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sybarite
Punker, there was an item on the radio about the coverage of the Ipswich murders being exactly as you describe; focusing on the victims' physical characteristics like hair colour and endlessly substituting the word 'prostitute' for 'women'.

It depresses me that there has been zero fucking progress on how sex workers are treated in the media. This kind of reportage is hardly going to discourage mistreatment of these women: if anything it tacitly condones it.

The contributors included the Guardian's Joan Smith btw...
mornington
punker, some news stations have started to refer to them as "sex workers" or just "the murdered women"... I think it's partly to do with them having this in common. Although I wish they'd refer to them as women first. Although I'd be pretty speechless if I heard someone make a comment like that.

Hopefully this might help getting the sort of regulations they have in other countries set up, as people have been trying.


punkerplus
At least some of the media is trying I guess... It just makes me feel sorry for their family you know. As if we are dismissing them as nothing but their job.

I read a good article in the Independent about the "safe" areas certain countries have for sex workers, which are well lit, have cctv protection and police patrols. Of course, first prostitution would need to be decriminalised.

And then I read an article from the daily mail. I am a glutton for punishment I swear. Anything I read in there makes me sick, I have written to them countless times expressing my outrage, and yet for as long as my mum continues to buy it, I continue to pick it up and flip through in an idle moment. Yeesh. Anyway, back on topic! It was all about how these women put themselves in danger looking for "what they pathetically call business" and many sex workers do it because it means easy money and we need to shame these women and discourage young girls blah blah blah. I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking of it.
mornington
what i find sad is that the first two women to be reported missing weren't really taken any notice off until the other bodies started cropping up.

and i hate the daily mail - easy money my arse. I don't think anyone would go into sex work on the street (as opposed to maybe call girls, strippers etc) because it seemed like a good career move.

oh... and it was radio four i heard then referred to as women before anything else.
hoosierman78
QUOTE(punkerplus @ Dec 15 2006, 12:57 PM) *

All inter-related outrage, but different aspects:

In Ipswich 5 women were murdered in 10 days and so obviously a huge hunt has been launched for what is thought to be a serial killer. All of these women were sex workers and so the police have put out specific warnings to women who work on the streets advising them to stay in.

But it really pisses me off when all the media says is "five prostitutes have been murdered..." "the first prostitute to be found...." "another prostitute has gone missing...". Hello? These are women with lives and families and hopes and dreams and all the rest that other women have. They are not entirely defined by their profession and you shouldn't define them as such!

And worse, the amount of cretins (otherwise thought to be intelligent, respectible people) who have come out of the woodwork with compassionate comments such as "well they knew what risk they were taking" as if they somehow deserved to be murdered. Not to mention the man I heard say "its not exactly like its a huge loss to society, who cares if we lose a few hookers?" I was speechless. Call me niave, but I never really realised how little regard society has for sex workers.


The thing about this is, think about when there is a huge prostitution bust (Heidi Fleiss, for example). Who is always in the little black book? That's right, all of the hypocrite mouthpieces that spout off garbage like the guy you mentioned above.

Personally, I don't understand what the big deal is. EVERYONE, in one fashion or another, pays for sex. The only difference is that prostitutes and their 'Johns' or 'Janes' are honest about it. Everyone else, be it with dinner, time, drinks, etc., has paid for sex in the past. This criminalization of activities that some deem 'immoral' is completely uncalled for. If you don't agree personally with the idea of prostitution, that's fine, just don't try and tell others what they can and can't do when their personal value system doesn't match your own. It damn sure doesn't make the prostitutes any less human or deserving a proper investigation when they are murdered (or otherwise victimized). I just don't get where some of these holier than thou people get their ideas. Especially those that call themselves Christians. I thought the teachings of Christ were all about compassion for your fellow human? Guess they skipped that day in Sunday school.
wombat
Erm, the "everybody pays for sex" idea is a bit problematic. Does everybody have sex with 20 people a day that they are not attracted to, not having an orgasm themselves, fearing that they will be robbed, raped, beaten or murdered? Nope.

Yes, sex workers deserve to be treated better.

"That's just the way everybody thinks of sex" ah, not quite.

