Saturday, September 26, 2009

From the Vividora to the Hustler

A vividora is one of those words that can stimulate different sensations: erotic, sinister, clever, and dishonest. It is a word whose masculine counterpart, vividor, would not be used to describe the same qualities when applied to a woman nor would elicit the same reactions. A vividor is not erotic. On the other hand, the word used to describe a male vividor in English, hustler, can suggest similar reactions as vividora does, but not the same moral judgments. A vividora has greater possibilities of redemption than a hustler.

Those of us who have been exposed to both, hustlers and vividoras, know that when looking for support or compassion will find that vividoras are not judged as harsh as a relationship with a hustler would be. Recently I was a victim of a hustler, and of a vividora a few years ago. When telling the story of both situations it was quite interesting to see how people react: A smile for the vividora, harsh moral judgments for the hustler.

Answers to this moral contradiction are quite obvious: when the situation is between a man and a woman is not as disturbing as when it is between a man and a man. When there is the possibility of sex, the judgment is worse. But isn’t the same lack of moral principles operating in both instances? Dishonesty and opportunism are not determined by the sex of the players but by the act. Or are we closer to the fifteenth century Versailles court where ridicule was the political strategy to be used and widely approved?

Is it quite acceptable to be dishonest as long as it is between a man and a woman? Aren’t those making the judgments as guilty of the malady as those involved in it since moral relativism is the principle they are actually applying and not honesty regardless of the players. Not really, as this brief analysis of the world of hustlers and vividoras and the men who experience it. There are more of us than the reigning petite bourgeoisie moral framework would like to suggest. In terms of feminist liberation there is greater acceptance for the immoral woman than for the inmoral man.

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