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Old 11-28-08, 11:17 AM   #1
phantomcow2
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Deflowering an 18th century woman.

Is anybody here qualified to comment on the importance of virginity to 18th century women in regards to maintaining honor? If so, please do. I'm writing an essay on Johnathan Swift's "Dresing Room" and Aphra Behns "The Disappointment"
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Old 11-28-08, 12:10 PM   #2
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No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Select last night.
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Old 11-28-08, 12:30 PM   #3
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I think you should date girls closer to your own age.
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Old 11-28-08, 12:34 PM   #4
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I didn't do it.
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Old 11-28-08, 02:09 PM   #5
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Petticoats get in the way.
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Old 11-28-08, 03:17 PM   #6
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Petticoats get in the way.
you're not doing it right.
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Old 11-28-08, 03:28 PM   #7
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Is anybody here qualified to comment on the importance of virginity to 18th century women in regards to maintaining honor? If so, please do. I'm writing an essay on Johnathan Swift's "Dresing Room" and Aphra Behns "The Disappointment"
That's a rather broad question.

Any particular country? Class?

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Old 11-28-08, 04:53 PM   #8
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I was a Marine Corps recruiter, and another recruiter in my unit got into trouble when he had phoney business cards printed up that listed jobs he was available for... one of them was deflowering virgins.

It was in the 1980's, so it doesn't really apply, but I felt compelled to share it.

On a more serious note...

The questions that East Hill ask are extremely relevant. The question would not be answered the same for all 21st century women. Today, in some cultures/groups, it is seen as almost meaningless (something shared with the first boy that evokes enough emotion) and in others it is treasured so deeply that being the victim of a **** means that a woman will never be able to be married because she is not a virgin.

Some of the rules aren't even obvious.

A few movies I have seen in recent years come to mind if you want to see some cultural explorations...

As I recall "Memoirs of a Geisha" has some interesting views on aspects of the topic in a Japanese subculture... with a confusing set of "rules"

The movie "Osama" has the portrayal of expectations of women in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Including virginity as I recall.

The movie "Water" is a good movie about some widows of India that are unable to be married, because they were married before, and therefore not available for marriage again. However, not exclusively for the reason of being deflowered... The story follows women who were shunned by society because they were widows, and didn't have the decency to throw themselves on their husband's funeral fire. But, I think it could be watched as an interesting look at a cultural view of women who have slept with a man. This movie was protested by some Hindus in India, as not relevant today, but historically some hindus did think such things.


In the book "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the main plot revolves around the murder of a man suspected of defiling a young lady... he was accused, but it is never clear whether he was guilty... the implication was she accused the man to protect a man she loved.


Especially before the current century, in many male dominated societies (like the west), a woman's virginity and ability to bear children were seen as her two most worthy attributes.

But, enough rambling.
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Old 11-28-08, 05:35 PM   #9
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you're not doing it right.
Maybe... I wasn't the one in petticoats.
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Old 11-28-08, 06:53 PM   #10
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I'd hit it.
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Old 11-28-08, 06:53 PM   #11
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you're not doing it right.
Put it in her bustle?
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Old 11-28-08, 07:23 PM   #12
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For a female contemporary of Swift's view on maintaining honor read Laetitia Pilkington’s Memoirs.

A contemporary, yes. But does phantomcow want to know about an upper class Englishwoman, or lower down in the strata? Does he want to know about English practices, or another country?

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Old 11-28-08, 07:27 PM   #13
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The obvious answer is that women at that time were expected to be virgins at time of marriage. If they were not, they would shame their family. It would also be harder for the family to marry off a woman if she were not a virgin. Ideally the family would want their daughter to marry above their station and having been “deflowered” would cause a problem with this.
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Old 11-28-08, 07:33 PM   #14
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What's the big deal about deflowering virgins? Virgins are overrated IMO. Virgins generally don't know much about things like latex, BJ's, exotic use of feathers, alternate uses for baby oil, double headed lollipops and all the other stuff I'm interested in.

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Old 11-28-08, 07:44 PM   #15
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What's the big deal about deflowering virgins? Virgins are overrated IMO.
Yeah, but if you're really bad in the sack...virgins won't know the difference.
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Old 11-28-08, 07:48 PM   #16
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How about upper or middle class English women?
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Old 11-28-08, 08:05 PM   #17
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Yeah, but if you're really bad in the sack...virgins won't know the difference.
They tend to catch on quickly.
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Old 11-28-08, 08:21 PM   #18
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This is one of those subjects that is awkward, and not because of sex.

Here is something I found...

