This train of thought was set off by Lasara Firefox’s moving tribute to the memory of her friend Shannon Williams, dead of a brain tumor in her 30s. (I remember being naked with Lasara and a whole lot of other people in a huge mudbath at a Church of All Worlds Sabbat about 25 years ago. Drool, you cowans.)
I am heartened by the Swedes: they have decriminalized the selling of sex; have made buying sex a major crime; and are enabling women to get out of the sex business (or sex slavery) and find a better life. With rare exceptions, women become prostitutes out of sheer economic necessity or because they have been kidnapped and enslaved by sheer brutality. Face this fact, hypocrites: to not provide a woman with a decent job at adequate pay is to sell her into slavery.
May the Gods inspire more countries to adopt the Swedish plan—yet it falls far short of dealing with the real problem: why do men want or need to buy sex? Obviously, because they do not have a satisfying sex life. That is a major symptom of the endemic, international mental illness that Wilhelm Reich diagnosed and called the Emotional Plague. (Not a perfect name; it’s not just any old emotions that are the problem. I recently coined a new term: Aphrodiphobia, meaning “fear of sex.” Still not perfect, since the illness is far more serious than a phobia, but at least it’s less euphemistic.) Rape is an even worse symptom of the illness and involves yet another pathology.
It is impossible to cure an illness that the vast majority of people suffer from in varying degrees, that they have no name for, and that they therefore think is normal. Naming it identifies it and begins the path toward sanity. There has been some progress along that path in modern times, but still pathetically little overall. The core of the illness is the belief or unexamined assumption that sex is evil, or that there is anything wrong with sex itself at all. That belief historically goes back to the Pagan Greeks, not to Judaism—but its history makes little difference now. We need a current strategy to combat it.
After the Holy Spirit saved my life by booting me out of the Catholic church when I was 14—I was suicidally depressed by the pathological nonsense the church taught about sex in the 1950s (that’s a long story, told elsewhere; would be tangential here)—I began to wonder what truly healthy beliefs about sex might be like (I’m still working on that). Discovering Reich about 1964 was a first clue. It was also progress that in 1964 the Roman Catholic church, in the first written constitution the church has ever had, threw out all that ancient toxic crap about sex and replaced it with a genuinely humane caution (although I did not discover that fact until I was teaching theology to young nuns in the early 80s)—which is why American Catholic women have ever since ignored everything that the celibate old farts in Rome have said about sex.
It is men rather than women who are psychologically the most damaged by the illness—for exactly the same reason that it is not the slaves, but the slave owners, who are morally corrupted by slavery. Thus it is the johns and the slavers who are the “sinners,” not the “fallen women.” Arresting women for selling sex is the epitome of blaming the victim and of denial.
Sexual desire is necessary for the survival of our species (duh!). That survival is the universal “prime directive” underlying all viable ethical systems. That sex is (almost) our greatest pleasure guarantees our survival. (Amazing how many people in history have managed to be in denial about that.)
The right to a happy sex life is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights promulgated by the United Nations in 1945, to which the USA was a signatory. It should have the force of law. However, protecting human rights is not a high priority in a country now run by a selfish, greedy de facto aristocracy whose members believe they are obscenely wealthy because God wants them to be.
Lack of a happy sex life is a major symptom of the illness. Women need and deserve to have good—that is, transcendental—sex perhaps more than men do. It is a horrifying fact that thousands or millions of exploited women will never be able to enjoy sex again in their lives. That is just as much a crime against humanity as castrating men is, as the Nazi extermination of millions was. Wake up to that reality, hypocrites.
Yet there is one way for women who are not quite that damaged to begin to recover and heal. (Maybe there are other ways. Their advocated can speak for themselves.) They can become Witches! Not the now polite, respectable, family-friendly Wicca, but real, powerful Witches who can combat the oppression of our corrupt institutions, just as the archetypal Aradia did. Taking control of their lives can lead to healing, satisfaction, joy, and possibly even a full Awakening (details on that come later).
So I believe the whores must become warriors. Who else would have the courage? The fallen must rise, the prostitutes become Priestesses, the slaves be free. I hope that I and others who agree with me might offer them “arms and a name,” that is, weapons and the power to use them. They will need to call out every lie, every time. They will need to get in the face of anyone who makes excuses for corruption. Politeness, moderation, compromise are useless for fighting the plague we are facing. This is war, in every country, in every faith. If followers of other faiths want to help, they must do more than talk. As Bob Dylan said (more or less), if you can’t help, get out of the way.
There are real Witches out there who can help and empower. Look for them. There is real magic available. Ask this: what was Diana doing, and why, when Actaeon spied on her?