Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, October 05, 2021

This weekend, the AP did a piece on Albania’s dying-out tradition of “sworn virgins”:

In this strongly patriarchal society where for centuries women had virtually no standing, sworn virgins enjoyed the same rights and respect as men. They could inherit property, work for a living and sit on the village council, although without the right to vote.

The privileges came at a price. They took an oath of celibacy and could never have sexual relations. And they could never go back to being women…

The practice of sworn virgins stems from the Kanun, medieval laws handed down orally for generations before being codified in the early 20th century. It transcends religion, with sworn virgins found among Albania’s majority Muslim community as well as the minority Catholics and Orthodox Christians.

If this is the first you’ve heard of this backward-assed gender-bending, then you haven’t been paying attention. For such a niche topic, it’s garnered a disproportionate amount of news coverage over the past couple of years.

I guess I can understand the fascination: A culture so restrictive that you’d think any hint of reversed gender roles, i.e. homosexuality, would be ruthlessly suppressed; and yet this major exception (duly de-sexualized) becomes a functional part of the social order. I’m surprised no one’s made a major motion picture out of it yet — it practically writes itself.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/05/2021 04:14:33 PM
Category: History, Media, Society, Women
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…And by “self”, I mean British author Will Self, who I’m thinking is not the ideal companion for a night of Euro-clubbing:

Ibiza, once a lazy and forgotten corner of the Balearics where a few guitar-strumming longhairs (and by “long” we’re talking collar-length here) sheltered from the asperities of Francoism, has long since hypertrophied into a nauseating projection of all the worst roads to freedom. In the immediate vicinity of the main town of Evissa and the airport there are a score of mega-clubs — Amnesia, Aura, Space — whale-like establishments that suck in tens of thousands of Euro-youth. Ticket touts and drug dealers play the part of baleine, stripping the kids of their cash, their psyches and their inhibitions; then, once in the belly of the beast, they frolic in foam, stagger, then punch the air to the chthonic thud. In this mad realm the DJ is king of the krill, while the only writer that matters is named “King.”

On the other hand, he’d make a good walking companion. And based on the above socio-cultural dissection, I’d gladly read a forthcoming “Fear and Loathing in Ibiza” from him, should that ever come to pass.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/05/2021 01:43:21 PM
Category: Creative, Society
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