The 72 virgins and Honor-Shame Culture: Part I

I have always marveled at the notion that these suicide terrorists do this so they can go to heaven and get their 72 virgins. Now aside from the possibility that it may be 72 white grapes that await them, I must confess that as a notion of heavenly delight, 72 virgins strike me as strange to say the least. I would imagine that if one’s idea of heaven was sexual delight — itself a fairly carnal vision, especially for those who claim to despise this world — the last thing one would want would be a virgin. Wouldn’t one much prefer a woman of experience?

The comedian B.J. Novak has a very funny routine on this which you can see here on the 72 virgins. It reminds me of the joke (which I’ll try and make short):

    Three guys go to heaven and are told not to step on the ducks. They think, “no problem,” but when they get to heaven it’s full of ducks. They’re careful, but after a while one of them does. Immediately an angel appears and chains him to an extremely ugly woman naked whose talking a mile a minute. “She is your punishment,” the angel explains.

    The other two are verrrry careful, but after a while the second one slips too. The angel appears with an even uglier, more verbose woman and chains him to her. “But why a worse punishment?” “Because you knew better and you still did it.”

    The third one shuffles around barely lifting his feet for what seems and eternity when, all of a sudden, the angel appears and chains him to a quite attractive woman. “But wait,” he says, “I didn’t step on a duck.” “I know,” replies the angel, “she did.”

It’s what one might call a post-modern joke: there are other narratives than those of (already or future) dead white males.

But alas, this is not really a laughing matter.

Why virgins? I suspect it’s because, unlike women of experience, virgins have no point of comparison. Whoever deflowers them and owns them need not worry that his performance might get a lower score than some other alpha male. I do not want to belittle that concern. It is unquestionably one of the great worries of all men, spoofed quite nicely in the person of Hector Gorganzolo at the end of American Sweethearts. There are few things that can shame a man more thoroughly and permanently than to have his sexual performance demeaned in public. The anxiety alone can cause impotence.

But it’s one thing to worry about these things (what male does not, at least at some point?), and quite another to build your social structure and religious dreams around them. And yet, in honor-shame culture, the gender relations largely turn around this testosteronic sexuality: men gain honor by seducing and mastering women, women preserve their honor by remaining a virgin till they are married. In some senses this emerges from evolutionary pressures: males want to spread their seed far and wide, females want to find and keep a good provider.

According to evolutionary evidence (apologies, Ann Coulter), one of the key things that allowed humans to emerge, was the ability to care for their babies, with their exceptionally long period of infant helplessness and childhood immaturity, over an extended period of time. This made the increasing intimacy between couples, and the choice of long-term partner for the woman and the man, an increasing priority, an evolutionary advantage. Marriage, and even more, monogamy, represent the cutting edge of a transformation of human sexual behavior that defines human evolution. Not coincidentally, the growing intimacy of human sexuality – coupling from the front, the tenderness of hairless skin and sensitive palms, lips with which we speak – all of this mark our emergence as humans, apart from the animal world and from the dominance of alpha male behavior in sexual relations. Intimacy, trust, mutual interdependence… these are the specifically human traits that bring out our greatest potentials.

So the world in which predatory males deflower obedient virgins à volonté is an obvious throwback to some of the deepest but least considerate drives in the male psyche. In that sense, if we could characterize this fantasy of 72 virgins as the promise that drives the jihadi’s dream, it would rank among the most primitive, male chauvinist fantasies imaginable.

Nor is this fantasy restricted to the twisted imagination of suicide terrorists (as if that were not enough). We find it in the disastrous collapse of civil society and the protections it offers women in the Muslim-dominated neighborhoods of Europe where infidel women are treated as sex-objects of the most degraded and degradable kind, and Muslim women are trapped in a world of enforced virginity and honor-killings. Ou pute ou soumise. [Either a whore or subject.] This terrifying article by Rose George about the conditions in France’s “sensitive zones” (the lost territories of the Republic) discusses one of the most revolting aspects of “suburban” culture in France — tournantes (gang rapes). There we find a world in which honor-shame rules straight from the Mediterranean, as old as time, juiced up with neo-Islamic hatreds, have turned the life of young women into a nightmare from a post-apocalyptic Hollywood movie.

