An Immodest Proposal

The CEO of Nestlé believes water ought to be commodified. Every liberal-minded citizen knew instantly this was pure evil. I, however, rejecting reactionary impulses, thought it through. What if it isn’t evil? What if commodifying water were a way of saving it from pollution and abuse? So I looked into his statements on the matter to see if he might make such an argument. No. Not a word to that effect.

     But that got me thinking. If water is a right, then shouldn’t food be too? And what about shelter? That would mean the commodification of land might well be entirely wrong-headed. If I believed that, then I would be a Communist. If I believed that, I’d have to change my life. It would mean I was against the whole western European Liberalist program. It would mean I’d have to reject Humanist ideologies and my bourgeois aspirations.

      This of course is out of the question. I have no intention of going to live in Russia or China. Why would I give up the life that princes and kings had for centuries only longed for? Not only do I have more than what they had, but I also enjoy privacy.

     Nevertheless, this water issue has been haunting me. Without a doubt, any self-respecting society that would call itself civilized must ensure that food, water, clothing and shelter are available to all its denizens. There has also been talk lately of ensuring a guaranteed minimum yearly income to eliminate poverty and alleviate stress and stress-related illness both mental and physical. Excellent! The Kingdom of Heaven would be upon us. Surely such a society would stand at the apex of civilization.

     There is, however, one essential need, which keeps getting overlooked in our bashful society, and that’s pussy. You heard me: pussy. Even Marx and Engels address the issue in the second chapter of their manifesto:

Bourgeois marriage is, in reality, a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalized community of women. For the rest, it is self-evident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private.

     In other words, bourgeois marriage is a form of privatizing pussy. We privatize, we market, we get prostitutes. Marx and Engels also imply that women who marry for money are whores. Never mind that Communism failed to actually end prostitution. It’s the utopian ideal I’m after here. If our society hopes to make any headway, it must come to understand pussy as a human right as essential to human health and happiness as clean air and potable water.

     How is pussy like water? Well, linguistically speaking, the two are singular plurals whereby the individual unit stands for the many. We say, I’m thirsty. I need some water. Likewise, we say, I’m horny. I need some pussy. In both cases, the measure is ambiguous. This syntax, you’ll notice, resembles our treatment of the word money. They are all currencies: water, pussy, money, music, alcohol and drugs. Remark the root current in currency. This is how we treat words signifying things that flow… like fish and luck. That’s how pussy is like water.

     It is unlike water in that it can’t be contained. You can’t get a glass of pussy. You can, however, get a measure and a quality, as in, I got a lot of good (or sweet) pussy last night.

     How we measure it is what distinguishes pussy most from its linguistic relatives. Unlike penises, the pussy is not measured with a tape. Much like light, however, which is counted as both a particle and a wave, pussy is measured differently according to the circumstances. When it behaves like a wave, a lot signifies a measure of time. When it behaves like a particle, a lot signifies many instances of coition perhaps including several spatial displacements.

     Another area of comparison is how we despise those who trade in these areas. If your trade is fish, you’re a fishmonger. If your trade is luck, you’re a bookie. If your trade is money, you’re a loan shark. If your trade is music, you’re a vagrant. If your trade is pussy, you’re a prostitute (or pimp). If your trade is water, you’re scum of the earth.

     That’s how pussy is like water. But it is also like light (which should be a human right too). And it’s like fish and food and luck and money and music and drugs and bounty and honey.

     But back to our subject: this civilization will unfortunately never reach its zenith until pussy is declared a human right. Pussy, like herbs and drugs, has restorative and curative powers. It is known globally to bestow goodwill and good cheer, ease of heart and ease of mind, and most especially the post-coital glow of bliss. Pussy delivers all manner of healthy physical effects like reducing blood pressure, boosting the immune system and general liveliness. Google it if you don’t believe me.

     Guaranteed, the number of suicides would decline if there were a pussy hotline instead of a suicide hotline. I mean if you’re serious about suicide, let’s face it, you’re not likely to call the suicide hotline, but if there were a pussy hotline? Now we’re talking. How many more might make it through the longest, most lonely winter nights?

     I sense now I have lost some of you, my women readers and perhaps some gay folk too, but I urge you to stick with me just a moment longer. In all seriousness, I trust you’ll agree that a pussy hotline would likely serve you better than a penis hotline, right? I mean, there’s just no solace in a penis. (Those of you who are fed up with me may now exit.)

