The Economics Of Slut-Shaming

It may be that the quantity of contempt handed out to prostitutes by other women has actually increased since the so-called sexual revolution. For the odium of the respectable woman used to be much more widely shared, namely between full-bore prostitutes and anyone whose sexual behaviour was more generous than her own. That is, “whore” then meant (in the spirit of Dylan Thomas) a woman she didn’t like who had slept with one more man than she herself had. For the lifetime monogamous, this could include a remarried divorcée, and certainly did include anyone in an irregular or extramarital relationship. This use of “whore” or “slut” for practically anybody is alive and well in our schools, where adolescents are trying to find their sexual way in a state of acute anxiety that breeds jealousies and severe judgments; but socialised adults no longer stigmatise free-lovers as “whores”.

The flip-side of that medal is that socialised adults reserve the word for professionals alone. The progressive chattering classes, in particular, are obliged by charter to tolerate every kind of sexuality other than rape, paedophilia and prostitution. Now, if the quantity of sexual disapprobation in the system is a constant, and those who buy and sell sexual services have become the only permitted objects thereof, apart from the rapists and molesters, it stands to reason that they must inherit all of the disapprobation left over.

For the very concept of sexual tolerance is a complete myth. All societies pick on some orientation, practice, posture or habit to excoriate; they merely vary as to which one it is. There is always an ideal of a “good” sexuality and a concomitant stigmatisation of “bad” sexuality. All that has happened in our modern progressive society is that the values have been switched around. In some cultures, whatever heterosexual men get up to is fine and dandy, while practically anything a woman does is considered wrong. Other communities consider it self-evident that anything consenting adults of any sexual identity do is quite all right. Provided, that is, only that no money changes hands. Such people are as confident that their own designated Evil Outgroup, in this case men who pay for sex, deserve no mercy as ever was a grand inquisitor organising an auto-de-fé of heretics in Spain.

Social phenomena are “constructed” differently in different epochs; for example, in the Middle Ages “prostitution” meant not only selling of one”s body, but public display of sexuality, extravagant dress or simulation of love. If simulation of love were still to be considered prostitution, wouldn”t a lot of people be in trouble!

Posted on January 7, 2012 at 14:22 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE NAME OF THE GAME, The Ultimate Crime?

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