Some women are not in it for the dinner or whatever you'er putting out, they are after some genuine emotional and physical mutual pleasure.
erinjane
I agree wombat, I wouldn't say everyone pays for sex in one way or another. I definatly think that prostitutes deserve better treatment, and I don't really agree with 'moral/immoral' issue because things just aren't that black and white, but I think it's an over exageration to say everyone pays for sex.
wombat
Of course, high priced call girls like Heidi Fleiss girls get set up with celebrities and don't have to do anyting they don't wanna - supposedly. Or at least would do a lot fewer people and other better circumstances. And if they felt attractted to the celebrity in question, probably getting off too, fine, but that's a whole different thing from crackheads on the street.
girltrouble
no matter how people talk about this issue-- prostitution, a moral superiority seeps in. even with well meaning feminists. it's not easy. we do need to think about what we say.

one thing that always bothers me about feminists, or any people who claim some status in a group is this need to separate themselves, to look down on others. it's hard not to. i do it myself. but i've found one thing that helps keep us from hopping on a i-would-never...i-don't...high horse, is if we want to talk about prostitutes, talk instead about the larger group. women. when we look down on other women, no matter what they do, their walk of life, we do ourselves a dis-service.

from my point of view, escorting, prostituting, is really no different than any other job. you may not agree, that everyone pays for sex, but the fact is, we all use our BODIES to make money. if it is to do some form of data entry, write, paint, mechanics, trading stocks, whatever. the fact that it is SEX, does not make the person working any less of a laborer, any less ethical, but more than likely, it does mean that they had fewer options. when sex is focused on, it leads to a separation between "us and them" and the point of (third wave) feminist thought-- atleast from my reading-- is a concern for ALL WOMEN, and to minimize and erase the fractures between us, and to respect eachothers differences and different choices.

these girls really weren't that different from any one of us.

ALL WOMEN deserve a safe job that allows them to make a living. ALL WOMEN deserve to be spoken to and about in a respectful way.
erinjane
I agree with your main points, but I still disagree that sex work isn't any different from other jobs, because the fact is that it's very different. In a theoretical, ideological way it would be really nice to say it's no different but in the reality of the world we live I don't think it's possible to say that at this point.

It's true yes, we all use our bodies, but not in a sexual way. I don't look at this from a morality view, some people see me as a sex worker for doing nude photography modelling, but I think it's important to look at things realistically, not just ideologically.
girltrouble
really? very different? if not morally, then what is the difference between say, a pro wrestler, an office worker and a prostitute, that separates the way they use their bodies for income?

tying it to sexuality, points up the fact that this is little other than moral argument. i don't mean to cut you short. if there is a reason that is important to differenciate, i honestly would like to hear it. i don't know everything and perhaps i am looking at this blindly.

i understand the need to say we need to look at this in a realistic way, and some might say that i am too 'politically correct'
but my point is that if we are going to talk about how the media frames these women, and if we say our goal is to humanize these women, to make sure they aren't viewed as disposable,it is crucial that we not fall pray to the same moralistic hypocracy.

i am not interested in creating little arguments, or nitpicking within the feminist community or this board, and i love the boards here too much to want to hurt anyone's feelings. busties kick ass! but looking at the way that republicans use language as a weapon, to wage war, literally and metaphorically, we can't, don't want to shoot ourselves in the foot to please a dominate culture. to me that sort of reaction gets us nowhere. being a queer, transgendered, and black, i have seen different groups sacrifice "less desirables" to try and make some headway in that dominant culture to no avail. i have seen the gay activists sacrifice trannys to pass laws that cover them, but leave us swinging in the wind, i have seen brutally slain transgendered woman abandoned by black culture because they are queer, women, invalidating women of color, all for a seat at the table only to find they are given crumb of bread. but as i said, perhaps i am looking at this wrongly. i do tend to be too sensitive, and fall prey to hyper-acuity when it concerns issues i identify with. so please take my response as a heart felt one.

if we want a better media, let us live by a higher standard first.
pepper
i think a big difference between sex work and other work is the personal shame. i know a few women who've worked or work in the industry and it's a big, dirty secret with all of them. no matter is she's peeling, working for an escort agency, doing porn or standing on a street corner, there is often deep personal shame associated with what she's doing to make a living. it's not the same as working in an office or slinging burgers or pumping gas or whatever. while you might not love those jobs, you might even be embarassed by them, you could still tell people, your grandma or a stranger, what you're doing for work. hardly anyone's going to announce that they have sex for money. even people who freely admit that they run a porn agency (etc) for a living have to be living in the shadow of some heavy stigma, that has a psychological affect. a big fat negative one.

as for everyone paying something for sex, well, i suppose if it's mutually satisfying an equal exchange has taken place but that's not exactly the same as paying for it. certainly there are people who 'put out' to get something else in return, no one can deny that. but that isn't the reality every time or for everyone either.
wombat
I think it's important to support the women who sell sex as women who deserve safety and respect, but I don't agree that every job is prostuting yourself in one way or another -- one's sexual functions have deep personal, emotional resonance.

