Enforced standards of virginity and chastity are disciplinary devices used to motivate women into servicing patriarchal mandates. The passivity of the Catholic virgin makes her attractive as an abstract subject of patriarchy, but she forgoes involvement in the realms of procreation, property, and worldly sociability that matter to actual men. If Locke is right, then Samuel Johnson endows female sexuality with tremendous authority in political affairs. As such, this ballad both contrasts the marriage market with the consumer market and simultaneously reveals some fundamental, and unsavory, similarities. But nonetheless Sharp clearly emphasizes her anti-Catholicism: This is the narrative of causation that underlies feminist arguments—like those of Gerda Lerner, Sherry Ortner, and Carole Pateman—that patriarchy reproduces itself via control over female sexuality. Nuns appear prominently in several very different arenas:
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He had my Maidenhead said she, Which was a great plague unto me. Genealogical inheritance is the foundation for inherited monarchy, while concern with property rights underpins a liberal theory of government, in which citizens legitimize a government in order to protect their property and their right to determine who inherits it. The Portuguese Letters fantasizes that sexual rapture for a man may mimic spiritual rapture by God and thus that rapture is the foundation for chastity. For example, as mentioned earlier, Dionis states unequivocally, based on his dissections, that the hymen does not exist. As my analysis of the midwife manuals sug- gests, it was also highly implicated in mediating issues of authority between men. For Astell, the function of reason is to direct passion toward God, not to suppress passion.
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As noted earlier, the treatment of sick virgins consisted of various kinds of purgation and bloodletting, though the preferred cure was marriage. Her virtue, which requires her investment in her own virginity, becomes the inheritance that she will bequeath. In short, mate- riality, economics, and linguistic deception are the centerpieces of hymen humor in these street ballads. Unlike others we don't sting you with hefty postage and handling fees. This is also why the mode in this, as in most ballads, is comic rather than satiric:
The first chapter shows how the virgin is the center of theolog- ical controversy, and the second chapter shows how virginity could not be accommodated to the new science, thereby creating an episte- mological crisis. This narrative of an extremely unusual hymen, then, helps Cowper bring the hymen under the authority of anatomical discourse. The theme of Catholicism, especially monasticism, as sexually per- verse has a long tradition but repeatedly gets recycled in the service of particular political struggles. Traditional female midwifery had cultural and legal authority over the female body, including virginity, but as modern i. The figure of the nun inevitably evokes questions about desire and the will: Further, it suggests that virginity is not material at all, but rather a fully symbolic identity, since the woman has a hymen but is not a virgin. But the media didn't think that Arabs dying is an