Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Belle and Belligerence
So whilst I was busy letting my hair down and playing air guitar with gusto as a stress busting measure, Belle de Jour came out. The reasons why she chose to do so after all this time are fairly ambiguous, but it would seem that she was going to be outed sooner rather than later anyway. Whatever her rationale for it, I absolutely admire her courage and strength and wish her all the very best in her future career too.
One of the things I admire about Belle is she has faced criticism over her apparent "glamorisation" of her work as a call girl, but I think what needs to be remembered is that those were her memoirs. She didn't claim to speak for the whole escort or indeed sex industry and therein lies the difference. She says that she was very fortunate and was never raped, beaten etc. but not once does she claim that to be the case for ( insert appropriately inflated statistic here ) of call girls.
As to her style of writing, I find it refreshingly funny, even if sometimes as she said herself she didn't intend it to be that way. Sometimes this world I inhabit can be hysterical, that's a fact. I write my blog as a memoir for myself to look back on but also as a window into a world that a lot of people find fascinating, but too few understand. Never once have I claimed that it's a bed of roses, far from it. It's a very catty industry and the work can be very taxing and tiring. I met Amanda coming out of her bedroom on our recent tour of Aberdeen and flashed her a grin.
"Well, did the earth move ?"
"No, but his teeth did."
I still wouldn't change a thing.
I read The Daily Mail today ( always a bad move ) and happened across the article written by Bel Mooney : "How can such a clever woman be so stupidly naive about this sleazy world ?" The first flaw is in the title, Dr. Magnanti cannot be referred to as naive if she has lived the experience, can she ? She is saying in her memoirs, "This is what I know of being an escort because it happened to me," NOT "This is what I think of being an escort based on my personal opinion."
Ms. Mooney goes on to say :
"....for me, the worst aspect of this whole sorry story is that such an intelligent woman (currently involved in research on 'environmental toxin exposure and child health'), with all the privileges of a good background and education, should make such a low-down, straightforwardly bad choice."
Hmmm, we must be looking at a different story then, because all I can see is a very intelligent woman who made an informed decision to pay her way through her studies rather than claim benefits. Aside from that, who is Bel Mooney to say it is a "low down" choice ? She has worked as an escort and can speak from experience can she ?
"Whatever the truth, Dr Magnanti has just added to an unfortunately widespread illusion that sex workers are free-wheeling women who make an empowered choice."
How many times ? WE DO EXIST. REALLY.
*bangs head on wall, repeatedly*
Then this little beauty ;
"Make no mistake, prostitution is not about a man enjoying a thrillingly transgressive sexual encounter with a willing woman who looks like Brooke Magnanti, or Julia Roberts; it is about exploitation, violence and abuse."
Ah, ok. Thanks for clearing that up. Next weekend I am meeting Mr A as he has arrived back from his latest business trip. He has booked a three hour session for me in a health spa to unwind and at some point over the weekend we will be driving to the borders to collect the cocktail dress I was measured for which has been hand made. Ooooh, and if you see a woman strolling around the Buchanan Galleries with hair not a million miles away from Julia Robert's mop, that will be me too, out shopping for some new make up with my abusive client, who is hellbent on exploiting me, obviously.
So blog on Dr. Magnanti, and I sincerely hope that Belle does get her happy ending, because no-one deserves it more.