STICK AND CARAT
Once again I must express my indebtedness to the Shoe for bringing to my attention the latest in a long line of contrivances designed to prevent the young girls and gentlewomen of the United States from ever having to confront or even question the patriarchal attitudes to their burgeoning sexuality. Purity rings.
I mean, what!
There is so much that is deeply troubling and worrisome about this that it is difficult to know where to start, never mind how to best organise one's thoughts on the subject. Jess covers most points admirably and yet I feel that insufficient stress is given to the root cause underlying all her arguments. A denial borne out of fear.
It is not the sole preserve of the religious to seek to deny the basic truth that we are, in the final analysis, what one might term linnéally part of the animal kingdom yet it is the conservative right which seeks to apply this logic in such self-serving and hypocritical a fashion. We, all of us, in western societies far removed from the 'natural' harbour within ourselves an aversion to anything which reminds us of our animalistic heritage. How many of us feel entirely comfortable using the purely descriptive words 'shit', 'piss' and 'fuck' rather than the myriad twee euphemisms with which we attempt to gloss over the 'coarse' reality?
I am not suggesting for a moment that we should all succumb to our animal urges and instincts. We are about as far removed as possible from a natural environment wherein such behaviour would be a reasonable survival strategy and, as we have shaped our environment, so must we adjust our actions and attitudes to suit. The problem lies in the fact that our society today has been shaped by men and, as a logical consequence, largely for them as well.
And what of men? What, to use a theatrical term, is their motivation? The acquisition of power? Maybe. A desire to control? A possibility. Jesus...look at those answers. Any of you who were in any doubt of my gender have just been enlightened. In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I have only allowed myself to admit of the possibility rather than accept a blunt affirmative as the only reasonable response. But even this misses the point. Both these desires stem from something deeper, something much more primal and, by even referring to it, I am probably forfeiting all rights I may have had to membership of the man club and laying myself wide open to charges of heresy, treason and betrayal or, more likely, that my views are totally unrepresentative of the sex as a whole and the product of a sadly deranged and probably latently homosexual mind. Such are the defences we employ.
At base, the problem is fear. And it is the fear of female sexuality. What else would prompt us to explain away our own transgressions as a succumbing to our basic animal urges, a problem solely of weakness of will in other words, and yet view the possession of the same by the female as the problem itself?
Catch most men in a moment of unguarded honesty and they will admit to a desire to basically fuck anything with a pulse, Anne Widdicombe excepted of course; a celebration and affirmation of their masculinity, each convinced of their own inate alpha maleness.
And yet, in the same moment of unguarded honesty, they would have to admit to entertaining the idea that this is delusion of the highest degree. And one which strikes at the heart of our self definition as males, our cocks.
I don't think I am taking too much for granted when I say that women just do not possess an organ so intrinsic to their sexuality nor one as capable of wreaking such havoc to their ego. I mean, they may worry about the size of their tits but I have never experienced a situation where non-performance of mammary glands has precluded an act of fornication. Is clitoris size an issue in self-image? I doubt it. Inadequate lubrication is a problem that can be overcome. A failure to erect on the other hand will lead to despair and a possible desire to invade small, lightly armed middle-eastern countries. There is, and I apologise in advance for the imagery, just so much riding on it.
And even given a full and totally reliable erectile function we are still screwed when it comes to performance. Only once in my entire sexual life have I encountered the situation where my partner in the horizontal dance was, in the total sense of the word, fucked and I in a condition for further activity. Once. Penis envy? A trifle compared to our longing for an organ as capable of multiple orgasms as a vagina. The disparity in capacity between a cunt and a cock is surely a further proof of the non-existence of god or, at the very least, that he or she was intent on fucking with us.
The point being that, taken on average and on a purely physical level, no man is capable of entirely satisfying a woman sexually and this really pisses us off. We who control so much find this one basic function over which we have none. Something. Must. Be. Done. Limp dickery is not an option.
And so we take the easy way out. We deny our own inadequate sexuality and attempt to prevent the female from ever finding a full expression of hers. We exaggerate and praise our performance and seek to express our virility in other ways while at the same time attaching the label of immorality to female sexuality. Job done. Or at least it is as long as the (male) Church holds sway over issues of morality and it is this perception that the religious right seeks to perpetuate with these fucking purity rings. A patronising pat on their little heads and instructions not to worry their pretty little selves at all about that insistent itch which demands scratching. It's just the devil at work, dear. Just say no.
On the whole, I think I prefer the 'What would Jesus do?' bands.
He would forgive you, my dear. And ask his old man to get the balance right next time.