Your sister is a sex worker and not only her but your grandmother, mother, aunt, daughter, niece and possibly your wife too! If you think that’s outrageous, try this on for size: I got it from the Bible!
“…I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” (John 20:17 NIV)
That the first disciple that Jesus appeared to after His resurrection was a woman is remarkable considering the fact that men in that society often thanked God that they were not Gentiles, slaves nor women. That He would give her a message to take to the men in a society that gave no legal weight to a woman’s word is incredible.
Was this a spiritual or a social statement? I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian thus believing that I am a soul as opposed to having one, I consequently lack an ideological framework that allows me to separate the spiritual from the physical (or social). For me, the metaphysical and physical are inexorably linked.
I believe the message that Mary was to take to the disciples is the key to understanding the link between the spiritual and the social ramifications of this event. Christ’s dad is my dad. The glorious Being depicted in Revelation 4&5 is not Aristotle’s Unmovable Mover but my loving Father, moved by compassion to send Jesus to shine His light in our darkness (the central theme of John’s Gospel). Having God for father places immeasurable value on me (and you). I am a prince, royalty of an order that will rule for eternity.
Mary is a princess. The woman we’ve relegated to be seen and not heard is a princess. She, therefore, is my sister, my mother and even possibly, my wife. The greatest crime of the sex industry is not the drug abuse, disease or suicide that plagues sex workers but the fact that by slapping a price tag on the priceless, it robs its employees of their true identity.
Oh, it’s easy to say the lady standing on the street corner could be your sister, mother or even wife or that she is somebody’s sister, mother or wife but I think that misses the point. To put it differently, let me ask you a question… Is anybody ever born a sex worker or do we take humans and strip them of their humanity before we put them on the street corner? I’ve hung out with many a baby girl and not one has ever offered me sex for cash. Sex workers don’t fall from the sky, they start out as smiling babies. They are princesses (or princes) – children of God and thus, our siblings.
Still outraged? Hold on, it gets worse. There is a victim of the sex industry who often goes unnoticed while we shed tears for the sex worker. There’s nothing wrong with weeping for the sex worker but how often do we consider the client as a victim? By sexually objectifying the sex worker, the client inadvertently objectifies himself. By degrading another human being, he unwittingly degrades himself because as humanity, we are in this together.
I learned that assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong; and that oppression of the unfortunate makes one weak. (Booker T Washington)
What of the pimp, who looks at a priceless person and sees nothing but a few dollars? Is that not the saddest form of blindness? He or she is a like a fool that exchanges diamonds for a few sweets.
My aim is not dull the egregiousness of the crimes of all those involved but to point out that by failing to value each human as God values them (priceless), we not only devalue them but ourselves too. I would also dare to say that I remain unconvinced that pitting men against women will solve this problem. Legislation definitely helps but it never seems to get to the heart of the problem. Angry activism only breeds more anger. I dare say that we need to embrace God as our Father. That way we will see the sex industry’s victims not as possible relatives or somebody else’s relatives but as ours. How then could that noxious industry survive?