This is a strange old world, and with some 7 billion human being running around at the same time, I guess that there really will be all kinds of people with strange beliefs and behaviours. However, while many things are possible, there are some stories that just send the bull’o’meter well past 11 on the scale of 1-10.
Amanda McCracken tells such a tall tale for Al-Jazeera America. The piece is called “Are we entitled to sex?” with a subtitle of “My celibacy put me in the crosshairs of men’s rights activists and feminists alike”.
Personally, I have always insisted on completing the feminist refrain of “her body, her choice,” with “her problem,” and I certainly view McCracken’s celibacy as being her own business (and please, no jokes about renaming her Amanda “Won’t Fill” McCracken).
However, the question is about entitlement to sex. McCracken is certainly entitled to her celibacy. But, if she wants to end it, surely she needs the willing, enthusiastic, signed by three lawyers, consent from her prospective paramour. I know it’s not real consent, because nothing ever is for feminists, but surely the guy gets some say, doesn’t he?
She insists this decision to keep her lady gap unfilled is controversial. In fact, according to her own website, she has had several essays published by mainstream outlets, and all of them have one topic: her virginity. It seems she has made a dogged attempt to ensure it’s controversial. The reason she gives for this OMG choice is that it was based on her “religious principles”. It is this phrase, as I read her drivel, that keeps coming up like reflux after sixteen pickled eggs.
And let me say this before I go any further: this is not an attack on truly religious people. Many good folks live quietly by a faith which requires them to stick by certain principles. For the most part they abide by such rules. Where they might fail, it is usually because they are human, and not because they are hypocrites. And they have every right to pursue those goals for themselves.
But McCracken seems to lack the many traits that normally come with such good, honest, decent people.
There are men and women who do remain celibate on religious grounds. But, celibacy is only ever a part of that picture. Usually it means that their selection criteria is limited to those who are similarly serious about that particular religion and want to raise their children according to their faith. Typically there are many do’s and don’ts that they abide by, and they require those same rules to be paramount for their prospective partner. “No sex before saying I do” is only one of them.
Another feature of the devout is that they talk like the devout. They tend to couch their rationale in reference to their deities, spiritual leaders and holy books. In another article, When True Love Keeps Waiting, in Christianity Today, McCracken tells the Christian Women, Cultural Comment section that she is 37 and still hanging in there on a commitment she made at her local church at age 15 by taking the “True Love Waits” vow. So, we can deduce that McCracken’s purported faith is Christian at least.
But, in Aljazeera America, there is no talk of the teachings of Jesus, any of her Pastor’s services, or any particular section of the Bible. McCracken instead refers to Science. She informs us that women “release higher levels of the relationship bonding neurochemical oxytocin than men during sexual activity.” (Ironically, or stupidly if you prefer, she tries to make a point about relationships whilst linking to a study about chemicals released during masturbation.)
Now, oxytocin is associated with uterus contractions during labour and breastfeeding, and helps the mother bond with the child, so perhaps it’s not so surprising that women have more of it. But what is the issue, here? Is the man of her dreams required to share her “spiritually sacred” beliefs, or does he just need a jar of oxytocin in his pocket?
McCracken then talks about an article that she wrote for the New York Times called “Does my virginity have a shelf life?” We’ll come back to the contents of this later, but for now let’s just consider the responses to this article that lead her to conclude that:
“Feminists and misogynists both say that if you aren’t having sex, there’s something wrong with you: You’re not playing for the team.”
I’m not going to investigate the Sacred Babble of feminists and what they may or may not say about McCracken’s virginity, but I do note that men’s rights activists have mysteriously morphed into misogynists. What’s worse are the actual statements that lead her to conclude that men’s rights activists are against her:
“I received a variety of messages from men suggesting [my virginity] did indeed have an expiration date. I was told I was selfish for not having sex with men I dated and that I am a mean tease for being intimate with men, but not having sex with them. One man even said, ‘You need to learn how to give more than you receive.’”
The next line says, “Equally vicious were the e-mails from my fellow feminists… By abstaining, they said I was relenting to pressures set up by a patriarchal society.”
How anyone could conclude the comments from the men as “vicious” is beyond me. But, now we are to believe that the pious woman saving herself for Mr Right as the Good Lord intended is also a feminist who can live her life independently from any man (except, should she find him, the One True Love).
Even more of a stretch: the men who were telling her to have sex are somehow part of the “patriarchal society” that pressures women to not have sex. Note also that the messages are from “men”. How did she know they were men’s rights activists?
The answer, of course, is Elliott Rodger.
With sentences too illogical to parse, she uses a bizarre ritual of word association that take us from her, a willing celibate, to “incels” (involuntary celibates), which then leads us to men for whom, “the ‘truth’ lies in getting laid, no matter the consequences.” Rodger is apparently a hero to these men, and his “initials have become permanent glossary entries on men’s rights activism (MRA) websites.”
