The prostitute is an old and venerable figure in social and sexual history. In our culture we despise and abuse her while imprisoning her in the grip of a sentimental and romantic image. The growing child will be fed images of prostitutes who are murdered or savagely disfigured and the official representatives of justice, the police, will do nothing or little to avenge her. At the same time the youngster will hear stories about prostitutes who sacrifice themselves for a man or a child and will take away the paradox of a ‘tart with a heart.’
The theory of duality, which informs latter-day Christianity, is at the heart of these ambiguities. Everything in the universe is either good or bad for us. We are so bamboozled by the strictures of church and state that we do not understand any more that our lives are composed of more or less random acts of kindness and cruelty and indifference. There are absolutely no absolutes. Good and evil are subjective and each lives a healthier and more robust existence in the world because of the proximity of the other. We have lost the third element. We have imprisoned ourselves in the realm of God and the Devil.