Forged from traditional cultural prejudices about the inferiority of women, and a street code based on survival of the strongest, the law that rules the banlieue is brutal and inviolable. “Women are the guardians of honour,” says Bellil. Girls have to be virgins. They have to study at home, look after the men, never go out. That makes them filles biens (good girls), and out of danger. Anyone else is a slut. “Once you’re in the projects, you follow the rules. If you want a ‘French’ life, if you want to go out, wear make-up, you get a reputation.” The reputation is irreversible.

And you can expect to be treated, not as an outcast, but as gang-rape prey.

“Usually, it goes like this – a boy approaches a girl with his gang behind him.” He might buy her a drink. He might persuade her to kiss him. “It’s all premeditated. It’s a hunt.”

The girl will be fragile, or unprotected, or a runaway. Or she’s just broken the rules of the banlieue. (One teacher reported his pupils as saying, “Nightclubs are full of slags because if they’re in a club, they must be a slag.”) She gives in, and the boy says, “Be nice or I’ll tell your parents/friends/the neighbourhood.” Then he says, “Be nice to my friends, too.” “The trick is to isolate the victim,” Genestal says. “Once she’s seen as easy, no one will help her, not even the girls.”

This is the code of the banlieue. At a family planning class, a teenage boy says, “French girls are for fucking and Arab girls are for marrying.” The woman who told me this was shocked, not only because the boy was white and “French”, but because all the girls in the class applauded. Being more macho than the lads is an escape route, explains Deflaoui. To the extent that girls act as touts. Nadia was delivered to her rapists by two girls she knew, who had been asked to find a “dick-sucker”.

Of course the politically correct will insist that this isn’t Muslim, just like the riots aren’t Muslim, because other boys also do it. And that’s about as true as the riots aren’t Muslim. We’re dealing here with the intersection of honor-shame culture and neo-Islamic identities.

[tr. by editor] Nonetheless, the links between afro-maghrebin immigration, hatred of whites — or the West — and the resurgence of this phenomenon, is undeniable: statistics, facts and testimony all confirm it. Furthermore, the phenomenon of gang rapes recurs in identical conditions in other Western countries, committed by delinquents of the same ethnic and cultural origins as their French counterparts. People desiring to know more in these matters can click on the links under the menu “viols en réunion” (collective rapes) to the right of this page.

The presence of free riders — including “Gaulois” — does not represent a fundamental alteration of the landscape, although there are sociologists ready to argue, based primarily on court records (which do not take into account pervasive intimidation) that this is neither a new nor an increasing problem, and newspapers — surprise! Le [Im]monde Diplomatique — ready to praise them for their courage in opposing the use of denouncing tournantes as a way to “stigmatize” the banlieues. (I’d like to see M. Gresh, author of the piece, a proud anti-Islamophobe and firm supporter of France’s Eurabian foreign policy, send his daughters to school in those neighborhoods.)

For a further article by George on the same problem in France (part II), and two in England (where it seems to be more a problem of race than ethnicity), see here and here. Note: George’s articles on France date from 2003! If anything, I would guess things are worse.

Post-modern moral equivalence tells us we can’t judge these cultural traits as inferior, that we dare not speak of primitivity or evolutionary retardation; or, alternatively, that there really is nothing there and all this brouhaha is just the creation of an Islamophobe media. This is worse. It’s an assault on everything that civil society strives for by a predatory culture that has contempt for our “understanding”, hatred for our ways, and indulgence for everything that makes man into an animal… or worse. As for the authorities’ reluctance to tackle this problem — from law enforcement to school authorities to journalists — I can tell you how it registers on the screens of the people who inhabit honor-shame cultures: People who can’t protect their women from predatory packs of alpha males out to spread their seed (and STDs), especially their daughters, are beneath contempt.

