Reflections on dismantling whorephobia with Mary Magdalene. It's pretty full of curse words, my usual rage, and raw opinions. But it's also full of love, of course.
In my attempts to figure out why I hate (or resist) the focus on thriving, I realized Mary Magdalene has something to teach me.
I could go more in depth about what kind of situations I am in that make me resistant to the word 'thriving', but I won't do that here. Just know I am very aware that thriving is a beautiful thing - I do not hate on it as a concept, duh.
What I resist is how people expect it to look on me. I detest implications that encourage a permanence of needing to perform a perfect act in order to be witnessed and valued as a thriving person with a history of survival.
Mary is helping me make sense of it all.
background: if you know me, you know I was raised in a catholic extended family. My parents were married in the catholic church, I was baptized, and initiated into communion in the same building but I made it out before confirmation. It is by no surprise to me that a little girl who was told to drink the blood of a man who died for her sins turned out to be so witchy and weird (lol).
I was not indoctrinated inside my family of origin home. My father always said he had better conversations with god on his fishing boat than he did in a church pew. And I always thought that was sweet; it has greatly informed my own relationship with god. I attended church, yes. But they didn't catch me - I was never netted up in the dogma. I wrote my own dogma. But my friends and peers definitely were caught up in the bullshit. Purity culture was (and still is) all around that western Wisconsin small town (the world).
Anyway, that's who's writing this. Enjoy! :)
The original whore in Christianity was Mary Magdalene.
The men in her day decided she needed to be called to a whore so she couldn't get into the apostle lineage.
But I personally think a whore belongs in the lineage...
Especially an unapologetic whore.
And I'm gonna tell you what I think about it.
So although it was likely (definitely) falsely used against her,
I challenge the notion that a whore couldn't have been an apostle.
Or can't be today, for that matter.
She didn't need to be saved from the title of Whore.
I think it's fucked up that we think she had to.
The pope himself admitted that she was never a whore and since 2016 she has gotten many upgrades in the church that unfortunately came like...a few thousand years too late in my humble opinion, but here we are.
In order for her to get her feast day, she needed to lose the title of Whore.
The same patriarchy that demanded her a whore in order to stay out of Christ's lineage is also demanding her not be one to be welcomed into it.
What the fuck is that kind of backward nonsense?
(I know all the femmes reading this know what I'm talking about).
(also! If you want more info - read the chapter Mary Magdalene Was Not a Prostitute in Meggan Watterson's book Mary Magdalene Revealed for specific history on her reputation. The author is fairly whorephobic in this writing and it hurts my heart but also understand that even in work that aims to dismantle the patriarchy, whorephobia is still a socially acceptable arm of it - and it will creep around all secret-like in the guise of feminism until we call it out. This is me calling it out.)
That therein is where the actual problem is: Women are only accepted in ways the system that men created decides is acceptable. Uhg, grossssss. booooo!
I say fuck that.
She is the story of the sinner being saved.
That's why we are supposed to love her so much; her repentance.
I say fuck that, as well.
The sin was invented (though not* made up out of thin fucking air) through disgusting perspectives about any body that wasn't a socially accepted male body. This is simply the fantasy about Eve as Adam's rib bone on volume 10,000 and I am not here for it.
And I don't think Mary was either.
To focus on thriving feels like focusing on the saving part, the need for repentance part.
The part we think we are swimming to,
but are actually drowning in.
Mary Magdalene teaches us how to float.
(so does Pennywise but that's for another day)
The whore doesn't need saving; she never needed to be saved.
She was never a sinner.
Never needed to have remorse.
She owes nothing.
She's seriously just a cool person hanging out in the ocean having a great time and the men on the beach who see her are fucking pissed about it.
What she needs is her lineage.
Her lineage is nothing but survivors of violence.
They are worthy of our honor, our reverence, and our attention exactly as they are.
The kind of violence we survive as whores is the kind that can only come from the hatred of women and the systems that perpetuate (even encourage) harm on our physical bodies.
SIDEBAR > Rant within a Rant: I am so gosh darn sick and tired of all this political bullshit about trans bodies and reproductive healthcare access as if we are pawns in a chess game. The rage that riddles my body when I see how almost nothing has changed for THOUSANDS of years motivates me so much to figure out authentic ways to work through whorephobia. I'm just gonna say it: We don't have rights because of whorephobia. Bottom line. I digress (or would it be regress?) Anyywayyy...
I refuse to reject this lineage of survivors and pretend it has to look a certain way to be received in dignity, compassion, and gentleness. I straight up refuse. We will get absolutely no where if we don't figure out how to accept this lineage as it gives itself.
I reject any story where the whore is expected to fall in remorse to be seen as wholly golden.
This is the teaching I need from Mary,
that I have nothing to apologize for.
WE have nothing to apologize for in our Whoredom.
She doesn't need forgiveness to thrive.
She needs her fucking lineage.
We need her wisdom to be passed on.
She needs to be left the fuck alone in her ocean so she can just float around every now and again.
For the love of Lilith, Amen