This is an old article from the Courtesans Blog I think has added relevance in the current climate of antipathy toward the horrific injustice of inherited privilege. This is Dedicated to the Republic Campaign for a fairer United Kingdom
Ive seen a lot of posts on here recently about Princesses being a good archetype for young women. I respect these posters enough to keep them on my friends list but I feel I must make the effort to provide the counter argument.
Or more accurately completely and utterly destroy this total fairy tale fallacy that far from being positive, I consider toxic to modern society and the cause of womens equality.
Now in my responses to these posts I put forward that a Courtesan is a better role model than a Princess. OMFG you cry how can you rate a whore higher than a princess?
Simple, Courtesans are independent, intelligent, socially savvy and brutally honest. Contrast that with an airheaded, naive Princess who claims to be in love with some random stranger just so that she has access to his power and fortune once they are married. Happily ever after? Yeah right!
I think its best we illustrate with a couple of examples. Two women roughly a century apart: Both named Catherine both involved with a future King (well assuming we dont dump the Royals any time soon) one a Courtesan the other… well Duchess but a de facto Princess really.
So let us have a look shall we?
Well start with the modern Princess.
Oh dear what an unfortunate picture. Surely there is something that better reflects her true nature? From the wedding perhaps?
Anyway she is supposedly the legitimate Royal squeeze and after that parade of pomposity called her wedding she is idolised across the world by poor deluded little idiots.
This is complete bullshit.
Okay lets start by debunking her supposed virtues…
She is hailed as common Kate the daughter of a pair of small business people.
Im sorry but multi million pound turnover is not a small business and millionaire heiresses are not common. Hell I reckon all the negative press about her being common was engineered by the Princes PR people to generate sympathy.
Now lets look at her other trump card the romance of the century.
More bullshit Im afraid. That infamous Canadian made for TV Movie is probably the least subtle parody in the history of hitting people over the head with metaphorical sarcasm hammers.
Yet some people are stupid enough to buy it hook line and sinker.
It was definitely a parody in terms of the idea that extremists or the security services may have been involved (very Mohammed Al Fayed) but the idea of the Tory PR machine manufacturing the Wedding is hilariously plausible in an obscene Yes Minister/Thick of It way. After all the whole farcical event was the perfect smokescreen for killing AV and beginning the process of killing the Welfare State.
There may well have been some affection in the past but the on off nature of their relationship, the way the wedding was timed and the string of former boyfriends and girlfriends of both makes it doubtful this is really the love story of the century. A love story at all is possible but nothing special if it is.
So what good can I say about not so common Kate? Not a lot. Seeing as she is a millionaire it wasnt too hard for her to get the qualifications she does have and she doesnt seem to have done anything momentous or contributed to society in any meaningful way.
Looking pretty and having good PR is not a qualification for the kind of idolatry shes getting at all.
Now on to a Catherine more worthy of our respect…
Catherine Skittles Walters
Catherine Walters or Skittles as she was affectionately known by her friends was also associated with a king in waiting. Prince Bertie would eventually become Edward VII. However she obviously never married him and by some accounts never even slept with him. Theres was a truly respectful relationship between good friends.
Of course this relationship was, in contrast to that between Kate and Wills, reviled, despised then forgotten by all but historians and history buffs like me.
I dont think this is just because Skittles was a Courtesan connected to most of the British establishment (including 4 time Prime Minister William Gladstone) I think when it comes down to it the real reason she was hated and has been airbrushed from popular memory is because unlike Kate she was A PROPER COMMONER.
The illegitimate daughter of a dock worker and a washerwoman from Liverpool: How can you possibly get more common than that?
Anyway the point is she made her way up from nothing. You may not agree with her methods (even if they are somewhat obfuscated by the prudishness of the age) but this is nonetheless admirable.
Whats more she may have disguised her accent and learnt the ways of the upper classes including horse riding which she is renowned for…
However she never converted from the still unpopular Catholicism and was an active supporter of the radical wing of the Liberal Party including the Suffragist movement (non violent womens suffrage campaigns in stark contrast to the more famous Suffragettes whose methods bordered on terrorism. In fact it was them who invented suicide bombing. Fortunately the exploding handbag failed to go off.)
Skittles was a true commoner, remarkably honest and free of spin: she never stopped pushing for other working class women to have the power and wealth she wielded without having to follow her daring path.
She was also far more powerful and influential at her height than any other woman of her age including the Queen the age is named after: Victoria. Personally Im going to start calling it the Skittles age from now on: Partly because it is more accurate but mostly because it sounds awesome.
Skittles is an exceptional role model of strength of character, intelligence, political activism and above all being her own woman. Common Kate on the other hand started with millions, has gained even more millions and her net contribution to society stands at precisely fuck all!
Courtesan beats Princess hands down.
Answering the Obvious FAQ
I know this question is going to come up so Ill answer it in the article.
Would you want your daughter to be a Princess or a Courtesan?
Well leaving aside the fact that I think having children in this grossly overpopulated age is criminally irresponsible (see previous posts) if I was that stupid and I had that choice Courtesan would win out hands down.
Courtesans were strong, intelligent, honest, cultured and above all were not tied to the success of some idiot of a man.
Even idealised Fairy Tale Princesses are royally fucked up in the head. I mean lets have a look…
*Cinderella: Child abuse victim who threw herself at a stranger purely as an escape route.
*Snow White: Not quite the innocent shes made out to be in the original story. The relationship with the Dwarfs is positively creepy and you get the impression that the whole thing was a conspiracy by the little madam to kill her poor step mother who, in getting older was losing the looks that unfortunately still seem to dominate womens perceived worth today.
*Sleeping Beauty: Until the prudish Victorians got their hands on it, it wasnt a kiss that woke her up. She married a man who sleep raped her.
*Rapunzel: If your hair is really that long and durable tie it to something and abseil down. Dont rely on a passing prince.
And thats just the 4 most iconic.
You do get the odd Royal Bride worthy of respect. Shahrazad of Arabian Nights was clever and brave enough to survive an insane homicidal dictatorship and eventually change it for the better.
My artist Mastersilverwolf commented on a photo of me with my book Courtesans: A Roleplaying Game of Sex And Society and said that it was like a proud father. Well hes right…
This is the closest thing I have to a daughter. Shes a Courtesan and Im very proud of her.