Yvonne Orji has not shied away from discussing her sex life. She has mentioned her virginity many times on various platforms. She even dedicated an entire TEDx speech on why she made the decision to wait. Her story has been told—she is a virgin and proud—so why isn’t that enough for us to accept her choice?
Being raised female is to be raised a giver. We give and give and give until you have nothing left, and then we pull from our emergency reserves to give some more. Once depleted, we wait for someone to bestow upon us what we have so painstakingly given away and it never comes.
We are left empty and broken and it is up to us to restock and save a little for ourselves next time. But when we do, we are shamed by others: “How dare you keep what you are meant to give away.” “You are selfish.” “You are not a woman.” “You are not strong enough.” “You are not worthy.”
We as a society are threatened by women who say, “no” because it shines a spotlight on times we have reluctantly said “yes.” We are so quick to curse the patriarchy while simultaneously fueling its ideals. We fail ourselves when we refuse to support a woman who has found the strength to support herself.
A woman's body is hers to do with what she sees fit. If she has decided that no one has been worthy of entering her temple, then that is her choice to make. It is not up to others to tell her to give of herself that of which she is unwilling to give.
It is time to stop trying to enforce an extracurricular act as a requirement of womanhood. You are allowed to have a line and to not permit others to cross it. You are allowed to view your body as sacred. And you are allowed to say, "No."
A woman who stands up for herself and what she believes is the strongest of us all.