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To ‘test her fidelity’ a UP man sewed his wife’s genitals. Why do women have to prove their purity and chastity even in 2021?
Trigger warning: This post contains details of abuse and assault which may be triggering to survivors and certain audiences.
Women in our society have often been asked to prove their chastity. From tests to severely gruesome practices our society has several ways to test a woman’s ‘purity.’
In yet another horrific incident, a man from Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur asked his wife for a fidelity test. When she agreed, he sewed her genitals with an aluminium thread. Following this, ran away from the scene leaving his wife bleeding profusely.
According to a report in India Today, after the man fled, the 24-year-old woman managed to inform her mother who took her to a hospital. A complaint was also lodged against the man at the Milak police station.
Once the woman was hospitalised, the doctors confirmed the assault on her and are administering the required treatment. The Rampur Superintendent of Police confirmed that the woman had suffered serious injuries.
During the inquiries, the woman confirmed that she was a victim of repetitive domestic abuse. She also said that her husband often asked her to prove her innocence as he was constantly suspicious of her chastity.
The terms ‘pure’ and ‘clean’ have constantly been associated with women’s bodies for ages now. It is always the woman who is expected to be pure by being chaste. Ironically, it is the same woman who is termed ‘impure’ when she is menstruating.
From religious to historical to socio-cultural texts and norms, fidelity and menstruation are two major factors that determine a woman’s ‘pure and clean body.’
In far too many cultures and communities, the concepts of chastity and purity of women are related to their family’s honour. Female infidelity is considered a damaging factor of a man’s reputation and honour.
Thus, thanks to this narrow-mindedness, women are made to undergo gruesome fidelity tests and even domestic violence. These measures are considered to be a way of restoring the family’s honour.
As bizarre as it sounds, the chastity and purity of a woman hold a lot of importance in society even today! Isn’t it time we stopped this?
The stereotype of a promiscuous husband and a deeply chaste wife is deeply embedded in our society. We often hear people say, ‘A guy can have as many girlfriends as he wants. But in the end, he will only marry a virgin!’ As disgusting as that statement is it is the reality of our country.
The mere fact that the woman is supposed to be loyal to her husband, ‘no matter what,’ makes the husband feel like he has ultimate control over his wife. He is made to believe that he can test her chastity and fidelity whenever he pleases.
This basic notion comes from the sense of authority that patriarchy and society give the husband. In our society, a man sexual life and needs are always given the first preference, much like everything else.
Meanwhile, a woman’s desires are either shut down or completely controlled by her husband. After the wedding, men assume that they are the ‘owners’ of their wives sexual life. A wife is expected to simply agree with what her husband says!
It is 2021 and as a society, we need to understand that a family’s honour does NOT reside in a woman’s vagina! We need to stop propagating the importance of a woman’s chastity in our culture.
Women need to stop having to prove their innocence to men whenever they want to test it. And it’s high time husbands stop considering their wives as property to own and force them to take such inhumane and gruesome tests to ‘prove’ their loyalty.
Picture credits: Sasin Tipchai via Getty Images for Canva Pro
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