On this edition of Parallax Views, what could possibly be scarier to America's Christian Right than a stripper, alternative model, and dominatrix who self-identifies as a Satanist and a feminist? Answer: A stripper, alternative model, and dominatrix who self-identifies as a Satanist and a feminist that also happens to be a huge supporter of Bernie Sanders! Our guest on this edition of the program, Venita Estella, checks all those boxes. Don't let the admittedly provocative title of this episode fool you, however. The conversation Venita and I have is not a Howard Stern-esque hour of shock jockery. Instead, we delve into a number of topics seriously while also having a bit of fun. Venita begins by explaining what Satanism, specifically what she calls "modern romantic Satanism", means to her as a member of the now Satanic Temple (whose prankster-infused activism fighting for the firm separation of Church and State has gained widespread media attention in recent years) and how it is different from both devil worship and the form of Satanism espoused by Anton LaVey's Church of Satan. From there we delve into Venita's experiences as a stripper, alternative model, and dominatrix. Additionally, Venita and I discuss sexuality as it relates to her spirituality, the changing dynamics of gender relations in 21st century America, internalized misogyny, and masculinity. Finally, we delve into how Venita became a Bernie supporter, how it changed her life, and why she is hopeful for a future in which people of all genders, sexual orientations, and races can be more free, equal, and prosperous.
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