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Feb 04 2010

Spinster aunt smells hoax

While whiffling though the NPR website in search of a piece on The New Alpha Wife, which I did not find, my neural net received an even nastier jolt than expected when a story titled “New Zealand Teen Auctions Virginity To Pay Tuition” hove into view.

The story so far: “Unigirl,” an anonymous 19-year-old student advertising on a NZ auction site, supposedly proposes to exchange her “virginity” for what supposedly is the high bid of $30,000.

Since pay-to-rape is perfectly legal in New Zealand (NPR calls the NZ laws governing fair use of prostituted women “liberal,”) it is difficult to imagine why this is news, unless somebody besides the prostituted student stands to make a buck.

Wait, am I seriously suggesting that there is anything more to the story than an empowerfulized gal workin’ the system for an opportunity to go to college? Why yes. Yes I am. From the NZ Herald:

“Unigirl has claimed that more than 30,000 people have viewed her advertisement and more than 1,200 made bids. With those sorts of numbers and with the battle for ratings at seven o’clock heating up, [New Zealand TV3 personality John] Campbell is right to be chasing and questioning the virgin story.

“This is mass audience stuff, and we have to get people to watch us,” Campbell told the newspaper.”

The online auction house, reportedly a fledgling startup, stands to cash in on some free advertising. News outlets like TV3 and NPR stand to cash in on a titillating story about a shameless teen so enterprising, so driven, so sexy, that she’s willing to sacrifice her most precious, priceless asset to the highest bidder in a crass capitalist exchange that will forever sluttify her. News media can take it a bit further, as NPR did, and conceal the paucity of actual news with a rehash of other famous virginity auctions. But because there aren’t all that many of those “feminist experiments,” they can throw in the one about the woman who got busted for offering herself online in exchange for baseball tickets.

In the end, though, whether or not the Unigirl story is true, there’s nothing to see here but the usual smirking, moralizing, and prurient interest that always seems to accompany the high-class prostituted woman narrative. Stories about poor New Zealand women working the streets to support their kids or their drug habits are somewhat fewer and further between. Stories focusing on the men who pay to rape women? Non-existent.

I laugh and laugh about this virginity stuff. Virginity! Ha! Like it’s an actual thing with objective value, and not just an offensive and essentially worthless porno-patriarchocratic concept. I can think of few concepts that are more offensive, really. Because “virginity” is predicated on the notion of active, authoritative annihilation, via the indisputable power of studly peen-pronging, of a passive and oppressed naif’s purported innocence, any dude who would actually “take” it is an instaloser, a rapist, and a creep.

But come on, let’s face it; the whole story has to be bogus, because any dude living outside a Victorian porn fantasy who could afford $30 large for a single, hypothetical hymen is rich enough that he could totally get the same thing for free any day of the week.

30 comments

  1. Flash

    How much does it cost to have plastic surgery to restore a hymen? Would she make a profit?

  2. humanbein

    Virginity is a metaphor for innocence, and innocence is something we value and degrade in equal measure. If the world were less adolescent, maybe people would start to think more about what it is about innocence that we find so lovable and appealing in children and dogs and we find lacking in the mirror. One thing for sure that is absent in innocence is indoctrination into the dominant male cultural paradoxes of the sexual uses of women and men. The more we learn about our places in the patriarchy, the smaller our innocence becomes.

    Any woman so disconnected from innocence as to auction herself has already lost it. The illusion of innocence is usually enough for the easily-fooled male asshole.

    Stories of men who use prostitutes would be much like stories of men who use pornography, so common as to be unremarkable, and unthinkable to speak of for most people.

  3. Fliss

    Neat post. Pay per rape is one of the best terms I’ve come across here. I hate the type of discussions about prostitution, by feminists, where you’re scared to mention how prostitution shouldn’t be legal. Legalising does NOT eliminate the underground stuff, it just increases and glamourises demand. The fact people legitimately debate about whether women can legally be rapeable/ purchasable (same thing really, we’re taking the human element) is a sure sign of a society that is hellbent on hating women.

    I can’t stand the heated interest around high class hookers – e.g Belle De Jour’s stories genuinely bore the shit out of me.

  4. Sarah

    NPR loves these stories. And so do other news outlets, presumably, it’s just more infuriating when NPR covers this crap due to the aforementioned smirking, moralizing prurient interest. When NewsCorp covers these stories, at least their motivations are obvious. When NPR does it, they conceal their motivations behind cognoscenti smoke and mirrors. GRR!!