I am always a little suspicious of "all workers are prostitutes" when articulated by someone like French filmmaker Goddard.

I apprieciate your speaking up, though, girltrouble, I'm not in favor of shedding the "less desireable" either.
erinjane
I'm really not thinking of it in a moral way at all. The fact is for many people, myself included, prostitution is tied to sex, and sex work is a lot more dangerous than other jobs. An office worker and a pro wrestler don't often have to worry about being raped on a regular basis. I also agree with what wombat said, "one's sexual functions have deep personal, emotional resonance." This is basically what I was trying to say. For some people sex just isn't that big of a deal but for others it's hard to seperate from something like a job.

I'm a very strong supporter of legalization and better working conditions for sex workers, but I also recognize that it's a very different job BECAUSE it has to do with sex and the reality of that is that many women feel ashamed, embarrased, uncomfortable, and they take a lot more risks than workers at regular jobs because they really have no recourse to take when something happens to them.

I think addressing the media's framing of these women definatly needs to change but I also think that catagorizing prostitution will minimize the problems with it and make it easier to ignore rather than change.
maddy29
such a great conversation here! i am totally guilty of looking down on women in the sex industry. i worry that they are just participating in their own exploitation, and it makes me mad. i'm trying to work on my own views.

that being said though, i really do believe that erinjane is on the right track with making it safer for women. i know there are many arguments against legalizing prostitution, but to me it just makes sense. think of all the new tax money we'd be getting! that way it could be organized, they could have advocates with the law behind them. they could have health insurance, etc.

and it's true about the shame. i've been trying to pin down where i got the ideas that "being a hooker is really bad, the worst thing you can be." etc. i asked my roommates about it, we all agreed it was just something that we picked up along the way. it's hard to change that idea, especially when i do think that so many women/men/children are involved in the sex industry in a way that is so harmful to them.

i don't know how to say this-but it seems like the shame and disgust around prostitution has been created by our own views on sex. we see sex as something shameful or gross, so of COURSE we see sex workers that way too. i'ts like this cycle that keeps feeding on itself.

re: every job is like prostitution-i have to say, this is totally different, but when i was a therapist, my supervisor and i would talk about how we felt like prostitutes. not in a sexual way, but because we would have to be who our client needed us to be. i can't explain it well, but sometimes it did feel like selling little pieces of my soul- and with every client i had to kinda play a different role (with this client i'm the teacher, with this one i'm the loving mom/sister she never had, with this one i'm very clinical and therapisty....etc)

pepper
"and the reality of that is that many women feel ashamed, embarrased, uncomfortable, and they take a lot more risks than workers at regular jobs because they really have no recourse to take when something happens to them."

also, that lowered sense of self-worth may lead to a woman feeling like she doesn't deserve to be treated well, that she deserves abuse. after all, many of them are perpetrating self-abuse in the first place out a sense of self-loathing.
the thing about feeling like you're selling bits of your soul in a job, and believe me i've felt that way waitressing even, is that you aren't feeling like that with some disgusting stranger's hands on your boobs and his cock in your pussy. how do you distance yourself emotionally in that situation? impossible, i think, unless you start to disassociate and that's hugely psychologically damaging.
sure, i'm all for legalization and creating a safe work environment for sex workers but i think that's a stop-gap measure when so many of those women ARE perpetrating self-abuse through self-loathing and would really benefit from a major cultural attitude adjustment towards women in general. that attitude that sex work is nasty is just an offshoot of the attitude that being a woman is nasty and that women are useless, dirty, second-class citizens. sure, i live in the priveleged first world and hardly have to deal with that myself but there are still countries where women are circumsized as small girls, burned along with their husbands, publically stoned to death for nearly nothing, etc etc.
prostitution is just one small piece of the big picture.


on another note, listening to CBc daybreak Kelowna this morning and there was some piece on today (will be continued tomorrow AM) about the psychological/emotional damage that women sustain from abortion. i don't know exactly what they were aiming at but it ticked me off listening to the bible-thumping singer warbling her ditty about murdering her unborn child.
sheesh.
i'll tune in tomorrow for (hopefully) some balanced opinion.
maddy29
Professional sleaze-bag, Joe Francis, was recently ordered to pay $1.6 million for using underage girls in his infamous "Girls Gone Wild" videos, most specifically the ones including two 17-year olds who were filmed at Panama City Beach over spring break 2003. Yahoo! News reports:

U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak ordered Mantra's multimillionaire founder, Joe Francis, to read aloud in court a victim impact statement from one of the women, who said she was emotionally tormented by her appearance on a "Girls Gone Wild" video and that the video damaged her relationship with her family. Smoak told Francis he added the community service because it did not appear a fine would be a meaningful punishment. The fine represents less than 3 percent of Mantra's profits since 2002 and only 12 percent of Mantra's 2005 profits, Smoak said. "It does not take a very brave man to go out and corner a girl in the middle of spring break who had four drinks," Smoak told Francis.

WHAT DO people think about this? is it enough? should he even be fined at all? don't you have to get permission from someone to use their image on film? is the problem that these girls/women were too drunk to give consent to be filmed? personally, i find this all repulsive, but i'm confused. aren't we supposed to say "oh well they are women and we support all women's choices"?
wombat
Yeah, it's the fact that he is photographing them and videotaping them without any permission or compensationg, distributing the images to the general public, and making a profit.

which, really, he doesn't have the right to do, and the whole attitude behind it is "well they're just dumb slutty girls who deserve it."

And I think, they're young and having a good time and channeling the *awesome power of boobies* that doesn't mean they deserve to be punished later by having their employers or grandparents or whatever see it. Not that it should be an issue against them, but eck. Sometimes it is.

I guess it's more his attitude and profiteering that is the problem for me.
erinjane
I don't think it's enough given his ultra creepy history, especially when it barely amounts to any of his profits.

The whole girls gone wild thing makes me extremely uncomfortable because these are intoxicated women who seemingly for the most part do not have the frame of mind to actually make an informed choice. So i see it as different than an issue of supporting women's choices. Getting a drunk women's consent to flash people for your profit does not fly with me.
anna k
Despite himself being filmed as the sexual "bitch" of some guy, it hasn't changed his own endeavors:

QUOTE
In 2004, Francis was videotaped in sexually humiliating positions while held at gunpoint, and was subsequently blackmailed according to a Radar article. Joe Francis, in an interview on July 24, 2006, on The Adam Carolla Show, stated that he was in fact kidnapped, held at gunpoint, and later blackmailed for the tape, but denied rumors of him performing sexual acts on camera. He went on to state that he was only forced to say "something like" "I'm a homosexual." on the camera. The tape or a copy of it was recovered by the LAPD for use in the criminal trial of his assailant, Darnell Riley. On February 7, 2006, Riley pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years and eight months in Corcoran State Prison.
girltrouble
i totally think prostitution should be legalized. but again, i think all the arguments presented center on a moral jugement. it's more dangerous? so is being a test pilot, logger, even a roofer ended up on the list. pro wrestlers constantly get injuries, so that is just as dangerous but there is no stigma for any of the above. and women don't only worry about being raped if they are prostituting, so i don't think that works either. and shame has everything to do with moralistic motives.

QUOTE
is that you aren't feeling like that with some disgusting stranger's hands on your boobs and his cock in your pussy. how do you distance yourself emotionally in that situation? impossible, i think, unless you start to disassociate and that's hugely psychologically damaging.


see maddy's post. i really think that the above is a moral judgement too. because it doesn't work for you, doesn't make it a truism. "having some...stranger's hands..etc. is a choice, and in many cases, the prostitute does have some choice in who she chooses. even if it is a woman walking the street, she has the option of going, you know what? i am getting a bad vibe here, i'll pass. they do choose not to go with someone if they suspect they are a cop. that "disgusting stranger" could be someone who they are actually friends with, athough it's not outside of 'work'. i've known girls who think their clients are great. and finding someone a "disgusting stranger...etc", happens with people you've dated too. moral judgements. the way we describe things says it all. i know i've been guilty of it too. but i really do appreciate everyone's thoughts on this. i am actually searching for the answer to the question i asked. if not morality, what else separates those other jobs. i haven't figured out an answer that works for me yet. and with that, i think i will move on to the next subject.

