The organization is a group that works to ban sexual intercourse of all kinds between Party members. The group is made up of young adults, like Julia. Complete celibacy for both sexes is the goal of the group. The group is a great example of what the Party can accomplish. They believe that children should not be conceived through sexual intercourse.
Instead, Orwell writes:
All children were to be begotten by artificial insemination (ARTSEM, it was called in Newspeak) and brought up in public institutions.
Smith notes that complete celibacy was not meant entirely seriously. He didn’t believe that the sexual instinct could be wiped out entirely as some Party members do.
Junior Anti-Sex League Definition
The Junior Anti-Sex League is a group of young adults who believe in complete celibacy for both sexes. They wear red sashes to show that they are celibate and loyal to the Party.
When Orwell mentions the Junior Anti-Sex League it is usually to emphasize someone’s support, or supposed support, for the Party. He mentions the organization when describing Comrade Ogilvy who was initially in the Party’s good graces.
Examples of Junior Anti-Sex League in 1984
The first time that the Junior Anti-Sex league is mentioned in the novel is on page thirteen when Winston is describing the appearance of Julia. He notes the sash she’s wearing, with the emblem of the league on it. Orwell writes:
A narrow scarlet sash, emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex League, was wound several times round the waist of her overalls, just tightly enough to bring out the shapeliness of her hips.
When speaking about Julia, and why he dislikes her, he directs his thoughts specifically to the Junior Anti-Sex League and the activities they engage in. Orwell writes:
Winston had disliked her from the very first moment of seeing her. He knew the reason. It was because of the atmosphere of hockey-fields and cold baths and community hikes and general clean-mindedness which she managed to carry about with her.
Interestingly, Winston’s dislike for Julia extends to all “young and pretty” women because they are out of his reach. They are also the “most bigoted adherents to the Party.” They are the “swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy.”
When Winston is asking Julia about herself and how she gets away with what she does, she says:
I do voluntary work three evenings a week for the Junior Anti-Sex League. Hours and hours I’ve spent pasting their bloody rot all over London. I always carry one end of a banner in the processions. I always look cheerful and I never shirk anything. Always yell with the crowd, that’s what I say. It’s the only way to be safe.’
Sex in 1984
Pornosec is an interesting department. It deals with the production of pornographic materials for the Proles. Smith learns that all the workers there are women. Orwell writes:
The theory was that men, whose sex instincts were less controllable than those of women, were in greater danger of being corrupted by the filth they handled. ‘They don’t even like having married women there,’ she added. Girls are always supposed to be so pure. Here’s one who isn’t, anyway.
When speaking about sex with Julia, Winston learns a great deal. Orwell writes:
Unlike Winston, [Julia] had grasped the inner meaning of the Party’s sexual puritanism. It was not merely that the sex instinct created a world of its own which was outside the Party’s control and which therefore had to be destroyed if possible. What was more important was that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed into war-fever and leader-worship.
Julia adds that she thinks the Party wants you “bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour. If you’re happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year Plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?’” She believes that sex is a danger to the Party’s ability o make this happens when one has sex, they are happy and “don’t give a damn for anything.” It’s a feeling the Party doesn’t want to indulge.
What is ironic about Julia’s involvement in the Junior Anti-Sex League?
Julia uses her involvement in the group to hide the fact that she’s having sex all the time and doing everything the group advocates against. It’s a cover that allows her to pose as a staunch Party member.
How is the Junior Anti-Sex League an example of a paradox?
Smith describes the sash Julia wears anyhow it is wrapped around her waist in what he sees as a particularly sexual manner.
Who is a member of the Junior Anti-Sex League in 1984?
There are many members of the group but, Julia, the woman Winston Smith starts an affair with, is a prominent member in the novel. She uses the group as a mask to hide behind.
Related Terms in 1984
- Big Brother: the leader of Oceania and the face of the Party. He’s desired as a war hero, inventor, and more. He may also not be real.
- INGSOC: newspeak for English Socialism, the governing system used throughout Oceania.
- Syme: a character in 1984 and the man responsible for the newest addition of the Newspeak dictionary.
- Doublethink: cognitive dissonance. Or the act of thinking two contradictory things at once. Or believing that the two things are true.
- Newspeak: the language used to diminish the range of thought in Oceania.
- Ministry of Love: responsible for brainwashing the citizens of Oceania.
- Watch: 1984 Video Summary
- Read: 1984 Historical Context
- Read: 1984 by George Orwell