Tuesday, June 04, 2013

News at Eleven: A century and a half ago, the late-Victorian

novelist and poet Thomas Hardy questioned the connection between virginity and virtue in a way that's still fresh and relevant to today's discussion. Hardy challenged a number of his society's failings. In particular, he attacked the hypocritical sexual double standard that came to characterize Victorian morality and which unflinchingly equated a woman's moral character with her virgin status.

The first such challenge appears in a wicked little poem Hardy wrote in 1866 (not published until decades later) called "The Ruined Maid," which satirizes his society's deeming a woman who lost her virginity before marriage as "ruined" (the Victorians' version of "damaged goods").

from The Atlantic: 'You Ain't Ruined': How Thomas Hardy Took On Victorian-Era Purity Culture


No comments :