There’s no point to a guy yelling, “Hey sexy baby” at me out of the passenger window of a car as it speeds past. Even if I was into creepy misogynists and wanted to give him my number, I couldn’t. The car didn’t even slow down. But that’s okay, because he wasn’t actually hitting on me. The point wasn’t to proposition me or chat me up. The only point was to remind me, and all women, that our bodies are his to stare at, assess, comment on, even touch. “Hey sexy baby” is the first part of a sentence that finishes, “this is your daily message from the patriarchy, reminding you that your body is public property”.
Ancient moon priestesses were called virgins. ‘Virgin’ meant not married, not belonging to a man - a woman who was ‘one-in-herself’. The very word derives from a Latin root meaning strength, force, skill; and was later applied to men: virle. Ishtar, Diana, Astarte, Isis were all all called virgin, which did not refer to sexual chastity, but sexual independence. And all great culture heroes of the past, mythic or historic, were said to be born of virgin mothers: Marduk, Gilgamesh, Buddha, Osiris, Dionysus, Genghis Khan, Jesus - they were all affirmed as sons of the Great Mother, of the Original One, their worldly power deriving from her. When the Hebrews used the word, and in the original Aramaic, it meant ‘maiden’ or ‘young woman’, with no connotations to sexual chastity. But later Christian translators could not conceive of the ‘Virgin Mary’ as a woman of independent sexuality, needless to say; they distorted the meaning into sexually pure, chaste, never touched.
Monica Sjoo, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth (via thewaking)
Literally the most important thing you will read today.
How many times do I have to fucking debunk this? Because it’s seriously getting on my nerves. The word ‘virgin’ comes from the Latin word ‘Virgo’ which means maiden, pure, and sexually intact women. Romans used the term virgo to describe sexually intact women— it was not the Christians who came in and ~ruined~ everything like so many people seem to think they did (there are a lot of issues with Christianity and sexuality but this is not one of them).
I am only going to talk about the Roman side of this because that is the only one I feel comfortable speaking about, but virginity and chastity was important to the Romans. We can see how important it was when we look at the Vestal Virgins (Vestales in Latin). These were women who were put in to service of the goddess Vesta at a young age. They were to look after the ‘heart’ of Rome, which was a large fire that had to continually burn to keep the city safe and intact. These women were to remain virgins during their entire service, much like priests in the Catholic church. If a woman were to be found having lost her virginity while a Vestal Virgin, it was a huge deal to the Roman city. The very safety and sanctity of the city was in peril. These women were seen as the daughters of the state, and to have sex with one of them as a Roman citizen was seen as incest. A vestal virgin who had sex and was found guilty of it was buried in the walls of Rome to die of starvation. The man was killed. When there were issues with Rome, people often blamed the vestal virgin of losing her virginity. She acted as a scape goat.
So can we please just stop with this whole ‘Christianity is the one that cared about virginity and ruined it for every other women’ because that is not the fucking case. Rome cared about female virginity, the Greeks cared about female virginity. And I am quite certain other cultures during this time did as well.
…there are no trees here. Only water, Sam. Only water.
—Gilly, Feast for Crows. Book Four of A Song of Ice and Fire