  5. Suzz

    Ah, “the new alpha wife.” I found about a thousand ways that this article about (and aimed at) so-called “alpha wives” was super-duper misogynist, even down to the fact that extremely stupid capitalist advertisement interrupts any attempts to read the article. Greeeat. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/alpha-wives?page=1

  6. Princess Rot

    It always strikes me as pruirently sad that the useless mainstream media will automatically label this “feminist” and give it no further thought than that, except. I’m sorry, does nobody in this day and age (present company excepted) consider it total bullshit that women’s bodies are still purchasable, and by extension the ooky concept of purchasing said body with metaphorical freshness seal still in place makes the price even higher? I mean, why is it not considered shit, when it comes to woman needing to make a lot of money quickly, the first thought is that her most saleable wossname is her objectivity? Why is nobody asking what is wrong with a society that encourages the sale of bodies, whether that be pre-pronged or un-pronged? Why is nobody asking what is so important about prongs that it requires absolute domination of every aspect of society?

  7. Princess Rot

    Pruriently, I mean. Damn butterfingers. The patriarchy’s domination of the concept of gender and sex is prurient and sad, as it’s infiltration of everything else.

  8. yttik

    Darn, a hymen can go for 30 grand?? If I remember right, I threw mine away somewhere between a horse and a fence post. I’m tempted to go back and look for it.

  9. lawbitch

    “Stories of men who use prostitutes would be much like stories of men who use pornography, so common as to be unremarkable, and unthinkable to speak of for most people.”

    I speak of it, Fred. I speak of the fact that most prostitutes have been sexually abused. I even dare to speak of the fact my father raped me for the first time when I was 5. Rape apologists like you are what allows the rapists to continue without accountability.

    Good riddance from the blogosphere, Fred.

  10. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    The whole idea of virginity is nothing but a ridiculous construct anyway, isn’t it? There was certainly no church ceremony with white veils, flowers, purty music and candles when I purportedly lost mine.

    P.S. If my dad knew he coulda got $30K for one, I’da been sold (lock, stock and unplugged barrel), along with my four sisters.

  11. enflared

    “But come on, let’s face it; the whole story has to be bogus, because any dude living outside a Victorian porn fantasy who could afford $30 large for a single, hypothetical hymen is rich enough that he could totally get the same thing for free any day of the week.”

    But isn’t the transaction itself the whole point? Pay-per-rape caters to the fetishization of ownership; the higher the price, the more valuable the commodity. Getting the same thing for free isn’t at all appealing to dudes who feel “used” by “gold-digging bitches.”

  12. Rayedish

    There’s an update on this story found at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/03/2809514.htm
    In brief, highest bid was in excess of $45 000 (But I suppose thats NZ dollars).

    More power to ‘unigirl’ she’s screwing the patriarchy back (even while perpetuating the fetishisation of virginity, but still nothing is untainted by the patriarchy) – now she’s got money to pay her way through uni.

  13. double

    As a female university student in NZ of about the same age as unigirl, I read with interest that I could earn the equivalent of the 5 years of tuition fees I currently owe in one hit by pretending to still be a virgin (or, more correctly, by pretending that “virginity” was a real thing, and, having done so, pretending further that it was something that I possessed) and creating a similar auction. This means that, for me to pay off the debt for my university tuition fees alone, I need to spend roughly 2000 hours in my current part-time job making outdoor furniture in a hot, dusty factory; when instead I could just lay back – $30,000 firmly in mind – and allowed some grotesque sweaty john to pork me for three and a half minutes.

    How brave this girl is! Just typing that made my stomach tighten. Someone pass me a screwdriver – I’ve got chairs to make.

  14. Fliss

    ‘she’s screwing the patriarchy back’

    Dude or dick in the vicinity. How by being used as a vacuum end by a 55 year old businessman does she royally screw the patriarchy? You sound like you looked up the definition of patriarchy on wikipedia. Power to her – or power to the guy laughing how he’s spent $45 on his hatred of women. Why would he spend that much on sex or ‘intimacy’ unless a hoax? If it’s true, it’s all about the hatred, being the biggest flapping dick swinger. Laughing to his friends, all those rich powerful bidders, about the virginity of this girl.

    I get my way through ‘uni’ fine, off my own back. That’s the whole point of a loan. By the way, misogynists sing that same tune – ‘She got raped by the patriarchy, but she gets to go to university. There’s your equality bitches.’ It’s their way of saying: get raped, shit on, abused, tormented, hated, spat on – you’ll get to university or something. And what’s that? Jack all – we’re hated even more competing and functioning in the world. How far to that light at the end of the tunnel? Keep hanging the carrot and get off a blog which doesn’t do dudes telling us how fight the p.

    I bet you also think lap dancing is the biggest slap in the face to the system – the 18 year old sexually harrassed and laughed at for work buys a book with her earnings.

  15. double

    Allow*, present tense. Damn it.

  16. Erin

    I don’t know that $45,000 is enough to pay your way through uni entirely. That’s around the average annual wage in NZ (and of course she will have to pay tax on that lump sum of income) so maybe living a year without working, two if she’s frugal.
    I wonder if she will no longer be eligible for student allowances? although I guess it will pay her tuition fees at least.