re:joe francis
i'm with erin jane and pretty much all the other busties on that f*ck stain. the thing i find so odious about that guy is, that he litterally makes money off of suckering drunk girls. while he makes all of them sign wavers (so legally he can tape them and air it any way he chooses), but he pays them nothing, only the cost of a couple of drinks and a GGW t-shirt. and that chaps my hide in the worst way. if she is the one who people are paying to see, she should get more than a quick buzz, and a hangover. the dude owns an island and the judge gives him a small (for him) fine. i really belive in porportional punishment. if an asshole steals billions from his workers and company, a (see enron) a million dollar fine is chicken feed. same in this case. if i were the judge, i'd be taking the island, a couple of million dollar homes, and his plane. the point is to make it sting enough so he won't do it again.
maddy29
yeah, i think ggw is grody too. but the real issue, it sounds like, is consent. if you are drunk and you write a will or sign something legal, can't they get that totally throw out? since you weren't in your "right mind" ? he's definitely a piggy pig. snort snort.

erinjane
QUOTE(girltrouble @ Dec 18 2006, 11:57 PM) *

i totally think prostitution should be legalized. but again, i think all the arguments presented center on a moral jugement. it's more dangerous? so is being a test pilot, logger, even a roofer ended up on the list. pro wrestlers constantly get injuries, so that is just as dangerous but there is no stigma for any of the above. and women don't only worry about being raped if they are prostituting, so i don't think that works either. and shame has everything to do with moralistic motives.
see maddy's post. i really think that the above is a moral judgement too. because it doesn't work for you, doesn't make it a truism. "having some...stranger's hands..etc. is a choice, and in many cases, the prostitute does have some choice in who she chooses. even if it is a woman walking the street, she has the option of going, you know what? i am getting a bad vibe here, i'll pass. they do choose not to go with someone if they suspect they are a cop. that "disgusting stranger" could be someone who they are actually friends with, athough it's not outside of 'work'. i've known girls who think their clients are great. and finding someone a "disgusting stranger...etc", happens with people you've dated too. moral judgements. the way we describe things says it all. i know i've been guilty of it too. but i really do appreciate everyone's thoughts on this. i am actually searching for the answer to the question i asked. if not morality, what else separates those other jobs. i haven't figured out an answer that works for me yet. and with that, i think i will move on to the next subject.


I think we're going to have to agree to disagree. Of course not only prostitutes worry about rape, but the risk is much much higher, as is the risk of assault. And for the most part when a sex worker is assaulted she has no recourse and can't usually go to the cops. Take a look at the murders in Ipswich. Sex workers asked for immunity and compensation from police because it wasn't safe to go outside and they were denied. Like I said, taking away the stigma in the media isn't the solution because then the current situation becomes (more) normalized and no one will want to bother for change. But I don't see these as moral issues.
dusty
My brother told me that he had read a book that said that the Netherlands has one of the worst problems with sex slaves, ie. women brought in from other countries to work as prostitutes against their will. If it is true, I think it says something because the Netherlands, as far as I know, has close to full employment and legalized prostitution. Does that mean that in a society where prostitution is legal and women have other employment choices, there aren't enough women who choose to be prostitutes to fill the demand?

Ipswich is getting a lot of international coverage, but what about the Canadian case, where at least 27 women, many or most of them prostitutes, were killed and it took years for the police to sit up and pay attention?
erinjane
I agree, I only used the Ipswich murders because they're so recent. I'm in Canada so it's hard for me to say internationally, but when I thought the pickton case got a lot of coverage when everything came to light but the amount of time it took police to sit up and take notice is unbelievable. I think it's disgusting the way police/media/everyone treats prostitutes as if they're not human. In BC there's some highway that has a creepy name because so many women have gone missing from there. Sitting in front of me I have a postcard to send to the government called "Stop Violence Against Indigenous Women" but fat chance with this government. /ragey incoherent rant.
maddy29
when i think about legalizing prostitution-i think about how we've created an entire class of criminals. just like with the drug laws- they've created criminals. as long as we see drug use and prostitution as criminal act, there will be stigma attached.

also i wonder how much time is wasted on busting hookers, that could be used for i dunno, catching rapists? etc....

and when you are talking about what is the difference between other jobs and prostitution-well, prostitution is illegal-that's the difference!

girltrouble-could you say more about why that statement that pepper made was a moral judgement? was it because of the words "disgusting stranger?" or something else.

