Thursday, 8 April 2010
Articles and Assumptions ( again )
I have spent most of today spitting feathers and with good reason. Today there appeared in The Guardian an excellent and well balanced article written by Cari Mitchell.
Here is the link :
In the article the author asked a very valuable question in relation to the role of a modern single mother - Why criminalise prostitution when 25% of single mothers are now experiencing poverty rather than 10% seven years ago ? Congratulations Harriet Harman, this is the work of your labour party, this is the legacy you have left. ( I emphasise the word "left", because if there is a God then after May, all Ms. Harperson will have to worry about is duck houses and driving offences. )
Allow me to quote from the article ;
"Are we mothers less degraded working 40 hours a week for under £5 an hour than if we make three times as much working part-time in a brothel?
Women are not ashamed of what we have to do to survive. But we are furious that those who claim to know what's best for us are ready to see us starve as long as we keep our clothes on, or put us in prison when we take them off.
Such feminism ultimately defends the market from women, rather than women from the market. Who else will benefit from the increased competition for scarce jobs, and the longer hours and starvation wages we are urged to submit to?"
I was so enthused to see an article that was devoted to sensible observation rather than hysterical radical statement backed up by statistics from cloud cuckoo land.
So why was I spitting feathers ? It was the comments afterwards that got my blood boiling, honestly it was like stepping back to the 1950's. Here are some of the comments aimed at sex workers, during the debate some of them were generalised and some of them were aimed at me personally ;
"My point is pretty starightforward (sic): women that commoditise themselves - who themselves become the article of transaction - reduce the status of women to objects, to be bought and sold according to the delectation of men."
My reply ;
"Good grief. Can't you at least accept that some sex workers have just a little more sense of self worth not to mention intelligence when it comes to the decisions that we make on a daily basis ? I am a sex worker and I absolutely reserve the right to say "No" or stop any booking I am unhappy with. I am not a commodity, I am a Mother, a degree student and a successful escort. I do not sell my body, I offer my skills for a fee. There's a big difference, don't you think ?
To refer to my chosen, ( yes, CHOSEN ) profession as shameful and sordid says more about you than it does about any number of sex workers. It is the continued nonsensical legislating against us combined with attitudes like yours which ensure the continuation of our marginalisation and stigma in society.
You have no right to judge me or my clients any more than I have a right to judge you. Your moral standards cannot be handed out as fact, they are an opinion and nothing more."
It got better. He came back with -
"You have every right to judge me. And I have every right to judge you. Actions should be judged - indeed, they have to be judged - in politics, in business, in personal conduct.
That is not to say those judgements should be accepted. But don't get on your soap box and tell me you're above judgement. You're not. None of us are.
I happen to think your 'CHOSEN' lifestyle is demeaning - of your sex, if not yourself. I agree it's only an opinion, but I've given my reasons for it. Just as the men who pay for sex diminish my gender, so you who provide for them diminish yours."
So, in conclusion I was told I was demeaning my fellow women ( and myself ) and my choice of employment was sordid. Actually very late on I've just checked the latest comments and this little diamond has appeared ;
"The normalising of sex 'work' is idiotic. Only those with a strong stomach or no feelings need apply. This article is cack."
Brilliant. Nice to know that those with a high intellectual ability are taking an interest in such a crucial issue. For now, I'm sitting on my hands and taking myself to bed, to do some relaxation breathing thing as recommended by my new "Zen" Mother.