You have been, say, in
a night out with friends. After taking a stroll, watching a movie, a friend in the group
suggest you end the night in a drinking session. You dont drink, so you decline and
decide to bid farewell to them for you to go home. Im actually willing to bet my
money that somebody on your barkada will actually say Virgin ra kaayo ka besh,
uy! or Grabe, virgin ra kaayo siya oh, or a quip of that sort. The same goes if
someone declines a date, insists on not smoking, or just acts a general killjoy.
But why? Does an individuals virginity actually affects his capability to have fun?
Does it have a bearing on a persons societal skills? Why is it that every time
somebody who shows conservatism in one aspect, we immediately assume
conservatism in all? Like stereotyping races and classes, stereotyping sexual
choices just doesnt seem quite right. And the fact that we often use the word is
murdered and is used comically, insultingly, or, at worst, derogatorily makes it
worse. Many wouldnt mind if people called them virgins, until the laughter bursts
out from the lips of the people theyre with.
Yet what Im most hurt of is the extreme disparity with which the term is used
compared to its antonym. Call a person a virgin then laugh at him and society will
most likely just shrug it off. Call a person not a virgin then laugh at him and see how
fast the horde of critics and detractors prey on you with hate like a locust swarm on
a wheat field. We cant say Luag na kaayo ka beshie, then laugh and get away
with it, but change the first word of the statement to virgin and Im sure many will
laugh with you. We fought to close the wounds of racism and gender equality, now
that we begin to see a fresh one beginning to open up, we are actually getting the
scalpel and simply ripping the wound open.
We are actually currently at a stage where a cultural norm since time immemorial is
challenged with liberal ideas, and as the new idea becomes the cultural norm, the

old habits now become laughing matter, yet I cant blame them for it. Until recent
times, society had always been hostile with people who choose the liberal path, and
the hostilities sometimes still do exist.
This generation gap have never been more evident than they do in teacher-student
discussions on the matter. I actually remember back in my second year in college
when my more sexually open friend actually gave a condom to a more conservative
member of the class during his birthday as a joke (which again exemplifies the
laughing stock virginity has fallen into). He gave the gift publicly during class, when
our teacher was out for a break, to solicit more laughs, yet the laughter havent
subsided yet when our teacher came bursting through the door. Our conservative
friend immediately hidden the condom pack back in the gift box, a gift box which
our teacher saw. Knowing it was our friends birthday, of course, our teacher was
touched and wanted to open the gift, yet my conservative friends reluctance gave
her suspicions. Sure enough, she pressed that the gift be opened and as good
students we gave her the gift, and boy was she surprised. Laughter exploded from
all corners of the classroom, with our teacher saying to my conservative friend, and
I quote, Do you even know how to use this?
Even more recently was during a time when our chatty teacher started talking
about her cousin who was going to lecture us about our courses basics. She
described her as demure, refined, and a little shy, when one of my classmates,
perhaps unconsciously, remarked that the cousin must be a member of the AVS. Not
surprisingly, the sound of chuckling went through the glass ceiling. Our teacher was
left in the dark, wondering why we all laughed, so she asked and prodded my friend
to tell what AVS meant. He reluctantly replied in a soft, ashamed voice Ateneo
Virgin Society, Maam, which brought even more laughs from the crowd. Our
teacher then drops this bomb: Why are you laughing? Youre third years! You
should be virgins!
As you may have suspected, we were all still laughing until the bell rang.
You see, the unforgiving hostility of the old systems towards the new ones have
created this emerging rift amongst the youth. Young as we are, we are torn between
the ideals of the past and the present, and as we enter our adulthood we are forced
to make a difficult choice, whether to keep our virginity or not. Our disparity in the
decision we make in this matter is actually creating conflicts, most of which are
unnecessary.
Yet like all disputes, I believe we should simply agree to disagree. Each side
demands and should give the respect of the other. People who decided keep their
virginity have resisted their human instincts for moral, physical, and religious belief;
those who didnt had the courage to defy social norms that had existed for
centuries. Both have pondered. Both have doubted. And both have made decisions
which will last for their lifetimes. Mutual respect, sensitivity, and understanding, as
fragile and idealistic they are, have always been the foundations of a lasting peace.
A persons virginity belong to himself, and often times it is his or her decision to
hold on to it or not. What that individual does with it shouldnt be used as a tool for

discrimination, hate, or laughter, for believe it or not, there are many of us who still
hold on to the sanctity it represents. We as an institution who prides itself in
empathizing and understanding others therefore must be more sensitive in the
jokes we make, for a persons virginity is no more a laughing matter than a persons
lack of it.