In India, Some Women Are Sacred Prostitutes
A new essay in the New Yorker takes a look at India’s “sacred sex workers.” In “Serving the Goddess,” author William Dalrymple spends time with the country’s devadasis. What’s a devadasi? An ancient Hindu practice in which women are “dedicated” to a god or goddess, some of those women become prostitutes. “The nature of that service and the name given to it have wide regional variations and have changed through time; only recently have most devadasis come to be working in the sex trade,” he writes. It’s an interesting read about a country in which “sacred” and “sex work” have become strange bedfellows.