Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Sex latent in commodities

The Huli strongly believe that public spaces should not be defiled by polluting substances and words, and pasinja meri [lit. 'passenger woman', a peripatetic woman who engages in multiple-partner, sometimes-paid, sex] often defy this norm. They have their own pseudocode in which the names of desirable consumable commodities are acronyms that stand for something salacious. Fanta, the soft drink, for example, stands for 'Fuck And Never Think Again'; Pepsi, for 'Plis Em Pen, Sutim Isi' (which is Tok Pisin for 'Please that hurts; thrust more gently'); Cambridge, a brand of cigarette, stands for 'Come Along My Boy; Remember, I Don't Get Enough'. Sometimes pasinja meri will simply shout out the names of these items while sitting at market with other people and then burst into laughter, glancing around to see who 'gets it' or not.
- quoted from Holly Wardlow, 'Headless Ghosts and Roving Women: Specters of Modernity in Papua New Guinea', American Ethnologist, 29.1 (2002), 22