|Hooray for Whores|
|Written by Paul|
|Tuesday, 10 April 2012 00:13|
Too bad, I bet whores have some sweet bikes.
I love whores, and not just because they make great characters, no. I love whores very much in the abstract, though the only ex-prostitute I knew was in fact a good friend of mine. I have not had much contact with real life whores, and I suspect most people in fact have not, thus I find the strong feelings people have about them to be interesting, if not bewildering.
I make here the following wild statement that you may or may not buy but I believe to be correct: how a society treats its whores determines how it treats women in general. This is not a totally crazy statement, and in fact the degree of acceptance for prostitution to be found in a society tells you pretty much all you need to know about how women will be viewed. This is a characteristic that may have exceptions, but I have yet to find any real deviation on the whole.
If a culture holds prostitution to be illegal, shameful, and dirty, then you can be pretty sure that they feel that way about women's sexuality. In some ancient cultures sex was sacred, prostitutes were revered, and it was no accident that women were venerated as well. This degree of acceptance is more or less unknown in modern cultures, to the point that "whore" is pretty much the ultimate insult to sling at a female.
And why is that? Why is it really? I mean, certainly there are a lot of ill-kempt, diseased and unhealthy whores out there, but this is vastly the result of the criminalization and low esteem of the profession, not the cause. Whoring is illegal, thus whores must operate beyond the reach of the law and its protections. They live in the margins, forever at the mercy of uncaring outside forces and dependent upon a criminal underclass for their work.The epithet is often also extended to "dirty whore" or "filthy whore", to the degree that there are porn movies named thus. The association of prostitution with "dirtiness" can be seen in several ways. I think in the pejorative sense it is likely meant to denote disease, since whores have a lot of sex and thus are more likely to be carriers of VD. But that's not all, is it?
I mean, if a whore has a disease then she got it from a customer, and we don't have any special insult for him, do we? Last I checked, calling a man "john" is not really a zinger. And that's another thing, isn't it - there are male whores (likely not so many, but still) and yet the term "whore" would sound odd when directed at a man. No, the insult is slung at and aimed at women, period.
I doubt the makers of porn really want you to think "herpes" when they call a girl a filthy whore, so another meaning has to be present - that of a moral dirt: i.e. SIN. This one is harder to justify, as last I checked the much-lauded Ten Thou Shalt Nots do not include a "fornicate" or "whore" clause. But since Aquinas the church has long associated sex with evil, and this has proved almost impossible to eradicate despite there being no real good reason for it.
Personally, I think the church missed the boat on this one, as if they are really bent on controlling the sex lives of believers a cadre of Sacred Prostitutes would work wonders for frustrated parishioners and bring in more of the real goal of the whole edifice = Ca$h. All while keeping everything safely within the family, as it were.
So anyway, why all this hatred for whores? Suspicion of disease? Moral turpitude? These seem like weak sauce to me. After all, if people all hated whores that much, there wouldn't be any, and that is a fact. The problem with whores is that it all comes back to women, and women's sexuality.
Historically, before the modern era, whorehouses were typically owned by and run by women, they were an entirely female environment that men paid to visit. The profession allowed a path to money and self-sufficiency for a women that did not fall within the accepted Wife/Mother/Nun/Schoolmarm outline. (Though there is fascinating evidence of mass migrations of northern schoolteachers of the 19th century who would head for the frontier over the unpaid summer break and whore it up all along the cowtowns and railheads until school started again in the fall.)
An ageing whore who opened a knocking-house rather than a convent was bucking the accepted mores, and resentment built up against such women in certain quarters to an almost rabid degree. Here was a woman who fucked her way into money, ran her own affairs, and was neither cast out nor struck down for it. Certain people do not want to see such a thing allowed.
So I always mentally cringe when someone flings "whore" as an insult, because it shows they are not thinking very hard about what they are actually saying. Desiring women who will fuck you while demonizing those who fuck in general is both adolescent and misogynist. Whores are fabulous, and it is long past time to lift the stigma, bring the profession into the light, and end the oppression and hatred that has hampered it for so long. Hooray for whores, and hooray for women.