RT Cunningham


A Young Woman and her Virginity - Acceptance in Society and Culture

young woman There’s a good reason for the age of consent being as low as it is in the Philippines. A young girl can become a young woman before becoming a teenager.

A young woman, in the most common understanding, is a fully developed female. Her body parts are adult, and she’s already capable of having children.

A Single Word for a Young Woman and a Virgin

Like any other language, a Tagalog word can have multiple meanings depending on how it’s used. Context is everything.

I once heard a relative asking a young woman, the girlfriend of another relative, if she was still a virgin. The question was “Dalaga ka pa?” Another relative once told me his daughter was a dalaga. He explained she had started menstruating already. She was now considered a young woman. The key word here is dalaga.

Depending on context and location in the Philippines, dalaga can mean any number of things. Regardless, all the meanings refer to a young adult female who’s still an unmarried virgin. I have no idea what a young man who’s still an unmarried virgin would be called - I don’t think there’s a word for it in Tagalog.

Society’s Definition of a Woman

Every culture is different, obviously. There are some cultures where young girls get married before they reach puberty and start having children when they do.

And then you have cultures where women can’t legally get married or have children until they’re well beyond puberty.

Even though cultures differ, they’re still controlled by society and in some cases, religion. It sometimes makes people wonder who’s in charge.

An Open Mind is Required

I’ve seen so many strange things happening around the world, in many cultures, that it’s enough to give me nightmares. I understand I have no right to judge anyone’s culture, but I can’t help feeling sorry for the victims.

Female circumcision is brutally unnecessary. Some would say male circumcision is just as bad. As far as I know, only male circumcision is a religious custom.

I can’t specify the culture, but I understand thighing with prepubescent girls is a practice in parts of Southwest Asia. I don’t know the specifics and I don’t understand how such a thing can be acceptable in any society.

There is big difference between a prepubescent female and post-pubescent female. One is a child and one is a woman.

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By RT Cunningham
March 23, 2018

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