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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

The whore is despised by the hypocritical world...

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception." - Groucho Marx

***

The truest passage in the book:

"The real value of a sexually attractive woman in a world which regards good looks as a commodity depends on the degree to which she puts her looks to work for her. The lovely Justine, the sacred woman, denies her value in this world by refusing to sell herself on any terms and even refusing to accept the notion of the morality of contract. But her body is by far the most valuable thing she has to sell. She will never make a living out of the sale of her labour power, alone.

However, in a world organised by contractual obligations, the whore represents the only possible type of honest woman. If the world in its present state is indeed a brothel - and the moral difference between selling one’s sexual labour and one’s manual labour is, in these terms, though never in Justine’s terms, an academic one — then every attempt the individual makes to escape the conditions of sale will only bring a girl back to the crib, again, in some form or another. At least the girl who sells herself with her eyes open is not a hypocrite and, in a world with a cash-sale ideology, that is a positive, even a heroic virtue.

The whore has made of herself her own capital investment. Her product — her sexual activity, her fictitious response — is worth precisely what the customer is willing to pay for it, no more and no less, but that is only what is true of all products. But the whore is despised by the hypocritical world because she has made a realistic assessment of her assets and does not have to rely on fraud to make a living. In an area of human relations where fraud is regular practice between the sexes, her honesty is regarded with a mocking wonder. She sells herself; but she is a fair tradesman and her explicit acceptance of contractual obligation implicit in all sexual relations mocks the fraud of the 'honest' woman who will give nothing at all in return for goods and money except the intangible and hence unassessable perfume of her presence. The honest whore is assured of her own immediate value, not only in her own valuation but in the valuation of her customers. So she can afford to ignore the opinion of the rest of the world but she will not be respected for her integrity although, if she is successful enough, and her business prospers, she may ‘ruin’ men, like any other successful entrepreneur."

--- The Sadeian Woman: An Exercise in Cultural History / Angela Carter

(other extracts will follow at a later date, though in the main they are more hilarious than illuminating)
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