"Actually, in this case, a major reason for the mutual respect between "heathen" and Christian was simply the timing of their encounter. Eighteenth-century England was no longer as prudish as it had once been under Puritan rule. (The Victorian 19th century is another matter.) The study of the Greek and Roman classics, various secular modern philosophies, and contact with distant foreign cultures had taught Europeans some religious and sexual tolerance. Indeed, reading reports like that by Captain Cook and meeting people like Omai led many of them to question their traditional moral assumptions and put them into a more liberal frame of mind. In France, Capitain Bougainville published his own account of a voyage to the Pacific, and the great encyclopedist Denis Diderot acclaimed the Polynesian sexual morality in his Supplement to Bougainville's Voyage (1796). Thus, gradually, the old rigid sexual attitudes softened in some Western countries. Moral values that had been accepted as absolute, began to be recognized as relative, and people began to criticize their inherited way of life. More and more of them decided to think for themselves and to pursue their own happiness in their own way. Resenting both church interference and government regulation, they demanded freedom from moral tutelage. The ideals of privacy and individual liberty won increasing support and, in the American and French revolutions, finally led to political and social reforms.


This is not to say that Western prudery was dead. Indeed, it was still very much alive in the middle and lower classes, and, as we have briefly mentioned, it regained a great deal of strength in the following century. Nevertheless, among the educated there remained an awareness of uninhibited non-Western sexual customs and, for that matter, of a certain pro-sexual Western tradition. After all, Augustine had never spoken for every one of his fellow Christians. Behind the official moral facade, there had also always been an older, native European sensuality. With the arrival of Christian asceticism, this sensuality had been disparaged, denied, and driven underground, but it had repeatedly surfaced in the Middle Ages at popular festivals, in Renaissance art and literature, in Baroque pomp and pageantry, in rural customs and urban fashions, in earthy folklore and aristocratic splendor, in theater, music, and dance. By the same token, in actual fact the sexual behavior of Westerners was never as joylessly disciplined as their official religious dogmas and secular laws might have suggested. Especially farmers and feudal lords had lived largely by their own, less repressive sexual standards. It was mostly the clergy, and in modern times the bourgeoisie, which insisted on temperance and austerity.


However, after the successful industrialization of the Western world, even the formerly straitlaced middle classes became more tolerant in sexual matters. As their material comfort increased, they realized that the political and economic freedom they had won was incomplete without sexual freedom. Thus, in this century, we have seen a growing trend of sexual liberalization. Drawing on the experiences of non-Western cultures and on Western libertarian traditions, a great many scholars, moralists, and ordinary citizens are today working for a new, humane world without sexual oppression.


For more than a century now, an important part of this work has been the scientific study of human sexual behavior and its social implications. By definition, sex research tends to promote a rational approach to sexual problems and thus combats sexual prejudice, ignorance, and fear. It is in this spirit that the following pages attempt to describe the current state of knowledge in various fields of study. Needless to say, it is not really possible, within the scope of the present book, to deal with all social issues related to sex, but one can gain at least some understanding of their complexity by making a few historical and cross-cultural observations. Therefore, this last part of the text offers a brief analysis of the modern fight for sexual equality, the problem of sexual deviance, recent changes in marriage and family patterns, the fate of the sexually oppressed, and the impact of the present so-called sexual revolution."
http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/AT...d_society.html

The first stages of capitalism are very disruptive. People are forced out of rural life (one way or another) and find themselves trying to survive in a city
about which they know nothing.

There was no social safety net as we know it, and this resulted in mass prostitution. We make fun of the Victorians, but the women of that era were afraid. Prostitution was
common, and disease was a serious problem. They were afraid for their lives, and afraid that if the male died, they could wind up on the streets themselves.

You picked a time of transition, and that will complicate your search.

Btw, this may be more than your looking for. But it's the first
in an extraordinary series of books.
http://www.amazon.com/Civilization-C...7927065&sr=1-2

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Old 11-28-08, 08:40 PM   #19
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once a ***** always a *****! may the harlots be damned!
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Old 11-28-08, 08:45 PM   #20
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Yeah, but if you're really bad in the sack...virgins won't know the difference.
Don't most guys think they're great in bed?
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Old 11-28-08, 09:41 PM   #21
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Don't most guys think they're great in bed?
I can't speak for all guys.

Guys don't discuss those things.
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Old 11-28-08, 10:02 PM   #22
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Thanks for the comments, all. In case you're all curious, my assignment is to write some paper which compares how the two authors play with the issues of gender, sexuality, subjectivity, masculinity, desire, and power.
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Old 11-28-08, 10:29 PM   #23
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Thanks for the comments, all. In case you're all curious, my assignment is to write some paper which compares how the two authors play with the issues of gender, sexuality, subjectivity, masculinity, desire, and power.
I thought I missed my undergrad years as an English major until I remembered writing essays like this. Do you enjoy it?
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Old 11-29-08, 10:51 AM   #24
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Don't most guys think they're great in bed?

Most guys think i am.
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Old 11-29-08, 11:53 AM   #25
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Most guys think i am.
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