Do non-virgins deserve to be loved?
Poster of China's TV series Ode to Joy that has triggered heated debate  Photo:
If a young woman loses her virginity, she doesn’t deserve true love in life, because virginity is the foremost thing to be cherished by women before stepping into marriage. Would you agree? Chinese netizens have these days engaged in heated discussions on the topic, after a hot soap opera showed a plot in which a young girl is abandoned by her seemingly righteous boyfriend because she is not a virgin.   
So, the virginity complex is still haunting modern China. Most netizens find that unbelievable. “Ying Qing”, the name of the boyfriend in the TV series who believes in sexual abstinence before marriage, has become one of the most searched keywords on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter. “That’s horrible. I could not accept that in the 21st century some men still regard virginity as the most important. That’s a total insult to women,” commented one netizen. 
Art originates from life, though it is more artificial than life, people may argue. But in reality, similar events may be unfolding. Ding Xuan, a public speaker specializing in Chinese traditional culture, recently addressed college students, telling young girls to become “fair maidens” and asserting that “virginity should be women’s best dowry to be brought to her husband’s home.”  
The controversial speech was made at the Jiujiang University, one of the local colleges unknown to the public. Ding Xuan, the speaker, works with a collaborative fund sponsoring women’s activities. 
 “It is vulgar for women to be scantily clad. And this behavior may bring bad luck to her parents, husband and even children,” she cautioned.  
The remarks immediately drew widespread public attention when some screenshots about the advocate’s PDF presentations were put online. The Jiujiang University soon issued a statement, claiming the lecture was intended to instruct college girls to behave themselves in order to achieve self-esteem and self-respect. And it was stressed by the college that all attendance to the speech was voluntary.Later, the college denied the controversial chastity talks were actually given. 
Although the chastity talks have naturally aroused disgust and concerns that “obsolete concepts of putting women in chains may crawl out of ancient tombs,” there are indeed considerable voices in favor of chastity for young women. 
“If a woman doesn’t care about virginity, her man is doomed to be cheated on,” one netizen wrote. “Some girls are against discussion of virginity, because they’re not virgins anymore,” said another.
 The mixed opinions on China’s cyberspace have also drawn attention of some foreign media, including the Singapore-based Chinese newspaper Lianhe Zaobao. 


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