Judgement in Easter?

Obviously, my wp reader is full of Easter related posts.  I need to google to understand how the day of Resurrection got connected to rabbits and eggs.  But yeah, there are a few more philosophical posts as well.  Reading one such interesting post,  I hopped over to a link that talks about a group of people fighting for the release of Mary Magdalene from the shame of being cast a prostitute.

Perhaps Mary was a prostitute, perhaps she wasn’t.  My greater problem is this:  Why are prostitutes bad that Mary must be saved from the “shame” of being called one? Why is prostitution evil?  It is just a job, isn’t it?  Of course I am not opening up the can of worms where women are forced into the profession against their will – that is truly wrong, and the woman is a victim of a cruel crime.  But in cases where prostitution is a choice of living – why must it be shamed?  I am a writer by profession.  I peddle words that come from my head.  Why would my my offer of “intellectual services” for money be any  “morally” better than bodily services offered to people for money?

I think fighting for Mary’s “innocence” is just as demeaning as calling her a “prostitute”.  You can set right a historic mistake – nowhere in the Bible is Mary Magdalene described as a sex worker.  However, “Innocence” is NOT an antonym for prostitution.  Perhaps we should mind our tone and words (“slut shaming”) when we are setting right a mistake, lest we demean another group of women who are earning their livelihood by offering services that involve their bodies. Remember, they are earning their livelihood,  that is dignity in itself.

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7 thoughts on “Judgement in Easter?

  1. Carol

    You have opened a door that I had not even known existed, a thought process that had never occurred to me. I thank you, and now that you’ve opened this door, I find I agree with you. we do the best we can with what we have.

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    1. Gobblefunkist Post author

      A few days back, as I was writing up an article for a client on a topic I did not agree with, I told a friend that I felt like an intellectual prostitute. She called me a lot of names (e.g. misogynistic, judgemental prick) and said that with women like me, who needs men to demean our own gender. That opened my door.

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  2. Hangaku Gozen

    Historically, women who pursued a profession or calling traditionally occupied by men were sometimes accused of being “immoral,” sometimes of being prostitutes. Before Florence Nightingale made nursing a certified profession accessible to “respectable” young women, female nurses were thought of being “loose women with no moral decency,” particularly since they lived among male soldiers. No decent young woman would want to hang around a camp full of swearing, spitting, smoking (and worst!) men, went the reasoning.

    So it went with Mary Magdalene, who was one of the earliest followers of Jesus. It may have been a bad translation of the Gospels that cast her as a reformed prostitute—there are several Marys mentioned in the Bible, and there is a story about Jesus saving a woman from being stoned by a mob after she is accused of adultery. Some translations claim this was Mary Magdalene, others do not. Other translations cast her as a repentant woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive scented oil. Was this Mary Magdalene or another woman? Contemporary scholars think they were all different women, but the Magdalene somehow got pegged as all three.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Magdalene

    I follow your argument about prostitution being just another profession that someone can choose to make a living, but that’s not the point being made by female Biblical scholars. The argument is Magdalene has been miscast by bad scholarship and misogynistic writers. They feel that she ought to be regarded as one of the disciples of Christ, just as Peter, James, Andrew et al are.

    Not picking an argument with you, LG! Just trying to clarify the case being made.

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    1. Gobblefunkist Post author

      HG, Mary was reportedly the last to leave the site of Crucifixion on Friday and the first to arrive on Sunday to embalm her Lord. She must be the foremost of apostles irrespective of whether she was a butcher, baker or candlestick maker, or prostitute.
      I think the two fights are different – the one for gender equality must not be confused with the fight to establish fact. In the fight for gender equality, we are unwittingly stirring up the misogyny of demeaning prostitution.
      That’s what bothers me, not the fight for equality.

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  3. leendadll

    i agree.so long as it’s a person’s choice, not by force, then it’s not different than any other choice. i’ve had sex for far worse reasons (low self esteem) and done jobs for pay that are no more mental prostitution. i’m definitely not in any position to judge anyone else’s decisions.

    Liked by 1 person

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