Maieutics - Note No. 10

O'Brien positions nonreproductive sexual activity in a negative constellation.  Ancient Greek society based on slave labour is for her "imperialist, racist, sexist and quite often orgiastic" (Politics of Reproduction 140)  She also claims that the Greeks had created measures "effective enough to create wives so deadly dull that prostitution and homosexuality flourished" (124). Whatever the link between orgies and imperialism, O'Brien's rhetoric is based on an axiology that values production above consumption. Yet no conditions exist a priori to found species continuity on production. One can call to mind the prisoner of war in Montaigne's essay "Des Cannibales" who taunts his captors by claiming that they will eat the flesh of their ancestors; he having previously feasted, their substance still clings to him. Species continuity and genetic continuity need not be congruous.