JESUS NATION SEX REBEL, mini-chapter 8
8. THE LACK
Eve decided the tight black dress was appropriate, even though she was not wearing a bra. I’ll wear it with a conservative hat -- this gray one with the jaunty red smudge. She went to her computer and uploaded her profile. She blushed at how it skirted suggestively around the subject of sex. Funny how sexual discussions were verboten among Females in the United States Under God. She had never shared sexual problems with her friends, for instance. Nothing could land you faster in front of a Patriot Board. That’s why she was the sole possessor of a secret that she hugged to her breast like a child. Perhaps her biggest secret ever: the deeply hidden truth of a huge lack in her life.
Come to think of it, this lack was the thing that had driven her into three years of celibacy. It was a lack because it made her feel unequal to men. When she first met men, she had felt some power over them, because so many of them wanted her: oh, that delicious feeling that first flooded into her when she left her father’s house at the approved age of twenty-one and entered her own job and her own little rented room in the city. As a recognized beauty, she had freely exercised the power this gave her over men, attracting them and rejecting them by the dozens. Today a Single Female who behaved like that would be earmarked for prison. But when she got married, the secret lack began to poison her life, and a feeling of inequality -- to her husband, to all men -- took over. Seeing men again would bang this lack right back in her face, and bring on that feeling of inequality. Why should she pay that price?
She had no choice really. That price had to be paid, because she was a female. When she got to be forty -- only five years away -- she would automatically be reclassified as a Spinster: those over-forty Females who, because they could not be relied upon to bear children anymore, were forbidden to consort with men in any way, and only allowed one female friend, also a Spinster; those discarded Females who, if they were lucky, ended up taking care of elderly female widowed Beloveds, or else died unattended in Spinster loneliness. If they didn’t commit suicide first, as many did. Did she want to be a spinster and become a candidate for suicide?
No. It was unfair, this burden put upon women, but that’s how it was in Jesusland: you had to choose between men and loneliness. And she had chosen to face men again. Thus she would be forced to face her lack again, and how it made her feel unequal. She lowered her head and prayed for God’s mercy, now that she was to become a prey to men in the game of love -- or rather, the unfair fight of love.
Then she clicked “send” on her computer.