Amanda Marcotte sure is perceptive

Eventually, her misery around sex caused Pugsley to get help and eventually come around to seeing that “the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality.”

Well, yes, obviously. In the pre-contraceptive age it was used for precisely that purpose, as was the general concept of wifely chasteness. On the basis that only if you knew who had been having sex with whom could you track who had to raise the children.

And it’s a fairly constant finding that 10% of the kiddies aren’t from who everyone seems to think the father is.

Quite why anyone would think this deep rooted idea is going to change in only 50 years after the widespread availability of an effective contraceptive I’m not entirely sure. I think we could actually make a pretty good argument that the social change has been handled with quite remarkable speed in fact. With a lot less bother than we might all have suspected.

30 comments on “Amanda Marcotte sure is perceptive

  1. Well yes. Marcotte is right.

    What her dim little mind doesn’t seem to realise that accepting that women do not consider their vagina to have a particularly high value- and that the value of it is thus socially constructed- absolutely undermines the entire Feminist sex hysteria ideology over the past 150 years.

  2. Ah! Salon, don’t you just love it.

    “t’s not a stretch to say that much of the Christian right’s current activism is built around the idea that women–at least single women–should remain virgins. ”

    Er, if Christian women remained virgins there’d be no Christians. In fact the wedding service does encourage them to get on with it.

  3. “And it’s a fairly constant finding that 10% of the kiddies aren’t from who everyone seems to think the father is.” On the contrary, it seems to be no more than an urban myth.

  4. Dearieme
    Well, I fell for it. I thought it was 20% in Liverpool.

    Back to Salon. Apparently virginity is an “abstract concept”. Given that absolutely everyone has been born a virgin, and them most people stop being virgins, this seems to be pushing the concept of abstraction rather a long way.

  5. Dearie-

    It’s up in the air what the current figure is, it seems heavily dependent on social class but the Princess wing of Feminism have made sure that prohibitions on genetic testing prevent a proper assessment.

    The 10% figure comes from a study done in the USA in the 1930s at a respectable, white middle class hospital. It was intended to check whether blood groups are inherited, and by accident found the 10% cuckoldry figure.

  6. The ongoing failure of antibiotics will once again make virginity very important – and being called “poxed” will again be a deadly insult.

  7. As Dearieme says, the 10% figure is a myth. The real figure seems to be below 2%.

    If a surname originated 800 years ago and the non paternity rate was 10% you would expect people with the same surname, but no known mutual relatives, to be hardly more likely to share a common Y-Chromosome than any two other strangers.

    This isn’t the case.

  8. Inclined to agree with Dearieme & Ross.
    For the 10% figure to be true,almost all married women would have to be playing away. There’s simply far more conception opportunities available to cohabiting couples compared with the chances of getting banged up from a casual quickie..

  9. Incidentally, us guys can work this out from the amount of times we get offered extra-marital nookie. Not nearly enough.
    Speaking as someone who’s being mostly single, positively available & with a lifetime batting record a damn sight better than Nick Clegg’s, the total’s 3..

  10. Truly, My Satan, thou art but a Dunce,
    And dost not know the Garment from the Man;
    Every Harlot was a Virgin once,
    Nor can’st thou ever change Kate into Nan.

  11. B(N)IS

    The argument isn’t casual quickies but deliberate cuckoldry- whatever the figure is, it is that (some number of) women actively choose to restrict conception to men other than the husband. It’s predicated on the idea that the man who is a good husband (stable, reliable, compliant, beta provider) doesn’t represent the genes you want your kids (particularly, sons) to have (“alpha” characteristics).

    With women exercising sexual control in most marriages, it would be easy to limit occasional reward sex with the husband to non-conception opportunities.

    Whether it’s true or not is one of those “more research is needed” things.

  12. @Ian
    But you can’t get round the necessary requirement, they have to be cuckolding the old man with someone. So, unless its all the same bloke, the someones are going to notice strange women in their beds. Not the sort of thing you tend to overlook, even after a few jars.

  13. B(N)IS-

    I’m really not sure what point you’re making. It reminds me of that Two Ronnies joke “news” joke about a survey showing that 2000 women in Liverpool made love to a man other than their husband last week. The man is now recovering in hospital.

    I don’t get why the “someones” (by which I take it you mean the men women are having affairs with) would “notice strange women in their beds”. I really don’t grasp what you’re getting at.

