To the Chicago Tribune (for that headline), the idiot men who view a rupturable hymen as a use-by date that supersedes every other attribute their brides have, and the doctors who perform the surgeries: fuck you.
Gynecologists report that in the past few years, more Muslim women are asking for certificates of virginity to provide proof to others. That in turn has created a demand among cosmetic surgeons for hymen replacements, which, if done properly, they say, will not be detected and will produce tell-tale vaginal bleeding on the wedding night. The service is widely advertised on the Internet; medical tourism packages are available to countries like Tunisia where it is less expensive.
Let's clarify a few very simple things. First, the presence or absence of a hymen is roughly as relevant to virginal status as the presence or absence of a hat is relevant to status as a Steelers fan. If you spend much time on a bike, or a horse, or a seesaw when you're little, chances are good your hymen is going to unzip itself without the help of a penis. Men who believe that blood on the sheets is the only guarantee they've married a virgin are ignorant; men who decide to punish their wives for not screaming and bleeding on initial wedding-night penetration are ignorant assholes.
Second, shelling out thousands of dollars to get a flap of skin sliced from your vaginal wall and sewn to the other side solely in order to enable your new husband to rip the surgical scar open and then thrust against the torn tissues repeatedly isn't reclaiming your virginity. It's just elective mutilation undergone to assure that your ignorant asshole of a husband will get enough of an ego boost from his bloody dick that he won't divorce you on your wedding night, beat you, or give you back to your father so he can beat you.
The furor followed the revelation two weeks ago that a court in Lille, in northern France, had annulled the 2006 marriage of two French Muslims because the groom discovered his bride was not the virgin she had claimed to be.
Some feminists, lawyers and doctors warned that the court's acceptance of the centrality of virginity in marriage would encourage more Frenchwomen from Arab and African Muslim backgrounds to have their hymens restored. But there is much debate about whether the procedure is an act of liberation or repression.
Wow, let me think about that for all of two seconds. Liberation or oppression, liberation or oppression... surgical mutilation designed to enable coital mutilation, the reduction of women's lives not to only to their sexual status, but to a small flap of tissue that may be absent even if the sacred virginal status is present, the complete focus on the woman's virginity and complete indifference to the man's, ownership of a woman's sexuality by her father... liberation or oppression? Do they seriously even need to ask?
I'm not even going to waste my time on the American women who apparently think this is the best Valentine's present ever for their husbands, independent of any medieval religious and cultural mores that threaten to destroy them if they don't comply. Because nothing says I love you like giving your guy the chance to rip you open all over again.