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You Can't POP Your Cherry (HYMEN 101)
February 9, 2014 9:41 AM   Subscribe

Informative article and hilarious videos concerning myths about female virginity.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (30 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't read the comments. MRAs abound.
posted by desjardins at 9:48 AM on February 9


As a gay man, the first included video increased the amount of knowledge I had about hymens by infinity percent.
posted by tumbleweedjack at 9:54 AM on February 9 [8 favorites]


previously on HymenFilter
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:21 AM on February 9


This information should be part of school sex ed.
posted by Segundus at 10:22 AM on February 9


Sex ed should be a part of school sex ed.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:24 AM on February 9 [37 favorites]


Don't read the comments. MRAs abound.

The silver lining is that it seems more like it's just a couple of MRA guys; it's just that they're REALLY tiringly vocal.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:28 AM on February 9


One of the great things about the internet is it makes it harder to keep kids in a bubble. If sex-ed sucks, at least it is now easier to find someone to give you the facts.

Also easy to be exposed to a lot of bad stuff online too, but sometimes we don't appreciate the flip side of that.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:18 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Hilarious.
posted by Colonel Panic at 11:19 AM on February 9


Oh my goodness, the "string test" isn't just internet satire

The 17th century English physician Helkiah Crooke, on the other hand, a believer in the hymen (which he described as an eight-part conglomeration of particles and membranes that “together make the form of the cup of a little rose half blowne”), offers his own practical virginity test: If a woman is a virgin, a thread stretched from the tip of her nose to the base of her skull “should precisely encompass her neck, but if it is too long or too short, she is not.”
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:26 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Women do still get killed over others' perceptions of their own virginity: In 2005, an Alabama woman told a Birmingham police detective she killed her 12-year-old daughter by pouring bleach down her throat because her daughter revealed she was no longer a virgin.

Yeah, they could have come up with literally thousands of better examples of girls being killed for having sex with someone their family didn't sanction than one mentally ill and murderous parent. I'm very surprised that modern honour killings weren't explored in this article; they are far from uncommon. (Link to random case displayed in the first page of Google results.)

I suppose the MRAs showing up is no surprise though I can't see what they could take issue with in this article: it's all factual. Though perhaps lack of sexual experience, or just sex, is something dear to their hearts...
posted by jokeefe at 11:49 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Watched the first video and it's funny and informative and then the end comes and I FREAK OUT GAH. Well played, Laci Green.
posted by chrominance at 12:03 PM on February 9


I suppose the MRAs showing up is no surprise though I can't see what they could take issue with in this article: it's all factual.

I don't understand this sentence.
posted by brundlefly at 12:16 PM on February 9


Really, it's ok not bring up the MRA.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:22 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


brundlefly: What I meant is that the reporting in this article-- about the social history of virginity, the physiology of the hymen, that there is a lot of misinformation floating around due to poor sex education-- are not really points of argument. The MRA comments tacitly acknowledge this; they approve of the use of the concept of virginity as a form of controlling women, based on the idea that a woman who is "promiscuous" will never be satisfied with her eventual husband (the "evidence" linked was a first person article in Marie Claire). Cue long discursive waste of time in the comments section.
posted by jokeefe at 12:34 PM on February 9


Really, it's ok not bring up the MRA.

When every online article to do with women's sexuality or feminism brings out crowds of them to spam the comment sections, they can't be ignored, imo (see Lewis's Law).
posted by jokeefe at 12:36 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


jokeefe: I was actually making a joke at the expense of MRAs and their inability to recognize and deal with facts. In retrospect, it was probably not appropriate for the thread. Carry on!
posted by brundlefly at 12:46 PM on February 9


This is excellent. I'm always troubled by the volume of fanfic that's obsessed with the "first time" and perpetuates the myth of the hymen "popping." I hope this video is circulated widely.
posted by duvatney at 1:16 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Gah, sorry brundlefly! something something lack of coffee something.
posted by jokeefe at 1:16 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


The 17th century English physician Helkiah Crooke, on the other hand, a believer in the hymen (which he described as an eight-part conglomeration of particles and membranes that “together make the form of the cup of a little rose half blowne”), offers his own practical virginity test: If a woman is a virgin, a thread stretched from the tip of her nose to the base of her skull “should precisely encompass her neck, but if it is too long or too short, she is not.”

