I am going to flirt here. But unlike many of you, yearning for periodic validation of your virility, this exercise will be carried out, with artless candor, not just for attention but also with intention. I am going to flirt, rather suavely, with a rather sensitive nerve here.
Consider this. A long-standing tribal animosity between two families is pacified and brought to an abrupt end when an elderly from one of the tribes resorts to a glorified variant of human trade- nuptial trafficking. He turns his 9 year old grand daughter, Eve, into a sacrificial lamb and fixes her wedding to a 14 year old boy belonging to the adversary, Adam. In case you're wondering what obscure village I'm talking about, it's one of the largest cities in the world - Karachi.
Adam is sent to one of the best schools in the country. He gains exposure, becomes substantially urbanized and develops progressive and highly enlightened ideals. He becomes of sound mind and body. Upon arriving his mid-teens, he watches One Tree Hills of his time and sneaks some fun in his life too. In his late teens, he grows up reading Karl Marx and listening to revolutionary libertarians like John Lennon. Later, he goes off to college to foreign lands.
Eve, even long after she's bled, remains completely oblivious to her involuntary propitiation. She becomes painfully beautiful, almost sculpted. Fortunately, she too gets raised by an educated pair and enjoys a liberally-privileged, but a controlled adolescence. Upon discovering tribal skeletons in her family cupboard, things start to get mildly complicated. The liberals around her assume her to be of the prudent lot and her righteous existence is repeatedly romanticized, almost in a way done in idyllic poetry. She likes it, so she plays along and everything remains under control.
In the meanwhile, now at college, Adam becomes a virtuoso with his game. He experiments with altering consciousness and ingests a variety of forbidden fruits, philandering and copulating freely like no tomorrow, passionately committing the original sin in every sense of the word.
"Is it going somewhere with any of them?" a friend asks Adam one day.
"Are you kidding?" Adam says, practically gagging. "Who's going to marry a smoker, anorexic coat-hanger who's gonna make a jug of vodka instead of kids?"
"He makes a valid argument there" someone points out, right before the band bursts into a hysterical laughter fit.
Eve becomes of age and her beauty, inordinately heavenly. She starts gaining visibility within her own demographic sample, consequently, getting tenaciously hounded by the opposite sex. As much as she wants to reciprocate, she is also apprehensive of the 'zaalim samaaj'. And she by now is already, almost willingly, a prude. However, her aspirations remain progressive. Unlike her mother, she wants to pursue her passions, develop herself intellectually and professionally.
Things get berserk when Adam comes back after college and the promise made over a decade ago nears maturity. Finally, the glacier between the two breaks, and Eve realizes that there exists abnormal deviation between Adam and her conception/ideals of companionship. Though, he is profoundly gratified by seen-all-done-all. To hedge the risk of being asked machismo-denting questions, he shackles Eve by his own interpretation of morality, chastity, righteousness and temperance. Ironically, something he remained bereft of all his life.
We are highly complex creatures, born and raised in different cultures, inheriting unique sets of norms and morals. Yet the above depiction is vastly, nay universally pervasive in one form or the other. In our society too, it holds true, independent of race, sect and socio-economic class. By altering a few regressands here and there, it can be localized for each stratum of our society. Therefore, the aforementioned ordeal of temperance and original sin can be interpreted as symbolically and as literally as one desires.
Contradicting standards have become man's second nature, the first being expenditure of all his time and resources to maximize and diversify fornication. For the purpose of understanding, let's assume two markets; pre-marriage and post-marriage. We can observe the efficiency of the boy's pre-companion market and his lucrative ventures, characterized by free market and perfect competition. This largely entails, symmetric information possessed by both parties, every individual, irrespective of gender, being a price-taker and homogeneity in terms of the nature of favors being traded.
Now consider the inefficiency of the post-married market where markets are artificially made to fail because of the man's hypocrisy and double standards. The market remains no longer free as the woman gets weighed down by the ideals and norms of her society, the SOPs of temperance and prudeness she has to abide by, whilst performing multi-faceted roles within the said parameters. The instant she steps out of it, she's branded rhapsodic and mono-syllabic W and the S words. Adam on the other hand, sets his own long-radii parameters. Even if he somehow steps out, he's eulogically referred to as being 'free-spirited'.
God fashioned Adam and then Eve from a part of his body. That's the time he disobeys God, gets expelled from Eden in the process of honoring his companionship. And here we have Adam today. Ever thought how he went so astray?