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Society and lifestyle

Do I own my body?

19 December 2021, Amy Diop
Do I own my body?

The latest avatar of this formidable modernity which does not fail to surprise us: a certain Catarina has just sold her virginity at auction for the tidy sum of 780,000 dollars, “to help the poorly housed.”

How hadn't we thought of that earlier? If we put aside a philanthropy that smacks of scam in the face, there remains a rational calculation that leaves us speechless. Should we laugh or cry? Blame or praise the snow goose? But deep down, isn't she the owner of her body?

This question is one that causes mental cramps. It must be said that it is contaminated both by an implicit metaphysics and by a grammatical confusion.

- We “have” a body as we "have" a car or a TV. So there would be "me" on one side, and what I "have" on the other - listen to "I am a body" sounds weird. A dualistic metaphysics is like encysted without our knowing it in our language, which separates a “me,” spirit or soul, from a body which appears as an object at its disposal.

- As for property, it comes under being: virginity is one of the properties of Catarina’s body, like its weight or size, which make it a unique body. But it also relates to having it, a property that has an exchange value: Catarina values her virginity like others their plastic, their know-how, their treasury bills or their ingots. Virginity obviously falls under the first kind of property, but how can it fall under the second? As a transferable property, virginity should be able to be objectively established, which is impossible.

So I pretend

- That we only "own" our body in a metaphorical sense;

- That virginity is a matter of being and not of having - which is also shown by the fact that "having a virginity" is not part of our language.

Catarina is therefore selling a "thing" that she does not "own", and which has lost all symbolic value with sexual liberation. Brilliant scam or extreme naivety? Thank you to you Catarina for this performance in the artistic sense, which lays bare - one could say - the great capitalist washing machine which reduces all the values to one: the price.
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