By - MistWeaver80
Interested in sources regarding st. Augustine and st. Thomas’s comments on prostitution. Thanks in advance.
Women and Socialism by August Bebel
The Traffic in Women by Emma Goldman
>>The most amusing side of the question now before the public is the indignation of our “good, respectable people,” especially the various Christian gentlemen, who are always to be found in the front ranks of every crusade. Is it that they are absolutely ignorant of the history of religion, and especially of the Christian religion? Or is it that they hope to blind the present generation to the part played in the past by the Church in relation to prostitution? Whatever their reason, they should be the last to cry out against the unfortunate victims of today, since it is known to every intelligent student that prostitution is of religious origin, maintained and fostered for many centuries, not as a shame, but as a virtue, hailed as such by the Gods themselves.
>>“It would seem that the origin of prostitution is to be found primarily in a religious custom, religion, the great conserver of social tradition, preserving in a transformed shape a primitive freedom that was passing out of the general social life. The typical example is that recorded by Herodotus, in the fifth century before Christ, at the Temple of Mylitta, the Babylonian Venus, where every woman, once in her life, had to come and give herself to the first stranger, who threw a coin in her lap, to worship the goddess. Very similar customs existed in other parts of western Asia, in North Africa, in Cyprus, and other islands of the eastern Mediterranean, and also in Greece, where the temple of Aphrodite on the fort at Corinth possessed over a thousand hierodules, dedicated to the service of the goddess.
>>“The theory that religious prostitution developed, as a general rule, out of the belief that the generative activity of human beings possessed a mysterious and sacred influence in promoting the fertility of Nature, is maintained by all authoritative writers on the subject. Gradually, however, and when prostitution became an organized institution under priestly influence, religious prostitution developed utilitarian sides, thus helping to increase public revenue.
>>“The rise of Christianity to political power produced little change in policy. The leading fathers of the Church tolerated prostitution. Brothels under municipal protection are found in the thirteenth century. They constituted a sort of public service, the directors of them being considered almost as public servants.”
>>To this must be added the following from Dr. Sanger’s work:
>“Pope Clement II. issued a bull that prostitutes would be tolerated if they pay a certain amount of their earnings to the Church.
>“Pope Sixtus IV. was more practical; from one single brothel, which he himself had built, he received an income of 20,000 ducats.”
>In modern times the Church is a little more careful in that direction. At least she does not openly demand tribute from prostitutes. She finds it much more profitable to go in for real estate, like Trinity Church, for instance, to rent out death traps at an exorbitant price to those who live off and by prostitution.
Gosh, I get so pissed that libfems defend prostitution and pornography as if that's not an industry that hurts women - specially WOC.
I mean, it's easy to say you are free to choose what to do with your body when you are in a place of privilege due to your race, social class or even nationality, when the same industry you are feeding into oppresses women who do not share these same privileges.
How does one plan on fighting the patriarchy... By giving it content, really? A woman who uses pornography to call herself empowered is only ever empowered because she's giving patriarchy what it wants. Try taking it away, and see how much respect you'll still get.
Yes, women should be able to choose what to do with their bodies. But considering social structures, that's not possible yet, not when a personal liberty causes way more hurt to the collective, and that's why ultimately liberalism is not compatible with feminism - because it turns the movement a white, privileged one. No wonder so many WOC are leaving the movement.
It's so sad because most prostituted women have basically been groomed, many of them since childhood, into believing that this is what they're worth. It's just so normalised. Most prostituted women have been in prostitution from a very young age. I read a post from a woman in the sex worker subreddit who had been prostituted as a child by her family and was STILL seeing the men that raped her as an adult. This is the norm for women in the sex industry. The more middle class "sex workers" that are active online and in pro-sex work movements will defend rapist and pedophile clients because they're getting paid by them, and instead direct their anger towards society for not accepting their unhealthy lifestyle. They are enablers of male violence.
I completely agree with you.
I do have some thoughts/questions, as ignorant as they may be.
I'm seeing a lot of pro-sex work sentiment in certain feminist circles.
I am assuming that conventionally, one can't be both pro-sex work and anti-prostitution/pornography.
How do we reconcile these seemingly opposing positions?
Is it just a matter of supporting and advocating for the women being exploited in these industries, while simultaneously working to abolish the institutions/industries of prostitution and pornography?
Does it make sense to, for example, identify as pro-sex workER (emphasis on individuals) AND a prostitution/pornography abolitionist?
Or are these two positions diametrically opposed, like sex positive feminism and anti-pornography feminism have been historically?
I apologize about the ignorant questions, I'm trying to learn as much as I can. 🙂
Research on the Nordic Model, it will answer most of your questions. As you mention, feminists support sex workers and want them out of sex trade industry, however don't support pornography/prostitution because harms women. The point is to elimate what forces women into prostitution, so it will never be a "choice" because when you have to choose selling your body or live in the street, is not a choice.