martes, 20 de marzo de 2012

Viraginity



THE VIRAGINITY

There are two kinds of genius. The first is progressive genius, which always enunciates new and original matter of material benefit to the human race, and which is, consequently, non-atavistic; the second is atavistic or retrogressive genius, which is imitative and which always enunciates dead and obsolete matter long since abandoned and thrown aside as being utterly useless. The doctrines of communism and of nihilism are the products of retrogressive genius and are clearly atavistic, inasmuch as they are a reversion to the mental habitudes of our savage ancestors. The doctrines of the matriarchate are likewise degenerate beliefs, and, if held by any civilized being of to-day, are evidences of psychic atavism.

Atavism invariably attacks the weak; and individuals of neurasthenic type are more frequently its victims than are any other class of people. Especially is this true in the case of those who suffer from psychical atavism.

The woman of to-day who believes in and inculcates the doctrines of matriarchy, doctrines which have been, as far as the civilized world is concerned, thrown aside and abandoned these many hundred years, is as much the victim of psychic atavism as was Alice Mitchell, who slew Freda Ward in Memphis several years ago, and who was justly declared a viragint by the court that tried her.

Without entering into the truthfulness or falseness of the theory advanced by me elsewhere in this book, in regard to the primal cause of psychic hermaphroditism, which I attributed and do still attribute to psychic atavism, I think that I am perfectly safe in asserting that every woman who has been at all prominent in advancing the cause of equal rights in its entirety, has either given evidences or
masculo-femininity (viraginity), or has shown, conclusively, that she was the victim of psycho-sexual aberrancy. Moreover, the history of every viragint of any note in the history of the world shows that they were either physically or psychically degenerate, or both.

Jeanne d'Arc was the victim of hystero-epilepsy, while Catharine the Great was a dipsomaniac, and a creature of unbounded and inordinate sensuality. Messalina, the depraved wife of Claudius, a woman of masculine type, whose very form embodied and shadowed forth the regnant idea of her mind--absolute and utter rulership--was a woman of such gross carnality, that her lecherous conduct shocked even the depraved
courtiers of her lewd and salacious court. The side-lights of history, as Douglas Campbell has so cleverly pointed out in his "Puritan in Holland, England, and America," declare that there is every reason to believe that the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth of England, was not such a pure and unspotted virgin as her admirers make her out to be. Sir Robert Cecil says of her that "she was more man than woman," while history shows conclusively that she was a pronounced viragint, with a slight
tendency toward megalomania. In a recent letter to me, Mr. George H. Yeaman, ex-Minister to Denmark, writes as follows: "Whether it be the relation of cause and effect, or only what logicians call a "mere coincidence," the fact remains that in Rome, Russia, France, and England, political corruption, cruelty of government, sexual immorality--nay, downright, impudent, open, boastful indecency--have culminated, for the most part, in the eras of the influence of viragints on government or over governors."

Viraginity has many phases. We see a mild form of it in the tom-boy who abandons her dolls and female companions for the marbles and masculine sports of her boy acquaintances. In the loud-talking, long-stepping, slang-using young woman we see another form; while the square-shouldered, stolid, cold, unemotional, unfeminine android (for she has the normal human form, without the normal human _psychos_)
is yet another. The most aggravated form of viraginity is that known as homo-sexuality; with this form, however, this paper has nothing to do.

Another form of viraginity is technically known as gynandry, and may be defined as follows: A victim of gynandry not only has the feelings and desires of a man, but also the skeletal form, features, voice, etc., so that the individual approaches the opposite sex anthropologically, and in more than a psycho-sexual way (Krafft-Ebing).

As it is probable that this form of viraginity is sometimes acquired to a certain extent, and that, too, very quickly, when a woman is placed among the proper surroundings, I shall give the case of Sarolta, Countess V., one of the most remarkable instances of gynandry on record. If this woman, when a child, had been treated as a girl, she would in all probability have gone through life as a woman, for she was born a female in every sense of the word. At a very early age, however, her father, who was an exceedingly eccentric nobleman, dressed her in boy's clothing, called her Sandor, and taught her boyish games and sports.

"Sarolta-Sandor remained under her father's influence till her twelfth year, and then came under the care of her maternal grandmother, in Dresden, by whom, when the masculine play became too obvious, she was placed in an institute and made to wear female attire. At thirteen she had a love relation with an English girl, to whom she represented herself as a boy, and ran away with her. She was finally returned to her
mother, who could do nothing with her, and was forced to allow her to resume the name of Sandor and to put on boy's clothes. She accompanied her father on long journeys, always as a young gentleman; she became a _roue_, frequenting brothels and _cafes_ and often becoming intoxicated.

All of her sports were masculine; so were her tastes and so were her desires. She had many love affairs with women, always skillfully hiding the fact that she herself was a woman. She even carried her masquerade so far as to enter into matrimony with the daughter of a distinguished official and to live with her for some time before the imposition was discovered." The woman whom Sandor married is described as being "a girl of incredible simplicity and innocence;" in sooth, she must have been!

Notwithstanding this woman's passion for those of her own sex, she distinctly states that in her thirteenth year she experienced normal sexual desire. Her environments, however, had been those of a male instead of a female, consequently her psychical weakness, occasioned by degeneration inherited from an eccentric father, turned her into the gulf of viraginity, from which she at last emerged, a victim of complete
gynandry. I have given this instance more prominence than it really deserves, simply because I wish to call attention to the fact that environment is one of the great factors in evolutionary development.

Many women of to-day who are in favor of female suffrage are influenced by a single idea; they have some great reform in view, such as the establishment of universal temperance, or the elevation of social morals. Suffrage in its entirety, that suffrage which will give them a share in the government, is not desired by them; they do not belong to the class of viragints, unsexed individuals, whose main object is the establishment of a matriarchate.

Woman is a creature of the emotions, of impulses, of sentiment, and of feeling; in her the logical faculty is subordinate. She is influenced by the object immediately in view, and does not hesitate to form a judgment which is based on no other grounds save those of intuition. Logical men look beyond the immediate effects of an action and predicate its results on posterity. The percepts and recepts which form the concept of equal rights also embody an eject which, though conjectural, is yet
capable of logical demonstration, and which declares that the final and ultimate effect of female suffrage on posterity would be exceedingly harmful.

We have seen that the pronounced advocates and chief promoters of equal rights are probably viragints--individuals who plainly show that they are psychically abnormal; furthermore, we have seen that the abnormality is occasioned by degeneration, either acquired or inherent, in the individual. Now let us see, if the right of female suffrage were allowed, what effect it would produce on the present environment of the
woman of to-day, and, if any, what effect this changed environment would have on the psychical habitudes of the woman of the future. This portion of the subject will be discussed in Part III of this paper.

James Weir
Religion and Lust / The Psychical Correlation of Religious Emotion and Sexual Desire (1897)

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