While bleeding on the wedding night is still the proof of the bride's honor in Egypt and Middle Eastern countries, Radio Netherlands broadcasted an Arabic translation of the Chinese advertisement of the Artificial Virginity Hymen kit. Youm7 newspaper announced that the product will be available on the Egyptian market for LE 83. Gigimo, a Chinese adult toy vendor, sells it for $30. As if Egyptian women were all waiting for the miracle hymen to embark on pre-marital sex, conservative parliament members want the product banned and any exporter exiled or beheaded.
Ana Silent (I am Silent) wrote a post titled
The unique selling proposition of the product as advertised in the media:
عشر دولاراً.. بلا جراحة، أو حقن، أو أدوية ولا آثار جانبية بخمسة عشر دولاراً فقط
Sharm Life wrote:
و اكيد خفافيش الظلام من كبار التجار و المستوردين ادوهم الاحساس ان المصريات عايزة كده
Concluding the post with a clear rejection of the product, Sharm Life wrote in defense of Egyptian girls:
بنات مصر تاج فوق راس كل بنات الارض
بنات مصر اخواتي و اخواتك و بناتي و بناتك
ولا زم ندافع عن سمعتهم اللى عايزين يلوثوها
How Am I shared a different perspective:
The blogger asks:
اللى عايز اقوله ان الهوة دي أصلا موجودة ودا ما يمنعش انه هيزودها
لكن هو احنا بندور اننا نخلي الحفرة زي ما هي ولا نردمها
كل حملات محاربة غشاء البكارة دا اراها واهية لو فعلا هيتم استيراده
لو الشرطة نفسها منعته هيبقي مرغوب اكتر وهيتفنن الجميع في طرق تهريبه والحصول عليه وتبقي تجاره زي المخدرات كدا وبردو هينتشر
وحتى لو قدرنا نحارب وجوده ، هل هنحارب عمليات الترقيع الموجودة حاليا في شقق تحت بير السلم ؟؟
هل قدرنا اصلا نحاربها وهي اللى موجودة من زمن ليس بالقليل؟؟
ما اعتقدش بل هي بتزيد لأن الطلب عليها بيزيد
What I want to say is that the abyss already exists, it might grow deeper, but what do we really want to achieve by burying our heads in the sand?
All the campaigns attacking the product are meaningless; even if the law makers banned the artificial hymen, this will only make it more desirable and people will find ways to smuggle it, sell it, distribute it, and buy it – just like drugs. Even if we ban it, what will we do with the illegal hymen restoration surgeries? Haven't we been fighting them for quite some time? As long as there is demand there will always be a market.
Nawara Negm thinks the Chinese are brilliant:
طب احنا مش ح ينفع معانا العيشة دي، انا غيرانة
In an attempt to educate Egyptian males on how to spot an artificial hymen, Moftah posted pictures of the female genitalia, the different types of hymens, and the difference between an intact hymen and a torn one. Mohaly wondered if raped women deserve a life:
Would you go against your society and family and marry a girl who has been raped? Out of love and respect and trust – not out of pity or a heroic temp feeling? Only at a certain phase you would know this truth about her. Would you believe her word, or she has to provide some proof? Would you be able to completely forget this fact and start a normal life with such a girl, keeping in mind that she is human, or unconscious influence of society would interfere here? … Would you be yourself and really work on making it up to her because she is just the same girl you know well enough to ask her to share your life? or would tradition interfere and you prefer to stay away and enough that you would keep her secret?
Eman Hashim of Muslimah Media Watch quoted Souad Abdel Rasoul from Radio Netherlands saying:
China is a country that has really understood us and revealed our truth, our diseases, and our obsession with image but not content. We are a contradictory nation that suffers from severe schizophrenia.
By selling us prayer beads, Ramadan lanterns, Hajj clothes, veiled Barbie dolls, Islamic swimsuits, and no hymens, China has been caressing the “Islamic” concept inside all of us by providing us with the image of what we want others to see in us, even if it is just a lie
She also quoted Sheikh Saied Askar, a member of the parliamentary bloc of the Muslim Brotherhood and a member of the Committee of Religious Affairs of the People’s Assembly, warning the Egyptian government:
Girls in general are afraid of committing such a sin for the sake of preserving their membranes and the presence of such products will tempt the weak souls to commit it as the availability of an alternative is now everywhere.
Eman Hashim found the Sheikh's statement offensive:
So any Egyptian girl who doesn’t have premarital sexual relationships does so only for the sake of staying a virgin? So virginity as a virtue and a concept is all about the hymen? I am not defending the product, nor am I defending premarital sex. I am offended by the implication and questioning the value of “virginity”.
Let’s assume for a second that this is the case, that the hymen is everything. So this is how women are supposed to be treated? Like children who are better kept away from danger cause they are incapable neither of protecting themselves, nor telling right from wrong? Notice how Askar refers to women as “girls.”
According to Askar, a woman is a weak creature who is incapable of choosing what to do and what not to do, and is easily tempted to commit “sins” if they became closer and easier to her. No mention is made of how the fake hymen may tempt men to sin—doesn’t a man face the same temptation?
Rather than asking ourselves what made China come up with such an idea or why there’s a very high possibility that the manufacturer of this product might hit his first million from selling it in Egypt, we are “afraid” that it might just make sex easier and in turn, more common.
In a community that worships appearances and gives minimal—if any—attention to the reality of things, it’s no wonder that news of a product like this can spread quickly.