Like a Virgin

Like a Virgin


Fake nose, fake lips, fake bust… Can anything stay natural these days? Surgeons have apparently achieved to change every part of the body and they ain’t going to stop. Indeed, another form of surgery has become widespread around the world: hymenoplasty. Morocco hasn’t escape from that trend. But why in the world a woman would want to have her hymen − the tissue that covers the external part of the vagina and is broken in the first sexual intercourse − back?

According to Dr. Youssef Derouich, a general practioner at a health center in Marrakech, hymenoplasty is “the reconstitution of the hymen using an artificial tissue or using the mucous membrane to create in this case an endogenous hymen.” There is another type of hymenoplasty: hymenorraphy which is simply a temporary hymenoplasty. Dr. Derouich emphasized the fact that it is an expensive surgery that is not allowed by the Moroccan law −which is why it is done secretly in some private hospitals. The hymen of a hymenoplasty lasts until the sexual act, while the one resulting from a hymenorraphy lasts for about two weeks as Dr. Derouich explained.

There’s more. Women have another option, less expensive but more risky, to simulate their virginity. A made in China gadget. It is basically a little plastic bag full of fake blood that explodes during the defilement. A trick worthy of the best illusionists. Originally, it was a sex-toy made by a Japanese company. Years after, a smart Chinese company, Gigimo, took this concept and started making cheap artificial hymens and selling them in Arab countries. We can now find these gadgets in some souks in Casablanca or Rabat for less than 300 dirhams (Roucaute).

If Moroccan women are using those two methods these days to recreate a second virginity, despite the allergies, infections, and sutures’ failure that it may cause as Dr. Derouich asserted, it is mainly because of the importance of virginity of a woman in Morocco. “What a shame it would be for a man to marry a non-virgin woman!” Ms. Nadia Azzouzi, an active member of L’Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc (The Democratic Association of Women of Morocco) affirmed. The new bride even risks to be rejected by her family and divorced from her husband. These methods prove Ms. Azzouzi again the absurdity and hypocrisy of the Moroccan mentality. The first reason that she points out is that the non-virgins use it to pretend to be pure and chaste during their wedding night. Especially when in some areas in Morocco, we still have that tradition called the “bridal sheet” where the groom has to show to his family and sometimes even to the guests waiting in front of the door, the traces of bleeding caused by the defilement of his wife. An artificial hymen will be a “life-safer” for the non-virgin in this case, erasing her “mistakes of the past” and making her accepted by her family-in-law.

Recreating a hymen is “lying to her husband while the principal foundations of marriage are trust and mutual respect. But most of all, it is lying to herself because imagining that she can restore a factitious virginity with a small piece of flesh is burying her head in the sand, like if it was this membrane that determines the chastity or even the value of a woman,” says Ms. Azzouzi. However, she is aware that in some cases, hymenoplasty is “acceptable” like for the examples that Dr. Derouich gave: little girls that had an accident when biking or riding a horse, or the 20% of women who don’t even have a hymen.

Ms. Azzouzi’s voice became high-pitched when she started talking about the consequences of this behavior and how it drives in the male domination in the society. “Approving this is letting those men, who run after girls in bars and night clubs, exert their machismo on women that have to be docile and innocent and don’t own the right to have a sexual freedom.” She also adds that men do not want their wives to be already “used.” They find in this “privilege,” a way to prove their virility and impose, from the beginning, their strength in the couple. It will consequently lead to the objectification of the woman and drag her to the level of an object that becomes “useless once touched.”

“The concept of virginity can’t be changed overnight,” says Nadia Azzouzi with a sigh. “We can maybe see hymenoplasty as a step forward to the freedom of women, but we can’t fool ourselves. A hymen can’t be sewed on again. Do we really want to own our rights with this petty and deceitful way? No! This method goes against all what sex equality stands for. It will only deepen the gap between the two genders and kick start the male chauvinism in our country.”

Who knows, maybe two or three generations later, nobody will care that much about virginity anymore.