Main  Contacts  
Table of contents
Introduction
The Feminine Mind-1
The War Between the Sexes-2.1
The War Between the Sexes-2.2
The War Between the Sexes-2.3
Marriage-3.1
Marriage-3.2
Marriage-3.3
Marriage-3.4
Woman Suffrage-4.1
Woman Suffrage-4.2
Woman Suffrage-4.3
Woman Suffrage-4.4
The New Age-5.1
The New Age-5.2
The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana. INTRODUCTION
THE VATSYAYANA SUTRA-1-2
THE VATSYAYANA SUTRA-3-4-5
OF SEXUAL UNION-1-2
OF SEXUAL UNION-3-4-5
OF SEXUAL UNION-6-7-8
OF SEXUAL UNION-10-11
ABOUT THE ACQUISITION OF A WIFE-1-2
ABOUT THE ACQUISITION OF A WIFE-3-4-5
ABOUT A WIFE-1-2
ABOUT THE WIVES OF OTHER MEN-1-2
ABOUT THE WIVES OF OTHER MEN-3-4
ABOUT THE WIVES OF OTHER MEN-5-6
ABOUT COURTESANS-1-2
ABOUT COURTESANS-3-4
ABOUT COURTESANS-5-6
ABOUT THE MEANS OF ATTRACTING OTHERS TO YOURSELF-1-2
CONCLUDING REMARKS

40. Piety as a Social Habit 

 

 

What remains of the alleged piety of women is little more than a social 

habit, reinforced in most communities by a paucity of other and more 

inviting divertissements. If you have ever observed the women of Spain 

and Italy at their devotions you need not be told how much the worship 

of God may be a mere excuse for relaxation and gossip. These women, in 

their daily lives, are surrounded by a formidable network of mediaeval 

taboos; their normal human desire for ease and freedom in intercourse is 

opposed by masculine distrust and superstition; they meet no strangers; 

they see and hear nothing new. In the house of the Most High they escape 

from that vexing routine. Here they may brush shoulders with a crowd. 

Here, so to speak, they may crane their mental necks and stretch their 

spiritual legs. Here, above all, they may come into some sort of contact 

with men relatively more affable, cultured and charming than their 

husbands and fathers--to wit, with the rev. clergy. 

 

Elsewhere in Christendom, though women are not quite so relentlessly 

watched and penned up, they feel much the same need of variety and 

excitement, and both are likewise on tap in the temples of the Lord. 

No one, I am sure, need be told that the average missionary society 

or church sewing circle is not primarily a religious organization. Its 

actual purpose is precisely that of the absurd clubs and secret orders 

to which the lower and least resourceful classes of men belong: it 

offers a means of refreshment, of self-expression, of personal display, 

of political manipulation and boasting, and, if the pastor happens to be 

interesting, of discreet and almost lawful intrigue. In the course of a 

life largely devoted to the study of pietistic phenomena, I have never 

met a single woman who cared an authentic damn for the actual heathen. 

The attraction in their salvation is always almost purely social. Women 

go to church for the same reason that farmers and convicts go to church. 

 

Finally, there is the aesthetic lure. Religion, in most parts of 

Christendom, holds out the only bait of beauty that the inhabitants are 

ever cognizant of. It offers music, dim lights, relatively ambitious 

architecture, eloquence, formality and mystery, the caressing 

meaninglessness that is at the heart of poetry. Women are far more 

responsive to such things than men, who are ordinarily quite as devoid 

of aesthetic sensitiveness as so many oxen. The attitude of the typical 


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