i also think when we talk about prostitution we also have to talk about pimps. because to say most prostitutes have a choice in who they "work with" is just not accurate, i don't think. not like i know! maybe i just watch too much tv. but it seems like you'd have to make a certain amount of money, so you can pay your pimp dude, which means you have to take a certain number of clients on...
pepper
""having some...stranger's hands..etc. is a choice, and in many cases, the prostitute does have some choice in who she chooses. even if it is a woman walking the street, she has the option of going, you know what? i am getting a bad vibe here, i'll pass. they do choose not to go with someone if they suspect they are a cop. that "disgusting stranger" could be someone who they are actually friends with, athough it's not outside of 'work'. i've known girls who think their clients are great. and finding someone a "disgusting stranger...etc", happens with people you've dated too."

what i said was entirely based on the related experiences of women who i personally know, not my own opinion though i certainly concur with much of it. being a mom i know what it's like to feel like you don't have a choice in what you do to bring home money sometimes. i can go without something but my kids need the essentials and i would do whatever necessary to make sure they had them. those women felt like they didn't have a choice at all. you don't say "no" to someone your agency or pimp sets you up with or who wants a private dance from you in the club you work at. not if you want to keep your job you don't. you do whatever you can to make that man, or men, happy. keep in mind that a lot of the money these women earn is in tips as well. not only that, there is a ton of drug and alcohol use involved and so many girls get wrapped up in that to numb them, to make the endless late nights bearable and pass swiftly, and a lot of them end up as addicts with a habit to support and another reason to keep working. so many of them end up practicing unsafe sex as well because, as far as been related to me, that is what the vast majority of the men they meet are after. it's amazing to me that any man would want to have unprotected sex (a lot of them are after anal as well) with a sex worker but they do and they'll pay extra for it.

what i quoted above sounds really idealist to me. i don't think you meet "friends" in that industry. you meet people who are willing to take advantage of other people (and that goes both ways too) and people who see the value of other people in terms of flesh and money. that's not a moral judgement. i don't think it's "wrong", just horribly, terribly damaging on so many levels and that's where the imbalance and detriment is. that's a different discussion though.
hoosierman78
Along my earlier comment regarding everyone paying for sex, in one manner or another, the intent behind that statement may have been a little misunderstood. I was speaking of the hypocricy of those that are morally opposed to two consenting adults exchanging cash for sex, when those same people (more often than not men) often feel as though their date is obligated to 'put out' in exchange for dinner, drinks, movie, etc. I in no way meant to minimize the hell that I can't begin to imagine is the life of some prostitutes, given their lack of standing with most police when reporting rape/assault/etc. I'm in agreement with maddy's remark comparing the creation of criminals through drug laws with the creation of criminals due to illegal prostitution. When something is illegal, there becomes a black market for it, which more often than not attracts those that have fewer qualms about robbing/assaulting/raping/etc than most of us. If drugs are legal, the murders over drug turf, thefts by addicts that will do anything to get the required $$ to buy their fix, etc., all decline. Same with prostitution, with exception of a possible slave trade, prostitutes would have legal recourse to take when they are attacked.

As for ggw & Joe Francis, riddle me this: It is considered rape if you have sex with someone - whether they agreed or not - when they are drunk. The reasoning being they cannot consent to anything due to the temporary mental incapacitation caused by drinking. How is this same line of thinking not applicable to the 'consent' received by the drunk girls being filmed? Seriously, have you seen one girl that looked remotely sober on the commercials?
erinjane
(Posted in both feminist outrage and sex work thread)

Here's some links that are pretty interesting.
http://www.reclusiveleftist.com/?p=459
http://victoriamarinelli.com/main/

I really like the second one. It makes some good points sort of centering around the recent discussion on FO.
maddy29
hoosierman-that's totally what i was thinking with the GGW-how IS it legal? or is it illegal, but just most girls either a) don't care or cool.gif are too embarrassed to make a case for it.

i'm with pepper on the prostitution thing. good stuff.

girltrouble
don't think you meet friends? there is always the cliche of a working girl marring her john, but, as i said, i knew several girls who were very much friends with their clients. some didn't mind seeing them socially. others kept it strictly business, but liked their clients enough to call them friends and ask favors of them. and one girl i know dated a couple of clients. that's not to say they are all dreamboats, but it isn't all assholes.

