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.