everyone is jealous of the virgins

October 21, 2011 § 5 Comments

“I’m not here,” the Chief Eunuch would explain, “to embarrass anyone. I’m here to choose one of you and I’m here to protect you. I don’t believe that women by nature are either more or less duplicitous than men. We’re only human, alas, and if I’m privy to these discussions it’s not, in this instance at least, prurience which draws me. Rather it’s my conviction, one or two steps up from belief, that the nature of any organization is built on the principle of self-interest. In a harem the natural enemy of a woman is another woman. The mothers are jealous of the favored ladies, the favored ladies are jealous of the novices, and everyone is jealous of the virgins. Only in sexual organizations like our own, you see, does the jealousy leak downward”

— Stanley Elkins, George Mills

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§ 5 Responses to everyone is jealous of the virgins

  • Brad Johnson says:

    Shockingly, I hadn’t made that connection at all.

  • tom clark says:

    It’s probably not a real connection. (But what is a “real connection…?)

    More like a slow, tortuous, invidious drip.

    Everything bad that’s said to trickle down — money, envy, hot lava — may at some point turn again, and begin to bubble up.

    Such a beautiful (or beautifully malign?) universe really. The clockmaker, always there, but never quite certain which way to make the hands run, in any given moment.

  • bigmildred says:

    Maybe I’m missing something but isn’t it a real connection in the glaringly obvious way it proves the point of the passage: the only jealousy that drips, leaks downward, is sexual jealousy; all other forms of organizational / hierarchical jealousy are geyserish, shooting up in a spray and spread out, what misses of the mist drops drop – don’t drip – to refill the spring; so the clockmaker has his sprinklers on a timer and knows his faucet has an irregular gasket?

    (The above should be read like a long “I’m Ron Burgundy?”)

  • Brad Johnson says:

    Or, like all my kitchen appliances, merely a digital clock that makes no distinction between am & pm. Maybe they know better than we — one day awake, one day asleep, who can say if that wasn’t the intent all along. Think how much longer we could live! But how slowly the changes . . .

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