Chinese judge awards woman $5,000 for the loss of her virginity

If you’re a woman in China who hasn’t swiped her V-card yet, we have a (sad) message for you: Keep your legs crossed until the right guy comes along, because if you do, you could be eligible for five grand. That’s what one woman learned after she successfully sued a man she met online for “violating her right to virginity,” winning $5,000 from a court in the process.

According to MSN News Malaysia, the woman (identified only by her last name, Chen) met the man (known only as Li) on a dating website back in 2009, but didn’t actually meet him face to face until 2013, whereupon she traveled to Singapore to have sex with him. After Li suddenly broke off contact with Chen, she traveled to his home to confront him, only to find him in bed with his wife.

Sounds like a pretty straightforward man-meets-woman-online, man-does-lady-wrong, lady-gets-angry-at-him-and-learns-a-valuable-lesson-about-the-risks-of-online-dating narrative, right? Kinda, except for the “learning a valuable lesson” part: Instead of crying to her girlfriends on the phone for a few days, then cutting her losses and moving on, Chen decided to sue Li, accusing him of “violating her rights to virginity and health” and seeking $81,000 in psychological damages.

But instead of laughing Chen out of court and urging her to get over her breakup by taking a pottery class or cruising the self-help section of Barnes & Noble, the judge at the Pudong New Area People’s Court was sympathetic to her plight. Though the court refused to award her the full amount, they did give her $5,000, saying the “right to virginity” should be protected by law. “Violating the right to virginity might lead to harm to a person’s body, health, freedom and reputation … it ought to be compensated,” the court said in its statement.

Look, it really sucks to be dumped, and it really sucks to be lied to by a guy you met online. But it’s pretty astonishing that a court of law in 2014 would harbor such a regressive view of female sexuality as to put a monetary value on a woman’s virginity. (Though to be fair, China doesn’t exactly have a strong record on women’s rights to begin with.) Had Chen been a man—or even, horror of all horrors, a spurned woman who was not a virgin—it’s likely that the case would’ve been laughed out of court. As one woman who spoke to MSN News put it, “Chinese law still has a saying about virginity rights—that’s really sexist.” We have a saying about that in America: No shit, Sherlock.  

Still, we all have to make an honest buck in this world, so women in China should all follow Chen’s example and keep their legs closed until some poor rich married schlub comes along and wants to put it in. You’ll be perpetuating an archaic and offensive view of female sexuality, but at least you might be able to squeeze a few grand out of it.

H/T MSN News | Photo by seeveeaar/flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

EJ Dickson

EJ Dickson

EJ Dickson is a writer and editor who primarily covers sex, dating, and relationships, with a special focus on the intersection of intimacy and technology. She served as the Daily Dot’s IRL editor from January 2014 to July 2015. Her work has since appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mic, Bustle, Romper, and Men’s Health.