Yesterday, we wrote a little about the debate in the U.S. about whether, or how much, monogamy matters. Today, we’re halfway around the world to rural China, where virginity matters and matters a lot, according to a “Behind the Wall” report from NBC News.
“Search the words “artificial hymen” on Google in Chinese, and you’ll get seven million results,” reporter Bo Gu tells us. “Search ‘Joan of Arc Red,’ and you’ll get over a million results—it’s the biggest selling brand in China’s growing fake hymen market.”
Fake hymens sell for less than $20, over the Internet. What is a fake hyman? It’s “a little piece of semitransparent tissue has no side effects and is made of a natural fibrin glue, a medical elastic substance, a soluble base and carboxymethocel” … The instructions say that “After you put this into the vagina, it’ll dissolve and expand. Have sex in about 20 to 30 minutes, and you’ll ‘bleed’. A better effect will be reached if you appear to be shy and in pain.”
And we were about to say, Gee, isn’t it awful that over there in China that virginity is still that prized, that important, so much so that women have to fake it or even have their hymens surgically reconstructed? and then we realized that we’d only just written yesterday about a columnist for The New York Times who was saying, pretty much, that the world would be a better place if more people didn’t have sex until they were married. And we sort of lost our urge to criticize the rural Chinese people. Change doesn’t happen overnight.