Posted by: Lisa Pampuch | October 10, 2009

The fake hymen test

William Saletan, writing at Slate’s Human Nature blog, provides us with more examples of why religion must not be exempt from rational criticism.

Example 1:

If you’re a woman in a conservative Muslim country, you had better bleed on your wedding night. If you don’t, your husband or his family will know you aren’t a virgin. For that, you could be beaten or killed.

If you’re a man, on the other hand, all you have to do on your wedding night is ejaculate. Nobody expects you to bleed or produce any other proof of virginity.

So Muslim women must be virgins until marriage and must prove it, because sex before marriage is bad, because some allegedly holy text says so. Muslim men? Not so much. It’s prima facie ridiculous.

But creative, resourceful and entrepreneurial Chinese inventors have created an artificial hymen, sold for about $30, that provides the “virginity” evidence that could save a woman’s life. All of which brings us to…

Example 2:

This has so outraged Muslims in Egypt that they’ve proposed a ban on the product. As Saletan summarizes:

… the artificial hymen serves as a useful test of religious idiocy. If a $30 item that leaks fake blood violates your faith so profoundly that you must ban it, then what you have isn’t really a faith. It’s a fetish. And your fetish won’t survive globalization.

Faith, fetish — when they require you to drop reason, logic, and critical thinking, there’s really not a lot of difference.

And before non-Muslims of other faiths start ridiculing Muslims for this particular practice, take off your blinders and look at some of the ridiculous things your faith requires you to believe or do.

Believers in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.



  1. Good information. Tweeted about it. I’ll bookmark this post too.

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