A 19-year-old in New Zealand auctioned her virginity online for $32,000 for tuition money. She used the pseudonym ‘Unigirl’. Her ad said:
“I am offering my virginity by tender to the highest bidder as long as all personal safety aspects are observed. This is my decision made with full awareness of the circumstances and possible consequences.”
Over 30,000 people had viewed her ad and more than 1,200 had made bids before she accepted an offer of more than $32,000. All this she managed without posting a photograph or details that were verifiable.
What does it tell us? That those who bid were doing it to help her get a good education? That they were excited by the possibility of a blind date they would be paying for? Is it that they valued the virginity since they can get sex from anywhere? Why would anyone take the trouble?
Even if they are not certain, those who took part in the auction must have felt powerful. There is a culture of ‘deflowering’ that makes men believe they are the first to conquer.
That is the reason we have these surgeries to repair ruptured hymens. While it is known to happen in non-western countries, the idea of virginity – and the nubile young girl – is indeed the stuff of fantasies as well as creative works.
Without morally judging the seller or the buyer here, it is disturbing that the girl could not borrow this amount from parents or friends. She is obviously smart enough to know about safety aspects. How would she ensure that? Can she, a ‘bought item’, demand a medical test? Is it only her virginity at stake as a one-time act or will she get trapped into giving more of herself?
Is she certain that the amount will be given to her, and if so her real identity may be out since the transaction is unlikely to be in cash?
I am afraid I don’t think much of such education that forces people – men and women – to objectify themselves or rather a part of themselves. They become reduced to just what they are selling. Some may think it is empowering because 'Unigirl' chose to do what she did. A system or society that makes people use these measures only transforms them into manipulated dolls who begin to wallow in the very concept of manipulation.
She will know how much she costs but not how much she is really worth as a person. And that is the benchmark she might well start using to gauge others. It is a loss, anyway we see it.