i should be more clear on how i know all of this, because my experience isn't one of knowledge gleaned from tv. i was looking for work and i saw an and in a local free paper-- an agency was looking for someone to handle thier phones. i have a great phone voice (when i think about it) and i talked to the woman running the agency. she and i got along famously, and became friends. she allowed me a lot of lattitude because i am a T-girl, and she knew i wouldn't try to jump ship or steal clients. but along the way, i met quite a few of "the girls". the "madam" of the agency, was actually very nice and would take some of her girls out for drinks if it was a good week. it's not like this was some seriously fancy agency, it was middle of the road. i knew some who started street walking and wanted to move to an agency, and others who were independent. it was cool in some ways because this woman made sure to keep feelers out with the other agencys so she knew when the cops were doing their sting operations, and her girls rarely got busted. i was in many ways the eyes, ears and voice of the agency since i was manning the phones, and even just doing that i got to know the clients and their predilictions quite well, and many of them were, very friendly and relaxed. not at all what i expected before i took the job. after you become a regular, much of that distance disappears.

now i don't want to paint a picture things are rosey for all working girls. it's not, but even when they needed money, there was always a choice. of course there are girls who were smacked up out of their minds, but they didn't get many clients after a while. most of the girls at the agency did drugs recreationally, but there were two who became addicts. but that doesn't seem like a high number to me, and there was a third, but i don't think the work had much to do with it. she was already on the medication before she started work. i was given a lot of lattitude with clients, as well. i was told if i thought something was fishy, i could tell any client that we would not take their business. when a regular was verbally abusive to one of the girls, we refused his business and told every other agency and girl working in this city about his issues, aliases, and cautioned them from seeing him. in less than a week, he couldn't get a girl short of a street walker. my view of prostitution was very much one of empowerment because of "the madam". and for years afterwards we were friends.

the view from the inside is very different than a lot of people think. many girls hire drivers, who are often bouncers looking to make extra $$$. they make sure nothing happens to them. my agency had a series of check in calls that would ensure the girl's safety.

my point, in its long, circular way is that if there was a safety net, the job really wasn't that dangerous. part of the thing is making sure that the clients knew they wouldn't get away with anything. checking id's and phone numbers, asking for refrences, are things that can be done, but aren't because there isn't always an environment for that. but with a safety net of legality, it isn't as dangeous as most people think. the clients at the agency knew they had to use protection, and would be put on probation for trying to talk a girl into doing without. two strike policy with that. but if you are independant you make all the choices yourself, which is the crux of it to me. there are a lot of choices to be made. believe me i am not a rabid republican, running around saying "personal responsibility!" but there are 1000 little choices to be made. and yes, street walking is the most vulnerable segment of that world, no doubt. but even that is often, from my pov, a choice. but if the street walkers are the bottom rung of "working girls" there are quite a few rungs above it, each more safe.



as for the GGW legalities, i think the wavers are considered valid is because they sign them when they enter the bar and are assumed sober at the time. i am not sure if they have to sign another when they go off privately, but i would assume from working on film that they simply ask them to show an id, and fill out another, less rigorus form so they can match their signatures with the form they signed upon entering. that's my theory. ive worked on a couple of filmed rock shows, and that's how we did it. not that there was anything remotely as crazy as GGW.
wombat
annnnddddd ... as "the girls" get older, they go further and further down the rungs, and I would bet that they can't stay with the same high-class madam for too long as the guys want "variety" and, they'd better not get fat, and they'd better LOOK a certain way, and they have nothing to put on their resume, unless they're hooking on the side with some other job, and when they get older it's time to get into kink.

"Protection, the house arrangements, etc" -- they become known to/indebted to organized crime figures. Organized religion and organized crime reinforce each others' profits.

Yeah, help me, be my friend... thinking of that vulnerability makes me sad.

Did y'all see the article in the latest Marie Claire about a former stripper trying to help other girls leave when they want to leave?
roseviolet
Going off topic for a moment. File this under "Well, DUH!!!".

Reality Check: 95% of Americans had Premarital Sex

Yup, that abstinence-only sex ed is really working. rolleyes.gif
crazyoldcatlady
MWUAHAHHAHA, rosev. loves it!
anna k
I saw the Marie Claire article. She looked like Bijou Phillips in her stripper days.

On HBO's Real Sex, they've shown strip clubs that operated more like theater for girls who liked to dance naked and put on performances in a more punk-rock, artsy way. There the girls looked really happy dancing and expressing themselves, putting on a new show all of the time and being a burlesque-style entertainer. That's the exception, though.

