Archive for May 28th, 2011

And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:  And upon her forehead [was] a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.  –  Revelation 17:4-5

The whore is, first and foremost, an entertainer; she is hired by a man to, as the phrase goes, “show him a good time” by playing the role of a sex partner for him.  Until comparatively recent times the professions of actress and prostitute were one and the same, which is why women were banned from the Elizabethan stage and even as late as Victorian times actresses were considered rather disreputable.  Porn actresses are still a kind of whore, and actresses who appear nude and play love scenes aren’t all that far off, which is why I consider the hypocrisy of actresses such as Mira Sorvino, Demi Moore and Ashley Judd to be so pathetic.  Conversely, prostitutes who specialize in fetish work (such as dominatrices or role-play specialists) are just as much paid to act as any film starlet is.

Because of this shared heritage and related social function, whores and actresses share one other important characteristic in common:  we both tend to be dehumanized into symbols for other people’s psychological needs and problems.  In other words, people project their own concepts onto us and imagine us as the external representations of those concepts.  Marilyn Monroe famously said, “A sex symbol becomes a thing…. I just hate to be a thing.”  But her comment was too narrow; all successful actresses (and actors too) become symbols for one thing or another, if not for sex then for something else.  People cease to think of one so objectified as a real human being with wants and needs and failings, and instead use that person’s name and image to represent whatever concepts they’ve attached to it, for good or ill.  Think of the words we use to signify successful actors: “star”, “idol”, “symbol” and even “legend”.  They all signify things which are admired, revered or even worshipped…but never thought of as human.  And though “stardom” may be intoxicating, “fans” can be demanding and unreasonable and may become angry when their “idol” proves to have feet of clay, as many a celebrity caught up in some scandal (or even just speaking carelessly in public) has discovered to his chagrin.

You might argue that the price of becoming a public figure, whether by acting or music or politics or preaching, is that one’s life is under a microscope.  Perhaps, but with rare (and generally involuntary) exception, whores are the opposite of public figures, and yet people still project their own needs onto us.  Obviously we invite such projection from clients by accepting the role of temporary girlfriend, but since we’re paid for that it’s not a problem.  What is a problem is that certain groups, who neither ask consent nor offer compensation, use us as scapegoats for the ugliness they see in themselves by projecting their own perversions and flaws onto us and then persecuting us in order to destroy the unwilling representatives of their own sins.

Religious fanatics are the most obvious of these groups, but no longer the most dangerous by a long shot.  To be sure, at one time whores were the most visible symbol of  the “worldly lusts” priests fought so hard to suppress in themselves and their congregations, and indeed many such men went so far as to claim that their lust actually came FROM women in general and “wanton” (i.e. sexually functional) women, especially whores, in particular; thus harlots were traditionally vilified in Judeo-Christian religions, but outside of the Islamic world those religions no longer have the influence they once did.

The inheritors of their mantle are the politicians, who see prostitutes as a potent symbol of their inability to control everything and everyone; as I wrote in my column of September 6th,  “no matter how many of their perverse desires we may grant in bed, we deny them their greatest psychosexual thrill:  The illusion of power over others, which they crave above all else.  Most people are willing to crawl to the politician, licking his boots in order to gain a few scraps from his table, but the whore merely laughs at him and reverses the relationship while providing living proof of the inability of his profession to eradicate or control ours.”  No wonder so many of them crusade against us, and here is another reason for the increasing popularity of the Swedish Model; it allows the politician to pretend we’re powerless victims who “need” his “help” against the evil men who “exploit” us.  Then there are the cops; some of them (especially the higher-ups) no doubt have the same issues with us as do politicians, namely resentment of their inability to control us.  But judging by what one sees in interviews, those who don’t merely view us as prey for their sadistic “cops and robbers” games and project onto us their own tendencies toward deception and criminality.

But the worst of all are the neofeminists; they rant about the “objectification” of women, but themselves objectify prostitutes more completely and horribly than the most shallow man ever objectifies any woman.  We become to them the external symbols of their twisted fantasies of female subjugation by brutish men, the living embodiments of their sick obsession with humiliation, rape and degradation.  They imagine us as victims of the sexual abuse they suffered, and their own maladjustment, neuroses and self-hatred are thus transferred onto us.  The fact of this projection becomes obvious the second one hears a neofeminist speak; “no woman would voluntarily agree to prostitute herself” really means “I wouldn’t prostitute myself,” and the “you’re selling my sexuality!” nonsense is a dead giveaway.  Whores see ourselves and other women as individuals, but neofeminists are unable to accept this because admitting to individual responsibility would require them to accept the unbearable truth about their own inability to cope with reality.  So rather than seeing us as real people who might make different choices from them, they must reduce us to nameless, passive statistics to be manipulated in their pseudo-studies, or use us as dolls at whom they can point and say, “the bad man touched me there!” like children at a molestation trial.

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