Judeo-Christian Marriages


Man + Woman “Nuclear Family” (Genesis 2:24)

  • Wives subordinate to their husbands.
  • Interfaith marriages forbidden.
  • Marriages generally arranged, not based on romantic love.
  • Bride who could not prove her virginity was stoned to death.

Man + Woman + Woman’s Property (Genesis 16)

  • Man could acquire his wife’s property including her slaves.

Man + Brother’s Widow “Levirate Marriage” (Genesis 38: 6-10)

  • Widow who had not borne a son required to marry her brother in law.
  • Must submit sexually to her new husband.

Male Slave + Female Slave (Exodus 21:4)

  • Slave owner could assign female slaves to his male slaves.
  • Female slaves must submit sexually to their new husbands.

Male Soldier + Prisoner of War (Deuteronomy 21:11-14) & (Number 31:1-18)

  • Under Moses’ command, Israelites kill every Midianite man, woman child; save for the virgin girls who are taken as spoils of war.
  • Wives must submit sexually to their new owners.

Rapist + His Victim (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)

  • Virgin who is raped must marry her rapist.
  • Rapist must pay victim’s father 50 shekels of silver for property loss.
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Wife Carrying


Wife Carrying as a sporting activity was first played in Finland where it is known as Eukonkanto. Its history is probably based on the 19th century legend of Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen, or ‘Ronkainen the Robber’, whose band of thieves were known for stealing food and women from small Finnish villages. Somehow, the practice of picking up a woman (with her consent) and running off evolved to a sport.

The first modern day wife carrying event was held in Finland in 1992 and foreign contestants were admitted in 1995. This event is now held annually in Sonkajärvi, Finland as the World Championship. A North American Championship was started in 1999.

The International Wife Carrying Competition Rules Committee has set a number of official rules, among others:

  • The length of the official track is 253,5 meters and surface of the track is sand.
  • The winner is the couple who completes the course in the shortest time.
  • The track has two dry obstacles and one water obstacle, about a meter deep.
  • The wife to be carried may be your own, the neighbour’s or you may have found her farther ahead; she must, however, be over 17 years of age.
  • The minimum weight of the wife to be carried is 49 kilos. If she weighs less, she will be burdened with such a heavy rucksack to reach the desired minimum weight.
  • If a contestant drops the wife, he has to lift her on to his back or in his arms and continue carrying.

How the Churches Have Retarded Progress


‘You may think that I am going too far when I say that that[1] is still so. I do not think that I am. Take one fact. You will bear with me if I mention it. It is not a pleasant fact, but the churches compel one to mention facts that are not pleasant. Supposing that in this world that we live in today an inexperienced girl is married to a syphilitic man; in that case the Catholic Church says, “This is an indissoluble sacrament. You must endure celibacy or stay together. And if you stay together, you must not use birth control to prevent the birth of syphilitic children.” Nobody whose natural sympathies have not been warped by dogma, or whose moral nature was not absolutely dead to all sense of suffering, could maintain that it is right and proper that that state of things should continue.

That is only an example. There are a great many ways in which, at the present moment, the church, by its insistence upon what it chooses to call morality, inflicts upon all sorts of people undeserved and unnecessary suffering. And of course, as we know, it is in its major part an opponent still of progress and improvement in all the ways that diminish suffering in the world, because it has chosen to label as morality a certain narrow set of rules of conduct which have nothing to do with human happiness; and when you say that this or that ought to be done because it would make for human happiness, they think that has nothing to do with the matter at all. “What has human happiness to do with morals? The object of morals is not to make people happy.”‘

– Denonn. L.E., Egner. R.E. Ed. 1961. The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell London, United Kingdom: George Allen & Unwin (1962) p. 596


[1] ‘I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.’ p. 595

Bertrand Russell delivered the lecture Why I am not a Christian (of which this is an excerpt) on March 6, 1927 to the National Secular Society, South London Branch, at Battersea Town Hall.

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In the Aztec language, the words for sun and eagle are the same – so are the words for moon and rabbit.

In 2011, ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) surgeons performed 316,848 breast-augmentation procedures.

If you drilled a tunnel straight through the Earth and jumped in, it would take you exactly 42 minutes and 12 seconds to get to the other side.

In Cambodia, male prostitutes outnumber female prostitutes by a ratio of three to one.

Iran is one of the few countries in the world where a couple can have a “temporary marriage” in order to facilitate sex within wedlock – essentially prostitution. These so-called marriages can be valid for as short as an hour.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Feminism in Ancient Egypt


The Egyptians believed that joy and happiness were legitimate goals of life and regarded home and family as the major source of delight.

Ancient Egyptian society was sex-positive, and premarital sex was entirely acceptable. Love and emotional support were considered to be important parts of relations. Egyptians loved and respected children as people and not just as potential workers and care-takers.

The lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
– William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Egypt treated its women better than any of the other major civilizations of the ancient world. In fact, women in ancient Egypt enjoyed many freedoms that would take thousands of years for women to enjoy again.

Women were regarded as totally equal to men as far as the law was concerned. They could own property, borrow money, sign contracts, initiate divorce, appear in court as a witness, etc. Of course, they were also equally subject to whatever responsibilities normally accompanied those rights. Women could even become Pharaoh in special circumstances.

