Another story (like the last one) about sexual relations in a Third World country, this time, in India.
The BBC reports that an Indian pharmaceutical company has launched a vaginal tightening cream, aimed at the growing number of young women there who don’t wait till marriage to have sex, but who still have to contend with being in a culture where men still desire their wives to be virgins until marriage.
Although that isn’t exactly how the pharmaceutical company is promoting this:
Ultratech’s owner, Rishi Bhatia, says the cream, which is selling for around $44 (£28), contains natural ingredients including gold dust, aloe vera, almond and pomegranate, and has been clinically tested.
“It’s a unique and revolutionary product which also works towards building inner confidence in a woman and boosting her self esteem,” says Mr Bhatia, adding that the goal of the product is to “empower women”.
Mr Bhatia says the product is not claiming to restore a woman’s virginity, but to restore the emotions of being a virgin.
“We are only saying, ‘feel like a virgin’ – it’s a metaphor. It tries to bring back that feeling when a person is 18.”
But the feminists don’t see this as ’empowering women’:
But the company’s advertising strategy has attracted criticism from some doctors, women’s groups and social media users, who say the product reinforces the widely held view in India that pre-marital sex is something to be frowned upon, a taboo which is even seen as sinful by some.
“This kind of cream is utter nonsense, and could give some women an inferiority complex,” argues Annie Raja from the National Federation of Indian Women, which fights for women’s rights in the country.
Ms Raja says that rather than empower women, the cream will do the opposite, by reaffirming a patriarchal view that is held by many here – the notion that men want all women to be virgins until their wedding night.
“Why should women remain a virgin until marriage? It is a woman’s right to have sexual relations with a man, but society here still says they should not until they are brides.”
But just as in the West, young women don’t want to be called sluts (but want to do as they please):
Another 27-year-old girl, who first had sex at the age of 20 and has had three sexual partners, believes a lot of the stigma comes from the idea that a man wants to feel like he owns a woman, adding that the idea that a women who sleeps with multiple partners might be called a “slut” is something all societies have to contend with.
So, despite the fact that for now, traditional mindsets largely remain amongst Indian men, India is nevertheless having to contend with feminism and the decline of morality, just as we are, here in the West.