Subjects surrounding the stigma of sex work & the assumptions surrounding the people that work as prostitutes
Musical – controversy surrounding subjects
Most of my previous essays have linked to feminism and equality – continue and work on this into my final dissertation work?
Theatre – a voice for political views
Alienation effect (Brecht) – positive if people want to keep it as a performance, and do not want to be reminded that it is real
Judith Butler – Frames of War
Gender and class is a basis I would like to build into my dissertation, as a stand alone subject and a link to London Road
Prostitution and its representation historically
Who’s voice gets heard? History/Herstory
Who gets to tell the story of what happened?
- When researching – you hear little from the perspective of sex workers themselves, but instead from outsiders looking in, clouded by perspective and stereotype.
Can the subaltern speak? Is there a feminine history?
“The unrecognized contradiction within a position that valorizes the concrete experience of the oppressed, while being so uncritical about the historical role of the intellectual, is maintained by a verbal slippage.”
In critical theory and postcolonialism, the term subaltern designates the populations which are socially, politically and geographically outside of the hegemonic power structure of the colony and of the colonial homeland.
Postcolonialism speaks about the human consequences of external control and economic exploitation of native people and their lands.
- Talks about whether there is a feminine history discussed – have we only heard one side?
Women on the Market
Commodification of women – people trafficking
“a woman’s self is divided between her use and exchange values and she is only desired for the exchange value. This system creates three types of women: The Mother, who is all use value; the Virgin, who is all exchange value, and the Prostitute, who embodies both use and exchange value.”
This Sex Which Is Not One – Women on the Market
“The society we know, our own culture, is based upon the exchange of women. Without the exchange of women, we are told, we would fall back into the anarchy (?) of the natural world, the randomness (?) of the animal kingdom. The passage into the social order, into the symbolic order, into order as such, is assured by the fact that men, or groups of men, circulate women among themselves, according to a rule known as the incest taboo.”
“Are men all equally desirable? Do women have no tendency toward polygamy? The good anthropologist does not raise such questions. A fortiori: why are men not objects of exchange among women? It is because women’s bodies-through their use, consumption, and circulation-provide for the condition making social life and culture possible, although they remain an unknown “infrastructure” of the elaboration of that social life and culture. The exploitation of the matter that has been sexualized female is so integral a part of our sociocultural horizon that there is no way to interpret it except within this horizon.”
- Consider 1978 and the nearly 40 years between now and then – visit stigma and attitude and review changes?
Visit the Crossbones Graveyard (Borough High Street) – where prostitutes of previous history are commemorated
Disavowal and spectacle – looking and not looking
normalisation & “the other”
Its representation in history
16th Century – association between the plague, prostitutes and contagiousness
The ‘worlds oldest profession’
Ancient near East – ‘Houses of Heaven’
Documented by Greek historian Herodotus in book ‘The Histories’
– Sacred prostitution was a common practice
2400BCE – earliest recorded mention of prostitution as an occupation
Temples with 3 Grades of women
- First grade – only permitted perform acts/rituals in the temple
- Second grade – had access to the grounds and catered to visitors
- Third grade (lowest class) – lived on the temple grounds and found customers in the street
Canaan – a significant portion of the temple prostitutes were male
4th Century AD – Constantine (Emperor) destroyed Goddess Temples and replaced these religious practices with Christianity