Nossa Puta Sagrada, Our Blessed Whore, explores the complexities of a woman’s sexuality. It ruptures the false dichotomy between a whore and a saint and challenges what a respectable woman could look and behave like.
Written by: Jessica Alvarenga
Women are afforded a limited number of narratives that are deemed “respectable” in society. This is especially true if the society is governed by a patriarchal religion such as Christianity. In Christianity, the two most notable female figures are the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene. The Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ who conceived without having sex is seen as nurturing, pure and free of sin and is considered highly respectable. On the other hand, Mary Magdalene, a woman who has had sex, is depicted as a prostitute whose body reeks of lust and perfume and is a sinner in need of repentance. Both women have been labeled by others and are denied agency over their own bodies in attempts to control their sexual behavior. This has translated into present day sexism by creating social values that place women in a hierarchy based on their sexual behavior, i.e saints are more “respectable” than whores. This also requires women to perform gender roles in a certain manner if they want to be respected by society and are stigmatized if they deviate from it.
Women are complex beings. The good vs. evil and the whore vs. saint binaries attempt to limit that truth. My aim is not shun the saint nor the whore but to be more inclusive on the different narratives women can take. Sexuality is fluid and women should be given the autonomy to enjoy their sexuality whenever, however, and with whom they choose to. Furthermore, women should be equally valued and respected regardless of their sexual behavior, orientation, or lack of it and should not be coerced to behave in a certain way.
Nossa Puta Sagrada is transgressively celestial. It challenges the limited archetypes of the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene, the saint and the whore, and it demands for the dignity of a person regardless of their sexual behavior or the lack of it.