The nature of whoredom has always intrigued me. That thing we do when we compare human actions we disagree with to traditionally-deprecated sexual mores is really strange.
The reason it piques my interest so is because it works for me. I have no problem with prostitution and yet "Whore" is one of the most deprecating insults I can think of. Why is that? Most of the time we talk about whores we aren't talking about actual prostitutes. So what are the rules of whoredom? What makes a figurative whore?
The first answer is to think of 'whore' as a synonym of 'sellout.' You can see either word used interchangably when talking about popular musicians (most often female or gay). Then a whore is simply someone who could do anything (or anyone) for a price. In that it is close to the traditional tense : in elden times when fucking was connected to marriage or even love, if a girl can spread her legs for dough, what is it she won't do for the right amount?
That leads us to something : calling someone a whore is setting an ethical standard. A whore is, after all, a person of loose morals. If you say Christina Aguilera is a whore you imply that not only does she do Bad Things with only the pecuniary reward in mind, but that if you were in her place, you would not let execs decide what your music should sound like, you would not display your delishus skin in magazines just to sell more coasters, etc. etc.
But what's important is what 'whoring' means. When you are a whore you lower your moral standards for a worldly reward. You have a price, and you take payment gladly. For instance, a media whore gives up his or her integrity in exchange for the fleeting admiration of the public. A whore is therefore a cynic, who disbelieves the real-world relevance of ethical values and prefers solid rewards for their work, even if that work is ugly.
An other thing is how we treat whores.* As I said earlier 'whore' is one of the most contemptuous insults I can think of. I'm probably the man I know who respects and loves women the most, and yet you'd take me for a wife-beating rapist by the expletives I shout at MTV and at all the harlots who desecrate something as sacred as the art of music with their sexualized antics and their bland, generic beats. I hate whores. Fuck whores. Seriously -- I can respect a prostitute, because she offers a service, but I can never respect a whore, but I'm sure I'm not the only one : so why is it we hate whores so much?
Consider this : maybe it's because we are jealous? Think about it : "getting laid for money" -- doesn't that sound like the perfect job description? Shouldn't we be envious instead of disdainful? Nerds/geeks are probably the group who hate mediawhores the most. Could it be because they have what we've always secretely wanted? It's easy to express disdain for the base rewards given by acceptance when you can't get it, and a lot of very ethical people have such high moral standards only because it's all they've got left.
So maybe that's the reason why we hate these people so much. We're jealous. We wish we had the courage and the opportunity to whore ourselves out, sell out for the cash or hell, even work for Microsoft! and our contempt for those who do is a consequence of our envy and frustration.
* The way actual prostitutes are treated in most societies is to me one of the more telling examples of humanity's endless capacity for tiny, petty, despicable evil. They are rejected and despised
even though they are, have always been and will always be a significant part of society. Most prostitutes did not choose what is to them not a cynical choice but a horrible fate and the way we still treat these wholly respectable women in the Third Millenium A.D.