In Vol. 1 No. 3 of the Egoist (shown in February 2nd, 1914) there's an article in the Views and Comments section called The Chastity of Women, written by an unknown author. It is reviewing Christabel Plankhurst's book, The Great Scourge and How to End It. The book itself is about the "scourge" of syphilis and gonorrhea in London, usually spread through prostitutes. The book claims that one of the two ways to keep the "scourge" from spreading is to make men adopt the same sexual habits as women - that is, they should be chaste. I happen to agree with the review, which cites this fix as shortsighted and probably not that effective. The reviewer makes a wonderful point about how chastity is relative, and how "sex" takes so many different forms that it's ridiculous to expect everyone to follow a single one of them. While, technically speaking, forcing everyone to be truely "chaste" would solve STD spreading, it is a shortsighted solution. But the reviewer doesn't seem very interested in discussing the realities of trying to enforce such a policy, or the potential issues that arise when both sides of a then-typical marriage (that's expected to result in a few kids) have no idea what they're doing (or, at least, have all their experience second-hand from literature and gossip). Instead, the reviewer quickly devolves into an objectively interesting discussion about purity in women and what "purity" even means and how it relates to women's relationship with men that does little to expand upon the original points raised by the author. In conclusion, though the reviewer initially writes down some excellent points, the review doesn't argue its claim very well; the lack of expanding on those points and the expansion into another area that (though related and interesting) doesn't do much to keep the review focused means that the review's argument is long, winding, and not very effective.
Evaluating The Chastity of Women in The Egoist
Submitted by Waverly Foster on Thu, 09/30/2021 - 11:11