Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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On Female Chastity.

There is something quite astonishing and extraordinary in the education of women of the higher class ; indeed, there is perhaps nothing more paradoxical.  All the world is agreed to educate them with as much ignorance as possible in erotic matters, and to inspire their soul with a profound shame of such things, and the extremest impatience and horror at the suggestion of them.  It is really here only that all the " honour " of woman is at stake ; what would one not forgive them in other respects!  But here they are intended to remain ignorant to the very backbone : they are intended to have neither eyes, ears, words, nor thoughts for this, their " wickedness " ; indeed knowledge here is already evil.  And then!  To be hurled as with an awful thunderbolt into reality and knowledge with marriage and indeed by him whom they most love and esteem : to have to encounter love and shame in contradiction, yes, to have to feel rapture, abandonment, duty, sympathy, and fright at the unexpected proximity of God and animal, and whatever else besides!  all at once!  There, in fact, a psychic entanglement has been effected which is quite unequalled!  Even the sympathetic curiosity of the wisest discerner of men does not suffice to divine how this or that woman gets along with the solution of this enigma and the enigma of this solution ; what dreadful, far reaching suspicions must awaken thereby in the poor unhinged soul; and how the ultimate philosophy and scepticism of the woman casts anchor at this point!  Afterwards the same profound silence as before : and often even a silence to herself, a shutting of her eyes to herself.  Young wives on that account make great efforts to appear superficial and thought less ; the most ingenious of them simulate a kind of impudence.  Wives easily feel their husbands as a question mark to their honour, and their children as an apology or atonement, they require children, and wish for them in quite another spirit than a husband wishes for them.  In short, one cannot be gentle enough towards women!  

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