The takeover of Abramic religions has had a disastrous impact on Egyptian society – Islam has been particularly horrible to the position of women. Consider the following comparison between the average life of Ancient Egyptian women and present-day Egyptian women:

Sociology
In Ancient Egypt, man and women shared all activities including festivals, religious ceremonies and daily life. In modern Egypt, men and women live segregated lives.

Fashion
In the ancient world, Egyptian women wore simple liberal clothes, nudity was permitted and female servant girls, dancers and acrobats went around totally or semi-nude for their jobs. Nowadays, thanks to the Abramic religious misogyny, women are forced to wear very conservative clothes.

Equality
Thousands of years ago, in Egypt, privileges were not uniform from one class to another, but within the given classes equal rights between genders. In present-day Egypt, the mantra of “Allah favoured men over women” is the order of the day. Modern Egypt is a patriarchal society dominated by men.

Marriage
In Ancient Egypt, male polygamy was common in nobility, but unusual in lower classes. Interestingly however, women were partners in divorce settlements. Today, male polygamy is widely spread in all social classes. And only men can divorce, Muslim women have no right to divorce their partner.

Legal Rights
Women could manage and own private property, including: land, portable goods, servants, slaves and livestock in Ancient Egypt. And unlike women in most other ancient civilizations, the Egyptian women seems to have enjoyed the same legal and economic rights as men. They were regarded as totally equal to men as far as the law was concerned, and could conclude any kind of legal settlement in court. Nowadays, women receive half the financial rights of men, and the manipulation of the strict inheritance laws are not permitted.

Sex
Sexuality and romance were open, and considered to be an important part of life, references to sex and love poems were freely written in literature. Contrary to Ancient Egypt, in modern Egypt, sex is a taboo – transgressions may lead under law to severe penalties. Love is viewed as a weakness and is considered bad conduct for unmarried women.

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Anthropologies believe that man has known how to use fire for 500,000 years, but only learned how to make it himself 12,000 years ago.

Prior to 1962, sodomy was illegal in every US State.

The flag of Paraguay is the only current national flag whose obverse and reverse sides are neither identical nor mirrored.

Legendary Cuban Communist revolutionary Che Guevara was born in Argentina.

Until 1857, in the UK, a husband wishing to end an unhappy marriage could sell his wife. The cost was about £3,000 – roughly £223,000 in today’s money.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Abelard and Heloise


Perhaps the most famous couple of the Middle Ages – Peter Abelard was one of the leading scholars of 12th century, and Heloise d’Argenteuil was his gifted student. They began a secret and intense sexual relationship that led to Heloise becoming pregnant – they would have a son named Astrolabe.

“Would that thy love, beloved, had less trust in me, that it might be more anxious!”
― Héloïse d’Argenteuil, The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse

Peter convinced her that they should marry, but she only agreed to a secret one in order that his career would not be damaged. However, in a sad turn of events, Heloise’s uncle got a group of men to attack Abelard, where they castrated him. Peter would then go on to become a monk, and Heloise a nun, but would continue to write to each other. It is likely that they are buried together at the Pére Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

Juliet: “You kiss by the book.”
― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

There are still societies whose policies result in rigid attitudes of intellectual, theological and sexual repression. The love story of Abelard and Heloise, the courage and passion of its protagonists, has much to teach humanity about our own understanding of religious tolerance, sexual equality and intellectual freedom.

Hidden Sexuality of the Ancients


With regard to their attitude towards sexuality, the Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans fundamentally different from today’s Christian-occidental, Jewish or Islamic world. For a long time, classical studies avoided the subject; today it is a natural topic of research.

Eroticism and sexuality were present in all areas of ancient life. Be it at a banquet, at sports in the palaestra, on walls or in the gardens of Roman villas, in the Lupanar (brothel), in temples or even in the grave – everywhere there were pictures or allusions with a sexual connotation, depictions of genitalia, symbols of fertility and lust.

Even children were adorned with phallic amulets around their necks as talismans. Ancient literature dealt with the subject in all imaginable facets. The Ars Armatoria (Art of Love) by the Roman author Ovid is one of the most subtle poems on the subject ever written.

“Nay, seeing how very beautiful you are, I won’t deny you a few frailties. But what I don’t want, and can’t stand, is to know about them.” – Ovid, Ars Armatoria, Elegy XIV, ‘To His Mistress’

In the Archaeological National Museum of Naples, objects with erotic content from Pompeii and Herculaneum were collected in a room with limited access for centuries, known as the Gabinetto Segreto (secret cabinet).

In 1849, the collection was bricked off and remained off limits to women, youngsters, and the general public. For a century and a half the collection remained out of sight, it was only opened to the public in 2000 and moved into a separate gallery in 2005.

Some of the most famous objects in the former secret collection of the Naples Museum are the ‘Satyr Pan Copulating With Goat’ and the ‘Venus Kallipygos’ (Venus with the lovely ass); the museum also hold one of the world’s most famous collection of assorted Roma terra cotta penises – in Roman times, they were used for good luck, obviously.