     Also guaranteed, we’d forestall the actions of sociopathic crazies like that kid in Santa Barbara, Elliot Rodger, who murdered a whole slew of folk because he couldn’t get laid. With a pussy hotline, I bet 90% of our spree killers and half our serial killers would never develop. They’d make that call and book that pussy long before the semen backed up to their brains and sent them on a postal rampage.

     In short, many of the same arguments recommending a guaranteed minimum income and subsidized healthcare apply to the issue of universal pussy. In the spirit of the venerable and reverend Dr. Swift, I hasten to add “in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavouring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country” (A Modest Proposal, 1729).

     Whether by amendment to the Bill of Rights or to the constitution an Access to Pussy Act ought to be drafted by thoughtful and compassionate practitioners in the fields of medicine and law (if any of those can be found).

     Upon embarking on this essay, I thought that the section on implementation would cause me to trespass upon some taboo territory. I seriously pondered Babulal Gaur’s recent comments in Madhya Pradesh, India where he is the home minister responsible for law and order. In response to a brutal gang rape and hanging of two barely pubescent girls, he said, “Sometimes it’s [rape is] right, sometimes it’s wrong.”

     As I mentioned earlier, reactionism is a hobgoblin of mine. Whenever I hear something that strikes me as asinine (especially if it’s taboo), I stop myself lest I fail to observe some fundamental truth. So when I heard that rape was sometimes right, I got to wondering under what circumstances that might be true. Role-playing came to mind, and maybe raping Mr. Gaur would be a kind of poetic justice. And then I remembered a passage from the ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, about institutionalised, culturally ritualised and sanctioned rape in Babylonian culture:

There is a custom amongst these people which is wholly shameful: every woman who is a native of the country must once in her life go and sit in the temple of Aphrodite and there give herself to a strange man. Many of the rich women, who are too proud to mix with the rest, drive to the temple in covered carriages with a whole host of servants following behind, and there wait; most, however, sit in the precinct of the temple with a band of plaited string round their heads—and a great crowd they are, what with some sitting there, others arriving, others going away—and through them all gangways are marked off running in every direction for the men to pass along and make their choice. Once a woman has taken her seat she is not allowed to go home until a man has thrown a silver coin into her lap and taken her outside to lie with her. As he throws the coin, the man has to say, ‘In the name of the goddess Mylitta’—that being the Assyrian name for Aphrodite. The value of the coin is of no consequence; once thrown it becomes sacred, and the law forbids that it should ever be refused. The woman has no privilege of choice—she must go with the first man who throws her the money. When she has lain with him, her duty to the goddess is discharged and she may go home, after which it will be impossible to seduce her by any offer, however large. Tall, handsome women soon manage to get home again, but the ugly ones stay a long time before they can fulfill the condition which the law demands, some of them, indeed, as much as three or four years. There is a custom similar to this in parts of Cyprus.

     I think it’s clear that India must either introduce a Temple of Mylitta or an Access to Pussy Act immediately and set up pussy hotlines across the country because going out to rape and murder helpless girls seems to be a pastime there as common as coon hunting is in the Hillbilly States of America.

       As you might imagine, I was relieved to realize I wouldn’t have to burden my readers with such horrors. So with a lighter heart I considered that the state might provide accredited and subsidized prostitution. The same way a minimum income might be guaranteed by the state, imagine if a certain amount of pussy were also guaranteed.

      To my dismay, the whole affair seemed mired in the complications entailed by the wave/particle problem of measurement. I mean, how do we measure what minimum is necessary? And wouldn’t it potentially vary, and in some cases be harmful? The Economist and the various statistical institutes would have to introduce a new annual table called the Pussy to Labour Index, which tracks the average number of hours worked to the amount of pussy enjoyed (which, if truth be told, they should have been tracking all along because who really puts fiduciary matters above sex?). Health and psychiatric reports galore would have to be produced and organized and summarized before we could ever hope to draft a bill. We’re talking at least twenty years of commitment to this issue if we wish to table a valid law.

      And then it occurred to me: we wouldn’t need an Access to Pussy Act if a Minimum Income Act were introduced first.

Asa Boxer