In our culture, it is immodest to talk about women’s issues whether it’s domestic abuse or female anatomy and biology because somehow all that dishonors and insults the men.

It is a grave crime to even think of empowering women so they can fight back against the abuse they suffer because that insults the twisted beliefs of patriarchy.

People are killed if they try to spread awareness about how women can keep their bodies healthy whether it is with regards to the common cold, vaccination, childbirth or birth control because again, that is an attack on the honor of the men, somehow.

But in that same culture, it is perfectly fine and, in fact, commendable to invite men to seek treatment for 'mardana kamzori' just so he can enjoy a better sex life. Mind you, if that kamzori (weakness) has anything to do with his ability to not have children, all forces in his universe will try to pin that 'blame' on his wife and save him the shame of being sterile.

In that same culture, it is also OKAY to put out a woman's virginity on the table as something to be discussed and corrected via insensitive ads!

We just spent a month ranting about the BNU 'wall of shame' because a couple of students decided to talk about menstruation. I wasn’t a fan of the way they campaigned either. I think the way they dealt with the issue wasn’t helpful but it wasn’t anything as crude or hurtful as this particular ad that’s staring at me.

The ad reads:

“Virgin, Hymen, hides all your shame, one pill makes a doll, guarantees bleeding and pain, price RS 4500, phone number xxx”

Where is the outrage against this ad now? How and why is this acceptable and not immodest? Where is the gigantopithecus GHAIRAT of the Ghairat Brigade now? Has it gone on vacation now that the topic at hand is perceived to shame women if they fail the virginity test and that somehow pampers the small ego of the men who might rejoice in shaming women for whatever reason?

The notion that anything happening to and within a woman's body can and should be a cause of shame to her is in itself gross. The idea that a man's honor only lies in his women is gross too.

A woman's honor is her own as is her body. Anything residing in a woman's body is not a man's property, including her hymen.

Since some trooper was bold enough to print and distribute this ad for the benefit of whoever this benefits, let me be bold and tackle it head on too for the benefit of women and any who seek knowledge.

What is a hymen?

“The hymen is a membrane that surrounds or partially covers the external vaginal opening. The effects of sexual intercourse and childbirth on the hymen are variable. If the hymen is sufficiently elastic, it may return to nearly its original condition. In other cases, there may be remnants (carunculaemyrtiformes), or it may appear completely absent after repeated penetration. Additionally, the hymen may be lacerated by disease, injury, medical examination, masturbation or physical exercise. For these reasons, the state of the hymen is not a conclusive indicator of virginity.”

– (Perlman, Sally E.; Nakajyma, Steven T.; Hertweck, S. Paige (2004). Clinical protocols in pediatric and adolescent gynecology. Parthenon. p. 131; Knight, Bernard (1997). Simpson's Forensic Medicine (11th ed.). London: Arnold. p. 114.)

Let’s read this bit again, shall we?

“The state of the hymen is not a conclusive indicator of virginity.”

And why? The reasons are listed but not limited to the ones mentioned above.

Read and re-read that as many times as is necessary for your brain to register the fact and remember it the next time you associate a woman’s virginity directly to the state of her hymen.The hymen tells you NOTHING.

As for those who associate a woman’s honor to the state of her virginity, how compassionate you must be to the victims of sexual abuse, right?

According to you, a rape victim has no longer any rights to her life, to truth, to be truthful in her relationships, to speak up against the violence she suffered and call out her aggressor because obviously that will definitely tarnish her ‘virgin’ status regardless of what happened to her hymen. According to you, she should just wipe that memory off her mind, embrace the stigma attached and be silent, and take this godforsaken medicine so she can bleed like ‘a doll’ on her first night so her unsuspecting husband will never even be given a chance to help her out of her trauma because he will never know anything. According to you, she should cheat him from the first moment they are together!

A victim of abuse may not say anything at all as is but that will not be deceptive because whatever happened in her life before she met her significant other is none of her SO’s business anyway.

For the religiously inclined, there is an incident from Caliph Omar's (RA) rule where he advised the father of a young girl, who was once involved with a man but was then jilted, to not tell her husband-to-be if he didn’t already know simply because it was none of his business. It was HER past and her call to make it known or keep secret. The only thing that would be the husband’s business was how good she was to him after she married him.

Obviously, the maker of this ad couldn’t care less for this timeless message because clearly this ad and all ads like this do make it the man’s business. They shamelessly lead the woman into purposefully deceiving their partner into believing about how ‘pure’ they have been so they can score a favor with him.

How low will our society stoop? Seriously!