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The Implications Of “Maid”

A circular black and white illustration of 4 different types of "maid." from: PWCD -

SEXES

Written by: m.wilson

Maid or Maiden is principally defined as virgin – girl – maidservant, and this article focuses on these three basic terms.

ETYMOLOGY

The word Maid comes from the earliest form of the English language, Old English, which was written and spoken in Anglo Saxon Britain from the 5th century, and began tapering off at the end of the 11th, according to the University of Texas (2021).

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VIRGIN – MAID

The virgin – maid, besides a woman who has never had sexual intercourse, may also refer to something inanimate that carries passengers like a boat, as boats are lingually associated with females and motherhood. Expressions like ‘maiden voyage,’ for example, refer to the vessel’s previously un-used status. Males, on the other hand, are sometimes linked with the speed or perhaps the ingenuity of machinery, but the reference may have more to do with their sexual prowess as opposed to abstinence or internal reproductive function. A term that indicates a virgin boy as clearly as ‘maiden’ may not exist for males. For instance, an expression such as ‘cherry boy’ probably isn’t that popular, and while ‘cherry’ typically refers to the female genitalia and ruptured hymen. Men are simply referred to as ‘virgins’ and with less fanfare.

In many circumstances, the virgin exists as a sort of creature of her sexual status, and which may vary only slightly from normative sexual objectification. It is possible she becomes this creature in the way that her sexual activity presides over her personage and intellect in regards to respectability and class. Perhaps it holds today that when a woman has sex, she becomes a subject of that particular circumstance, as she is less honorable having had sex with a male without ownership. If there is no offer of ownership, she is viewed as an opportunist and loses her value to other males. She then faces societal rejection from men as well as from women who must maintain their own protected status.

GIRL – MAID

Before ‘Father, Son, Holy Ghost, there was the triplicate aspect of Hecate from ancient Greek religion, which enabled her to ward off evil spirits and guard the household. Several sources agree that Hecate is the most ancient form of the triple goddess. Historians say that over time, amidst a medley of religious influences around the globe, her triplicity evolved to represent the phases of the moon as construed with the female in her three stages of life: maiden, mother, crone. These three aspects however, may have more to do with reproductive potential since women can be mothers as minors, for example, or in the way that ‘baby’ or child are not mentioned. In any event, what maiden pertains to exactly may not be written in stone as far as the neopaganism of the 1970s is concerned.

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The maid becomes an ‘honest woman…’

Servants and workers are normally ‘honest’ with their bosses up to a certain point due to the critical dependency implied in the relationship, which requires a certain amount of measured discretion on the part of the employee. And as women are, in most cases, physically and perhaps economically subject to men, (less so today), there may also exist this lack of ‘honesty’, for which this offering of her chastity functions as a substitute. In this way, sexual enjoyment must defer once again to sexual ownership, and where enthusiasm for sex is not a requirement as much as sexual compliance. On the other hand, when observing the emergence of an honest man, we recognize him as someone who, prior to taking his marital vows, may have been behaving opportunistically in a different way, with at least one of his sexual partners.

SERVANT – MAID

In comparing the word ‘maid’ to the term ‘boy’ when addressing a worker or servant of some kind – or most popularly, when referring to a waiter, the reference becomes more obvious, and where ‘boy’ is now considered to be very rude. One doesn’t hire a ‘boy’ (unless among people who know you very well) because of what that infers. It may have been OK to say ‘boy’ in feudalistic society for example, but is a foregone conclusion in the 21st century. In casual circumstances hiring a ‘guy’ is OK but a ‘guy’ is not a servant, and either way is perhaps most appropriate when the ‘guy’ (and his chosen vocation) are not present. Another word for maid, a skivvy, for example, is also defined as women’s underwear, creating another lingual association between women – sex – and domestic service.

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Old – maid…

A respectable maid who services a man sexually (and in most cases domestically) if she is married, can remain so through her mature years until she becomes an ‘old maid.’ For a woman who requires compensation for sex, while her sexuality is still in service to a man, it is more of a business – service – (outside of the home), differentiating it slightly from a socially arranged domestic agreement.

MATRON

Matron is derived from the Latin word – matrona, meaning: married woman, wife, mother. In contemporary English, most often in the UK, a matron might be almost any type of female manager. But prior to the 20th century, matron was mostly associated with domestic affairs, or with occupations involving children and lodging. As a matron, the female is elevated from the more servile maid status, and if married, despite her own personal wealth or station in life, her ‘maiden name’ has been cast aside. The matron is no longer the youthful virgin, but In many cases, she is more useful to men than both the less experienced maid and the old maid. Though she does not live as a secluded and sexless woman of God, she avoids secular “hell,” and is a mode of femininity, in a way similar to the old maid, often likened to a nonreligious expression of “sainthood.”

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