On this one, I’m with them.

Next: Why Women become Suicide Terrorist when they’re not promised 72 anything.

11 Responses to The 72 virgins and Honor-Shame Culture: Part I

  1. Al Tira says:

    nice writeup!

  2. igout says:

    I wish we had more honor/shame ourselves. We wouldn’t be in this mess if we had.
    “… that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage while it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil by losing all its grossness…”
    If we have a future, it’s recovering our past.

  3. RL says:

    and who said that, igout?
    i’m not sure i’d put it as recovering our past — plenty of pretty nasty stuff there. getting back in touch with some of our past (can we be selective)?
    this raises some of the points i think Harvey Mansfield deals with in Manliness, although i haven’t read it yet.

  4. igout says:

    Edmund Burke. And, agreed: Some of our past was most nasty.

  5. RL says:

    ah, Edmund Burke, the man who waxed so eloquent on the inspiring quality of monarchy. this is the kind of stuff that fed the British “honor” that conquered the world with the white man’s burden. nasty stuff that. the world is still paying for that karma, which the brits and the french are so eager to blame on american foreign policy and israeli apartheid.

  6. igout says:

    Funny. I associate Burke with sympathizing with the American Colonists’ grievances, denouncing the abuses of the East India Company and calling for an end to discrimination against Catholics. And, of course, his ,Reflections on the Revolution in France, which has stood the test of time far better than its subject.
    To your broader point, RL, I’m a little surprised to see you resorting to the diabolus ex machina of colonialism to explain all the evils of our times. YOu yourself have mocked and scourged that old wheezer many time on this very blog.
    Lastly, among the saner inspirations in the bloody history of our poor old species stand the Roman Empire and the British Empire. Imperfect but better than what came before or after.
    Trust me on this. You’ll see.

  7. I’d rather have one virgin and not die. Any takers?

  8. Eliyahu says:

    It may sound bizarre but of course so much today sounds bizarre. The virgins [houris] in Muslim paradise supposedly recover their virginity after servicing their guests in paradise. This may mean no more than recovering the maidenhead or just some more Quranic incoherence.

    I hope you were being ironic when you said “Israeli apartheid.” I live in Jerusalem and that accusation is a lie. You should come here and see how the local Arabs love to go to the shopping malls, and a lot of them have good money too. Anyway, they sit and eat at the same restaurants as Jews, shop in the stores, etc. In fact, about twelve years ago, maybe six months after the Oslo accords [when terrorists acts were increasing in number, not decreasing], an Arab diner at a Jewish restaurant on Nahalat Binyamin or the next street was shot by an Arab terrorist. Despite what is generally believed about how Arabs treat their wives, this fellow had taken his wife out on the town and brought her to a Jewish restaurant in Jerusalem. But unfortunately he was rewarded by an Arab terrorist and was shot dead, mistaken for a Jew. It was not the last time that Arab terrorists killed fellow Arabs in Israel or Jerusalem in particular.

  9. The religion of the living dead

    Four decades of appeasement and refusal to acknowledge problems has allowed a group of fanatics to create the most dangerous situation in years. We are now in the midst of a horror movie where millions of people are ready to die for a cause they don’…

  10. je crois que meintenant il faut arreter avec vos vieux prejugés … non les francaise ne sont pas des putes , non la france ne brulle pas seulement on a des politiciens pourris c’est tout ,il ne faut pas croire tout ce qu’on racconte a la television …
    je vien de revoir booling for columbain (je sais pas comment ça s’ecrit…) les americains sont vraiment destarrés,c’est ce qu’on pense en france, des putain de faux puritains egoïstes …

    sur ce, amis des prejugés,je vous souhaite une bonne soirée j’ai grand besoin d’aller “suck a dick”

  11. […] 217;s admitting that she’s worse than a whore and asking to be raped.” I have posted on this matter. It represents the “cultur […]

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