His initials? Glossary?
The men who whose ultimate goal is to get laid celebrate a man who didn’t?
It will come as no surprise, dear reader, that we are then led to the film “Bridesmaids”. I know, you were wondering why I hadn’t already made the connection to this culturally iconic moment in Western Civilisation.
It is, of course, that unforgettable moment where a woman calls “a casual hook-up buddy” for a lift, because her car had broken down. McCracken complains that the buddy lives up to his name by asking for a casual hook-up:
“It’s an expectation we see in movies over and over: men putting in a certain amount of time with a woman and expecting sex as a reward.”
I need to point out here that she has no problem with the woman expecting the man to help her (a reward), because she had sex with him at some other time. Now there’s an expectation we see in real life, never mind the movies, over and over again. Even when the couple are divorced, she still wants her hand in his wallet.
The Moron Display is now fogging up, with steam escaping from the sides. Are casual hook-up buddies “incels”? Or are they “incels” in the times between casual hook-ups? At this present time, both my hands are busy on the keyboard. Does that make me an “incel” right now?
And if we get laid, do we find the “truth”? Or do we find the “truth”, and then we get laid? And what are the consequences of finding the “truth”? Herpes?
It is here that we must now turn to the content of McCracken’s piece in the New York Times that started it all. This gets the entire row of stupidity warning lights flashing as the Probability of Reality Gauge flashes an ever falling negative number.
Apparently the Good Lord has no problem with McCracken being naked with her boyfriends, and clearly orgasms are somehow part of the Christian ethic, according to McCracken, as long as there are no penile insertions involved. If only one of those lucky men had a bucket of oxytocin handy, perhaps wedding bells might have rung.
McCracken sets herself up as a martyr for clinging to her “religious principles”. So much so that “Being a virgin has become such a part of my identity.” This she has achieved, she boasts, by her “self-confidence and ironclad willpower.” So it is surprising, to say the least, when she says:
“I’ve happily taken on a dominatrix role and men have enjoyed it.”
What part of her “religious principles” covers that? Is that something in the fine print of the “True Love Waits” vow? Or does whipping, spanking and some verbal abuse not count as True Love, so there’s no need to wait?
And, if sainthood is too much of a stretch, what about simply a place history:
“In fact, I might be a candidate for a Guinness World Record: virgin who has come close to having sex the most times.”
Now, teenage girls, as they get older, get more and more opportunities to be alone with boys for what used to be called heavy petting. One can understand, as they begin to explore a world of emotions and desires, all new to them, that they are torn between their sexual instincts and their religious beliefs or their parents’ warnings. Those girls can talk about getting “close to having sex,” without the ring of hypocrisy.
But an adult woman whose “ironclad willpower” is set to maintaining her virginity is constantly going past first, second and third base, but never making the home run?
If you take the time to read McCracken’s essays (don’t try it alone), you’ll find that each one seems to be written by a different woman. The claim to virginity is the same, but the reasoning, the motivations, the problems that come from the decision, and the insights she claims as a result seem to be moulded to suit the publication, rather than any reality.
She is a chameleon. Chaste Virgin for the Christian Times, Raunchy Virgin for the New York Times, and MRA Butt-Kicking Feminist Virgin With A Faith for Aljazeera America and a bit of all of the above for The Feminist Virgin in Elle Magazine (see her website for the pdf).
Throughout, McCracken claims that her problem with the men in her life was that they all had a problem with commitment.
But, which McCracken would they commit to? The virgin, pure as fresh snow, as she clings to her faith in a world of unbelievers? The sophisticated, scientific feminist scathingly critical of the seedy world of misogynistic men and their web-sites, yet defying the sisterhood to keep her virginity? The sexually liberated dominatrix who is into anything, except the main event? Or, some bizarre, ever changing mix of all three?
Any man who could commit to that would need commitment – of the mental institution variety.
But is any of it true? The virgin status? The religious faith? The hypersexual sexless affairs? The angst? The constant criticism from others? Any of it?
The only thing I would buy is her claim to be a feminist, because she certainly is an Adept of The Sacred Babble. Everything else requires verification from an independent source.
I cringe at the thought of the inevitable sequel, which would be some Reality TV series where 20 male contestants vie for the right to her precious gift. In my mind, each week would see a contestant being kicked out for failing a test. For example, they might be asked to engage McCracken in a conversation for 10 minutes where she is not the topic.
The first loser gets a prize of $19 million. Each week, as contestants are eliminated one by one, the prize goes down $1 million at a time. The last surviving candidate gets no money at all, but gets to take McCracken home for a night of “I don’t know if I’m ready yet.”
The title is: How Gullible Can You Get?