Audre Lorde reads Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power


“To be proud of supposedly separating the sexual from the spiritual from the emotional from the mental, is to attempt to not be fully human, because the bio-psycho-social-spiritual is what makes up our well-being; there IS no separation. It is the dis-eased colonist culture that tries to normalize the very abnormal act of compartmentalization.

…Some people think it is “tough women” who make “successful sex workers.” To that sentiment, I like this Arnold Itwaru truth-ism:

“Toughness is the new hallmark of liberation. Tough decisions have to be made. Life is said to be a tough business. This is a troubling rule of the tough in a culture which has institutionalized violation. The new woman [the so-called empowered sex worker?] is the tough woman. She has successfully imitated some of the worst features in the mythologization of masculinity in this culture, and in this she has sunk deeper into the domination in the values of the phallus/destroyer/protector. She is now the active and “free agent” in the enforcement of its rule. This is her abusive liberation.”

– Comment by The Feminist Rag, on rmott62’s It is Always the Punters Who Have Real Choice

The description of the Justice Atu in the Thoth Tarot deck, in relation to Lorde’s discussion of the “sense of satisfaction” and of Self:

“One most go more deeply into philosophy; the Trump represents The Woman Satisfied. Equilibrium stands apart from any individual prejudices; therefore the title, in France, should rather be Justesse. In this sense, Nature is scrupulously just.[…] All things are harmony and beauty; all things are Truth: because they cancel out. She is the goddess Maat; she bears upon her nemyss the ostrich feathers of the Twofold Truth.”

— Book of Thoth

I find her talk of the connection with others and joy to relate to the Lust Atu; Eros, to the Lovers/Brothers Atu.

Related to her talk of erotica and Eros, which is about the life coming from the female, not the death-bringing patriarchal male and his gaze:

“The desire that a man sexually repressed feels for a strong woman is not the product of eros, but the expression of thanatos [death]. The man subjected under the tyranny of religious morality wants the possession of a free woman, not to free himself, but to put her in a cage with him. Male fantasies, suffocated by the authority of sin, focus on the powerful female sexuality not to seek communion. but to express violence and control in a practical and symbolic meaning….”

— Vanessa Rivera on Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality


About Cammy

Self-employed freelance writer
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