Is this also the person who invented the hand-bigger-than-face test for ... whatever the kids are saying that's a test for these days?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:01 PM on February 9


Hmmmmmmmmmmm.
posted by valrus at 3:12 PM on February 9


If a woman is a virgin, a thread stretched from the tip of her nose to the base of her skull “should precisely encompass her neck, but if it is too long or too short, she is not.”

I've just failed to Google up any conformation of it, but I remember reading long ago that among well-born Romans a newlywed woman could wear a choker to emphasize an increase in the girth of her neck, which was regarded as a proof of the consummation of the marriage.

I'd guessed this was based in observation and ignorance both, because a woman's thyroid will typically increase in size as well activity when she becomes pregnant:
In women who are not iodine-deficient, the thyroid typically increases around 10% in size during pregnancy.

In women who are iodine-deficient, the gland typically increases from 20% to 40% in size during pregnancy.
posted by jamjam at 3:14 PM on February 9


This is excellent. I'm always troubled by the volume of fanfic that's obsessed with the "first time" and perpetuates the myth of the hymen "popping.

Yeah, I'm seeing a lot of fanfic (and non-fanfic pron) which describes the hymen as an actual barrier about halfway up the vagina. Some of it is allegedly written by women. It's weird.
posted by andraste at 9:26 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Well! I am a 38 year old woman who has had A CERTAIN AMOUNT of sex as well as two children, and who considers herself pretty anatomically and sexually savvy, and I learned a lot from that video! To the point where I forwarded it to my husband and said "As the father of a daughter, you have to watch this video." I'd made jokes about my hymen growing back, but I had no idea that had some basis in reality.
posted by KathrynT at 10:21 PM on February 9


Oh my goodness, the "string test" isn't just internet satire

Really, i know right? It sounds EXACTLY like something based on the "If your hand is bigger than your face you have cancer" thing that kids do to eachother. Like, it's just too perfectly bonsai kitten internet troll sounding.

Reality is always more depressing than you previously imagined possible, though.

This information should be part of school sex ed.

You know, i hate the high school i went to. And so do quite a lot of other people i knew at the time, or that i randomly run in to who went to the same place... But this was one thing they managed to get right.

They covered, in explicit detail, all of this kind of stuff. They also brought in dildos for us to put condoms on, and all kinds of other shit that would make republican assholes burst into flames. This was a public school too, in the US! I regularly get confused by statements people my age make, or assumptions people have that they just state offhandedly as if they're totally factual and logical, and then i remember that the level of education about this sort of thing i received and subsequently found more knowledge on from the internet and curiosity is in no way the norm.

And, then again, we also had a general "life skills" class* that covered everything from how to spange and dumpster dive to general advice about doing drugs and drinking that wasn't just "don't" but more "If you're going to do this, then at least XYZ". He actually said stuff like "no one ever died from smoking weed" in a high school classroom.

Of course that place got completely watered down after that, and i'm pretty sure it's the same useless dreck you'd get anywhere else now in that department... but it's frustrating to know that they had it down and then undid it. The place had some major flaws, but in a lot of cases curriculum wise i was left thinking "Why isn't this the norm?"

*several years later this teacher moved in nextdoor to my shitty college flophouse i was living in at the time. I did shots of tequila with him, and watched him do a gigantic line of coke off a broadsword... after which he hulked off his shirt revealing he was jacked like a 70s schwarzenegger, and then impaled the thing in his bedroom door. The guy is a character from workaholics made real. I think he's a massage therapist now...
posted by emptythought at 4:18 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Spange?
posted by gingerest at 4:21 AM on February 10


panhandle, etc.

as i remember it was presented in a sort of "Ok, so you've been mugged and you're in an unfamiliar city with no phone. Now what?" kind of scenario, and several other hypotheticals.
posted by emptythought at 5:11 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Sp[are ch]ange.
posted by cortex at 7:17 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


It's old home week. Hanne Blank (one of the subjects of the article) is my ex. We didn't break up over anything to do with virginity.

I was there for when she researched and wrote her book. It was pretty intense a learning experience. For both her and me.
posted by kalessin at 7:51 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I really liked this young woman's attitude, and learned a lot from the video (and I consider myself fairly well educated on the subject). She managed to tie some pretty important concepts together here, and she did it with humor.

This approach is so refreshing... what do you know, sex is normal, bodies are normal, the patriarchy promotes false models, and we CAN talk about it. Yay!
posted by kinnakeet at 8:10 AM on February 10


Good stuff. Thanks for posting!
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:36 AM on February 10


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