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Like a Virgin

Dittothis post from Tyler Cowen at the blog Marginal Revolution.

For some reason (psychoanalyze me if you wish), I find this one especially awful:

"For her 17th wedding anniversay Jeanette Yarborough wanted to do something special for her husband. In addition to planning a hotel getaway for the weekend, Ms. Yarborough paid a surgeon $5,000 to reattach her hymen, making her appear to be a virgin again.

'It's the ultimate gift for the man who has everything,' says Ms. Yarborough..."

This is reported to be one of the plastic surgery industry's fastest-growing segments, and yes that is in the United States. The article is from the 15 December Wall Street Journal, p.A1.

If this is a gift that impresses you, I'm pretty sure you have nothing, not everything. And while I'm sure someone out there would make the argument that women who elect to have this surgery are post-feminist pleasure-seekers expressing their "freedom" just like sex workers and strippers allegedly are, I'll go on the record and say that these women are insane to subject themselves to this (as insane as men who attempt to enlarge their penises with stretching machines or surgical enhancements). The depressing encroachment of the anxieties of the marketplace into the realm of our genitalia is emblematic of the commercialization of sex in general and typifies the way capitalism seeks to transform everything into a occasion for exploitation, producing misery that is then "cured" by some ersatz solution for sale.

Once we were all innocent of these sorts of ruses, but the worst thing about them is that when ideas like these spread (and I'm not helping things by reporting it here) they are impossible to efface from the realm of the possible; they are already in some senses, naturalized. And unfortunately, no surgery can repair our culture and restore its virginal state once these horrors are common knowledge, once they have assumed their place as yet another positional good, another distinctive commodity to posess.

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