Thursday, 14 July 2011
...and it's a goodbye from them.
I don't think many of us who work in the sex industry will mourn the loss of the News of the World. This is a publication which routinely ruined the lives of many ladies all in the name of selling papers to those who can't be said to list high browed intellectualism as one of their attributes. Aside from myself, I know of several ladies who have in the past been "doorstepped" and it is a horrifying experience. Your first thoughts are always for your children and how protecting them must be paramount in your decision making process. I have always thought that the reporters who outed ladies had the morals of a seal pup skin collector, caring not a jot for the feelings of the lady, her family, her friends and most importantly her children. I was right.
Whilst it is true that from time to time I speak to the press, there is an immeasurable difference between talking to a journalist about proposed changes to the legislation concerning sex workers and having your personal details splashed all over page 8, together with photographs. Following on from the last piece I did, a magazine called and tendered £400 ( WOW !! ) for a story about what it's like to be a "real" escort. I told them I would be delighted to speak to them provided that they maintained my anonymity, allowed me to mention Trish Godman and what she was trying to rush through Holyrood and if I could donate my fee to a women's charity. I never heard from them again.
When reading the NOTW's self-righteous pieces on "fallen" women, the one thing which struck me was that they would always choose the lady's lowest rate, so as to cheapen her to the penultimate level. She could charge £5,000 for a week, for example, but the headline would scream "£150 AN HOUR SLEAZY VICE GIRL". Vile journalism at it's best.
Let there be no misunderstandings about this, were they to "out" me, I would sue without hesitation, calling in every lawyer I know and touring until my legs fell off to pay for it if necessary. As far as I'm concerned, if I take measures to protect my identity on my website and don't parade my face all over the internet, then I have expressed a desire for privacy and it is a privacy I am entitled to.
Of late there had been an upsurge in the comments left by ordinary members of the public when such "stories" were published, such as "leave her alone, what she's doing is quite legal and your expose is not in the public interest" and I must admit I had begun to take heart. Finally, ( I thought ) common decency had begun to prevail. I was still in no way prepared for the huge outcry following the latest allegations against News International, it was people power at it's finest. If what is alleged is true, it is quite simply one of the most disgusting things I have ever heard. To hack into the phones of people who have already suffered as the family members of murder victims, those who fought and died for our country, not to mention high level corruption with alleged payments to police is beyond any reasonable description I could conjure up. It is the one scandal which has united the country in outrage and a demand for answers.
Perhaps now, these people will know what it feels like to experience social exclusion and stigma. In their predicament however, it is entirely warranted and richly deserved.