African Women Voices

I wanna Make it Wit Chu

Have you ever had sex?
Yes, you are likely to be a sleeping-with-everyone kind of woman, with higher risks to contract AIDS.
No, you have either suffered a trauma or your parents were extremely strict.
Those are the two possibilities for the Daily Mail, that in an article dated March 1, claimed to be revealing the “surprising secret” of women who “NEVER” had sex.
The paper interviewed five women aged between 27 and 45 who are celibate: Miriam, Samantha, Victoria, Miriam P. and Lucy.
Pictured with their hair nicely straightened and shining, each woman tells why she decided sex is not for her (at least not for now). Each of them has an (unsolved) issue.
Miriam, 33, decided to follow her father example of hardworking and put her energies “into making a success rather than thinking about boys.” Ergo: you’re either successful or in a sexual relationship. The important thing for Miriam is that her now deceased father is still proud of her.
Samantha, 27, was insecure because of her weight (size 12). She dated a boy who after a kiss on the cheek said: “Is that all?” She ran away embarrassed (and still is), never got involved again. She was 18.
Victoria, 27, never found a man who requited her love. At 21 she became Christian after reading Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons (!). She’s now dating through a Christian website, hoping to find Mr Right.
Miriam P, 45, gave up on any kind of relationship 13 years ago because of the chronicle fatigue syndrome that affects her. She hasn’t been able to stand up from the couch.
Lucy, 40, decided not to have sex after being bullied at her all-girls school and during the outbreak of the AIDS. She said: “remaining a virgin seemed the only way to remain happy and healthy.”
What’s the aim of the Mail feature?
Apparently discouraging young women from losing their virginities quickly and thoughtlessly. This is also proved by the (unsourced) statistics they put in a red circle between the two pages of the article:
“More than 60 per cent of sexually active teenagers said they wished they had waited longer before losing their virginity.”
If the aim might be noble, the method doesn’t hold water for at least three reasons.
First, they presented five women whose decision has been taken under the influence of something or someone else:
  • strict family
  • Dan Brown
  • Insecurity
These are not women who decided consciously and maturely not to have sex for one reason or another, but because they are scared. Which leads to reason number two.
Three out of five women decided to avoid sex – if not having a relationship at all – after experiencing some traumatic events, such as bullying, refusal, relationships ended badly. I can make up my own statics and say, it happens to 60 per cent of women but not all of them take the ‘easy’ way and avoid relationships.
Finally, the case of Miriam P, not only is cruel to quote but it also says that you can avoid having sex if you suffer a major illness that prevent you from having close relationships.
In the end, the Daily Mail presents a lose(r)/lose(r) situation, where women can be either prostitute or virgins with psychological or medical issues.
Am I saying those women have psychological issues? In a way, yes.
It’s not the choice that I discuss, which I might find legitimate. But the reasons behind it make me think in the end there’s only one thing to block them: fear.
Suggesting not to sleep with a different man every night might once again be legitimate, but is not the only option. The Daily Mail totally excluded the class of women who are in a happy sexual relationship, which might or might not be serious. And which might or might not end. These women fall in the group described by the Mail: Christian, Successful, Overweight, Ill.

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