  17. MariaS

    Rayedish, unigirl may be getting a ton of money, but she’s still got to hand herself over for the sexual usage of the random rich dude who won the auction. Patriarchy’ll be screwing her. Win for the patriarchy: woman sexually commodifies self, has to go begging to men to afford her education, has to concede that her worth is in her use to a man. On her part I’d see it as more like a tactical surrender. I hope she copes with it all ok and that her university education leads to success and financial independence, enough to never have to put herself at the mercy of another man.

  18. polly

    This actually happened in the UK. A student (a lesbian) sold her ‘virginity’ (despite the fact she already had a girlfriend so how exactly is she a virgin?) for £8,000. The most intersting aspect of the case for me was that the dude who bought her ‘virginity’ for this hefty was a divorced father of two. I’ve wondered ever since how his kids felt about it, when he could have spend that money on them. Particularly if he wasn’t up to date on child support.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/3554121.stm

  19. Kiuku

    This is the ultimate dream for men; the ultimate realization of the Patriarchy. There are no more pretenses about men’s economy, their collecting of sea shells. Men have money to buy women’s bodies. And this is the dream: to buy a virgin girl on an auction.

    Likely there is no man, no father to pay for her through college. Women don’t have any money. So if she can’t be someone’s, some man’s daughter, she can be a prostitute.

  20. scatterplot

    If selling one’s virginity is legal in NZ, why didn’t she use TradeMe?

  21. Kiuku

    I wonder if she comes with a hymen:

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/02/01/sex.robot/index.html?hpt=Sbin

  22. Kiuku

    Of course I thought I was exaggerating a bit when I posted 2 years ago that men, instead of working on matters of importance to the human species, in secret labs, they are bunkered down, working feverishly on developing sex robots.

    Computers got used for porn.
    Internet: porn.
    Artificial intelligence: sex robot
    Genes: cloning and finding a way to create an artificial womb, so men can kill women.

  23. Katherine

    Kiuku I would LOVE for men to create an artificial womb. Means they might stop telling me what I can do with mine. They try to kill us all and there might just be enough of us to rise up against them.

  24. PandanCat

    I keep telling my bioengineer friends to hurry up with my legion of uterus men, but do they listen? Slackers.

    Also, if we could invent artificial wombs, why not artificial sperm and eggs? I think it’d be great to live in a world where reproduction wasn’t necessarily tied to physical male and female bodies. Of course, this depends on people (not patriarchs) being in control. If we were in charge, it’d be a dream; if not, a nightmare. Oh, science.

  25. The Menstruator

    I pray to the high priestess of sisterhood that she is sporting a dentata down below… CHOMP!

  26. io

    Hi Jill, if you’re still interested, the alpha wife segment was on NPR’s Talk of the Nation on Feb 4. You could search the Talk-of-the-Nation-specific website for that date under the title, “Your Money: Wives Increasingly Earning More Than Husbands.” Transcript is available. Unsurprisingly, it’s all what-about-the-menz.

    The show was advertised on the radio as being about the more titillating “alpha wife.” Now your blog currently shows up on the first page of articles when one types in alpha wife to the main NPR website search. Heh.

    Speaking of NPR, I will never forget how gross I felt driving to work and hearing on the morning news (about a year ago) how the tiniest g-string ever was worn at the Carnival in Brazil. The female reporter laughingly told us how it was only an inch wide to cover the naughty bits, which ruined my day and any good will I felt towards NPR. IBTP.

  27. Larkspur

    CHOMP! Yes. Okay, someone is assembling these RealGirl sex-appliances, and I feel pretty safe in assuming it’s not a battalion of highly educated male-type MBA-wielding dudes. And that means the opportunities for sabotage are myriad. What if random dolls were programmed to deploy caustic chemicals or non-release clamps (or non-decelerating accelerators) after, say, the 17th fuck? Or even if they were programmed to say, instead of, “Ooh, hit me, hit me, harder harder!”, something like, “Ooh, big boy, guess what? Surprise! I now control the horizontal. I control the vertical. I can blur your penis, or sharpen it to crystal clarity and then snap it right off. Maybe not tonight, maybe not tomorrow afternoon, but soon, soon, you will wake up and find your penis placed neatly under your pillow. Ooh.”

    Okay, I know I’m gross and totally off-topic. But The Menstruator said “CHOMP!” and then my fingers started typing.

  28. Summerspeaker

    This makes me think of the scene in Libertarias where anarchist militia women take over the brothel and recruit the workers.
    “El amor debe ser libre, no comprado.” (Love must be free, not bought.) It’s not such a difficult concept. I continue to be amazed by leftist support, tacit or explicit, for such horrific oppressions.

  29. Kadin

    scatterplot: I think it’s not allowed by Trademe’s TOS.

    And just to clear up the numbers regarding university tuition (for anybody wondering, not that it’s particularly important to this story), minus taxes and personal injury insurance she would be left with just shy of $36,000, while an undergraduate degree in anything other than medicine would cost somewhere from $14,000-$25,000 in tuition fees. Depending on her income and her parents’ income, she may qualify for a student allowance of up to ~$7,200 pa from the government.

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