From Elizabeth I to Britney Spears
by Ken Goldstein
Think about poor Joseph for a minute and
you'll know what I'm talking about. You know Joseph, Mary's husband?
Yeah, that's the guy. He married a woman who claimed to be a virgin,
then it turns out she's been knocked up by the Lord. Just how is that
supposed to make a guy feel?
I'm sure that's where our obsession
with virgins comes from. Every husband has his moments of insecurity
where he's convinced the wife is secretly comparing him to her previous
lovers. Then it's the wife's job to reassure him of his manhood. That
works just fine when the previous lovers were other mere mortals.
But poor Joseph. Come on, now. Her
previous lover was... you know... "Him." I mean, even if you
want your wife to stroke your ego (among other things), and say that
you're the best and all that, do you really want her to have to
blaspheme like that? Seriously, if that wouldn't be taking His name in
vain, I don't know what would qualify.
The whole point behind all this being
that there's an historical basis for why some men still hold tight to
the ideal of marrying a virgin. Further, women know this and have found
ways to use it both against us and for their own purposes.
And don't think for a moment that women
don't use virginity as a weapon in the war of the sexes. The most famous
historical example of this would be Elizabeth the First: The Virgin
Queen. (Actually, I went to high school with a virgin queen who's now
doing a night club act in Vegas. But that's a different story.)
Elizabeth I (that's "I" for
"the First", not "I" as in "I Claudius" or
"The King and I") used her virginity as the cornerstone of her
political power. Many people today assume that her virginity was the
result of living in rather prudish times. Quite to the contrary, the
Elizabethan era was known to be extremely bawdy and lusty. The political
reality of the day, however, was that if a Queen were to marry, she'd
lose most of her power to her new husband who would become King.
Elizabeth extracted political favors
and maintained control of the country by teasing many important men of
the day into believing that they might get to be the one to sail the
maiden voyage. Historians agree that Elizabeth probably fooled around
quite a bit, even sharing her bed with her suitors, but always ending
before achieving coitus. Many people, including Sir Walter Raleigh,
supposedly got quite close to the royal cherry, but were all stopped
just short of removing the stem.
More recently, back in the late 1970s,
teenage star Brooke Shields got a lot of publicity surrounding her
virginity. It wasn't enough that she declared her intentions to keep it
in her autobiography (written at 16). No, she had to go further than
that. Her contract with her publisher required her to remain a virgin
for a certain number of years.
This wasn't virginity for morality's
sake, it was virginity as a publicity stunt, pure and simple. By focusing
on the absurdity of a beautiful teenage girl declaring her
intentions to remain a virgin they were able to sell more books, and
Brooke was able to get more acting roles. She may or may not have had
good intentions behind her virginity to begin with, but by putting it
into the contract it became a business decision.
Again: virginity as a means to power.
In this case financial power. And again, it only worked because we men
are stupid enough to believe virginity is important.
What's interesting about this is that
it was more recently tried by Britney Spears, but not with as much
success. Following the publicity of her spending three days locked in a
hotel room with her boyfriend, the virginity announcement wasn't taken
very seriously. Maybe she would have had better luck if she'd had it
written into her contract. Oh well.
But, the point of this whole article
is, if you're hung up on virginity for whatever reasons, or if you're
afraid your wife's comparing you to other men, just grow up and get over
it. Virgins can be just as dangerous and manipulative, and destroy your
life just as easily, as any other woman - maybe even more so. Just be
glad you're with a nice girl, forget about her past, and make a nice
All I'm saying is, put yourself in
Joseph's shoes for a second. Think about if your wife were always
comparing you to Him. It could be worse, you know? Just think about poor
Joseph for a minute and you'll know what I'm talking about.
Ken Goldstein is a California-based
writer with far too much time on his hands. You can read more of his
fiction, non-fiction, and general ramblings at kengoldstein.net.
© 2001, K.R. Goldstein. All rights
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