I’m not a Catholic but I am a Christian who believes in the virgin birth.
This talk about Mary’s hymen is an insult to all Christians.
Shame on you.
Shame on you."
The talk about Mary’s intact hymen is far fro a new or modern topic. It was considered an essential belief and doctrine by early church fathers.
Those who should be ashamed are those who perpetuate and even expound on the myth that a bunch of early Church Fathers could pretend they're gynecologists and understood the birthing process of Mary 300 years earlier. This is beyond the scope of what is recorded in scripture and people always gets themselves into trouble when they add to what is written.
I have to agree. “Conceived of a virgin” means just that and the discussion should end there.
In one way it doesn't matter, in that modern people usually don't see gender and its signs as having any significance at all. For instance, most people don't see the difficulties and pains of women's sexual and reproductive systems as "signifying" anything.
Real question: Do these things "signify" something?
An aside: secular feminists see the distinctive things about women's bodies as being a negative, even an indignity. Menstruation is "the curse." Fertility is regarded as a design flaw -- to be remedied by using chemical and surgical spaying to make most women sterile, most of the time.
Most Western post-Christian people agree with this, and this is expressed in their acceptance of things that de-sex us: transsexuality, homosexuality, contraception, sterilization, all of which they see as corrections of an originally unsatisfactory sexual design.
And childbearing: even with modern obstetrics, it's still often an episode of mess, pain, and blood, almost a matter of "sexual injustice" that women have to go through it. I attended a national NOW convention some years ago as a "spy," and heard a panel of women agree unanimously that getting an artifical clinical incubation process to replace pregnancy should be a national research priority, since childbirth as we know it is a form of violence. An inequality between men and women. Disparate impact, to say the least.
Why do the feminists think this way? Well, for one thing, so many things about female reproductive function DO seem to be evidence, not of "Intelligent Design" on the part of our Creator, but as --- like I said, design flaws.
Everything about sexuality can serve as a reminder to a woman that her body is subject to deterioration, including her period (blood and cramps), her first intercourse (blood again, and pain), and childbirth (lots and lots of blood; thanks to modern anesthesia, shrieking optional.)
And in fact it's all there in Genesis: this is a permanent reminder to women that their bodies have been messed up as an inherited species-wide consequence of Original Sin:
To the woman He said:
I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you."
So Biblically --- though the guys, especially, don't often think of it --- women's bodies bear certain bloody woes which Signify Original Sin.
This must have been particularly salient for Jews, since they regard contact with bood as ritually defiing, and any female past puberty is going to be dealing with being untouchable and polluted A LOT of the time.
Then there's the Orthodox Jewish prayer morning prayer for men: "Blessed are you O God , King of the Universe, that thou has not made me a slave, a gentile, or a woman."
These thoughts, perhaps, might give you a handle on why Mary, who was prepared and predestined to be the mother of God, and who was "Kecharitomene" ("Filled-with-grace") would also bear the bodily sign of her favor from God: being freed and liberated from all these ancient curses.
Hence the painless and bloodless impregnation and partuition for Mary, most favored of women. She didn't have any of the curses consequent to sin. Great things were done for her by God her Savior. One of them was, she didn't have to be broken into, or broken out of.