  14. OK.
    Let’s start with the reasonable premise, each act of rumpy-pumpy has a equal chance of impregnation & we do need a least one per pregnancy.
    For a start, not all women are unfaithful to their husbands. Of those that are, not all are regularly unfaithful. That leaves us with the slut sorority. Even with those, the study implies the figures are based on children born within a relationship with the partner of the woman current. There are a small number of men happy for the wife to put it about but most aren’t. Therefore the births would have to arise from clandestine activities. How many opportunities for playing away would a woman have compared with lying back & thinking of knitting patterns whilst the love of her life claims conjugal rights? It ain’t that easy. No way would it make up 10% of the sexual encounters of all married women.

    Given the track record the medical community have for making up statistics & downright lying, on balance, I’d call bollocks. It’s just something they’d like you to believe.

  15. Incidentally, the above presumes all women who want to are going to find willing accomplices. You only have to look at all women to appreciate, even with beer goggles firmly in place, all women aren’t.

  16. Reminds of the man on his deathbed. He had had four strapping sons but his fifth had been a scrawny runt. He’d always suspected he wasn’t the boy’s father so as he lay dying, he asked his wife to be honest. Was the runt his? She told him he was. The man died in peace and the wife breathed a sigh of relief that her husband hadn’t asked about the other four.

  17. Let’s start with the reasonable premise, each act of rumpy-pumpy has a equal chance of impregnation & we do need a least one per pregnancy.

    That isn’t true. It’s relatively easy for a woman to select who she has sex with at various times of the month. Add to that that many men live married lives of what we might call punctuated celibacy. It’s certainly therefore plausible that if women have a subconscious tendency to seek alternative impregnators when both broody and/or fertile, such a figure could easily be attained.

    A lot of the figures in this seem unreliable. It needs a proper comprehensive study, but there is considerable resistance against paternity testing, particularly from Feminists. Which is itself somewhat temptingly suspicious.

  18. Incidentally, the above presumes all women who want to are going to find willing accomplices. You only have to look at all women to appreciate, even with beer goggles firmly in place, all women aren’t.

    You only have to look at the men accompanying them around Lidl to see the flaw in this argument.

  19. Speaking as someone who’s being mostly single, positively available & with a lifetime batting record a damn sight better than Nick Clegg’s,

    bnis
    You do realise Clegg was lying don’t you. He’s a libdem so came up with the figure which he thought would be somewhere in the middle ground of people’s expectations.

  20. “You only have to look at the men accompanying them around Lidl to see the flaw in this argument.”
    Having seen the wedding photographs of some of these women, I can see a flaw in your’s. Marriage is not necessarily kind.
    @ BiF
    He’s a LibDem. I’d expect nothing else.

  21. It’s amazing what men will have sex with. About as amazing as what women will have sex with. This is what has always troubled me about the theory of sexual selection.

  22. Apparently 9% of people in those middle Asian ‘stans descend from one very active lothario in the 14th C. (assumed to be Genghis Khan?)

    Or is this another of searieme’s urban myths?

  23. @BiF
    Given there’s 35 generations since Uncle Gengis, it’s entirely conceivable everyone on the planet could claim descent from him.

  24. notspain

    On the contrary, last universal common dad is estimated at 180,000 years ago. (And Genghis didn’t get as far as the UK.)

    (Think: your chances of boys over x generations is vanishingly small, but everyone has a dad. someone has to win the lottery.)

    Last common mum (mitochondrial DNA) was about 240,000 years ago.

    That these Adam and Eves couldn’t have met is explained by (you guessed it) the fact that some men get more sex than others. So we’re back where we started.

  25. This is all from ‘reasonable – broad minded’ westerners. In many parts of the world the woman gets an early death if seen to think of straying.
    Quite possibly in an ideology coming to your neighbourhood soon.

  26. The way I understood it is that it’s not married women playing around. It’s women getting pregnant by their first choice and the promptly marrying their second choice.

  27. @BiF
    You’ll note I did say conceivably. Work out how many possible grandparents it’d be possible to have 35 generations back & compare with the then planetary population & you’ll see what I men.
    But he wasn’t. For the same reason I don’t go along with Ian’s 10% figure or the popular notion, indigenous Brits are a “mongrel race”. Generally, people don’t play far from home.

  28. “It’s not a stretch to say that much of the Christian right’s current activism is built around the idea that women–at least single women–should remain virgins.”

    It’s even less of a stretch to say that many Muslim societies embrace the concept that single women should remain virgins. But Salon isn’t worried about that… What Salon is worried about is maintaining the anti-Christian narrative that is one of the cornerstones of modern feminist (and leftist) thought.

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