Friday I went to a club that does comedy shows, rock shows, and burlesque shows, and saw the burlesque one. I liked the performance of the girls when they put a lot into their show and did a slow reveal, but others just danced in between shows, looking bored and receiving polite applause after each song ended. Some would talk to people while onstage, and it was boring to just watch a half-naked girl dance like she's waiting for a bus.
girltrouble
it seems, no matter what my experience is, there is some cliche hole to be found. acting isn't much different than what you describe, wombat.

but your assumtions are pretty much wrong, wrong, wrong.
    >most of the girls would work part time, so they did have something on their resume, but tax free extra money as well.
    >gaining weight wasn't always a negative, there was always work for bigger girls
    >same for mature girls
    >fetish and kink are actually good things, because you don't have to have sex and you can charge more, and body size is really not an issue with the kinky, they want the right attitude more than anything.
    >many girls were going to school and were very aware they didn't want to do that kind of work forever. it was a good, fast income, and they knew it. >as for guys wanting variety, at the agency, that really wasn't an issue. at least not in the way you imply. they guys were suprizingly loyal. if anything they would request a menage with another girl, but they seldom did a lot of switching. they wanted someone who knew what they wanted.
    >variety was actually a good thing in that it didn't mean guys seeing everybody at the agency (although there was always one or two), but because there was work for types of girls who you wouldn't expect.
the sort of "protection" and "house arrangements" are more common with strippers. because their places of employment actually charge their girls to be on the house stage, they can easily end up in debt to the house. at the agency, the house's money comes off the top. the girls NEVER owed the agency money, it's bad form. any madam who had girls who owed her money was asking to get burned. protection for the girls was simply good business. a girl burned the agency gets burned. no mob/organized crime, that's television fiction.

and the "Yeah, help me, be my friend..." business was more like, hey, you've got great taste, can you pick me up a new dress you think would look hot for a date" variety. real sad. sometimes clients would have connections that they girls didn't. guys wouldn't mind helping them with different things, because they liked each other.

you think you know, but you don't know.

really, it's feeling like i am beating my head against a brick wall.
feh, i guess i'm in the minority for not being completely down on this kind of work, and that one can do it for a time and get out. and it can be a good thing. it's not for everyone, to be sure, but it's not what you see on TV.

anna k, one of my best friends is a burlesque dancer (she's older and is kind of a burlesque mama), and she organized shows with traveling dancers coming into town. the best was this girl whose shtick was looking utterly and completely bored. her entire act she chewed gum like a cow, but you could tell it was her shtick, and it was a riot. she brought the house down....she was so good, that my friend added gum chewing to her act, and she's been dancing forever (really, she's in her early 50's and she's awesome!)
pepper
GT, the place you describe sounds like nothing that's ever been described to me. i'm sure there are places like that and i'm sure your experience was real and as you say but the majority of agencies and clubs that girls i've known worked for (high-end, mid stream and bottom of the barrel) were completely different. sadly, what wombat described is not just the stuff of TV fantasy.
i don't know how much genuine complaining a girl would do to a co-worker who was buddies with the boss either. and i don't know how many girls would make waves about a $200 tip for doing something that was against the safety "rules" either, most of them would just take the money and hope for the best. i did, however, know of more than one girl who got 'friendly' with a client outside of work. it was never really outside of work though and never a genuine friendship. and it certainly isn't something that any agency encourages, not even your boss/friend. most agencies fire for stuff like that.
it's not that i'm against that kind of work in the way i think you mean, it's that i see all the garbage that goes along with it and it's more often than not tragic. i supported a really good girlfriend through years of counselling, court dates with abusive boyfriends (x-clients aka the new pimp), AA and NA after her bout of "working". she's got great big fake boobies as a constant reminder for the rest of her life as well. then there's another girlfriend who paid her way through uni peeling, she hasn't had a meaningful relationship with a man in over a dozen years because she was propositioned by everyone from men of the cloth to grade school teachers to men who's wives were in the hospital after delivering their baby and she just doesn't trust any man any more.
we can agree to disagree. i recognize the validity of your experience but it's very, very different than what i myself have observed.
girltrouble
now, what you are saying about dating outside the agency, it is frowned upon, but we were talking about friendship, and as i said there was varriance. and you point out a girl was dating x clients, so it's not uncommon. i think you would agree seeing clients by going outside of the agency is also something that would get a girl fired as well, and as a person who handled the phones, it was very easy to figure out when it was happening. clients tend to be very consistant over time. and, not to be dismissive, but it sounds like your friend who distrusts men had her being-hit-on problem way before being a working girl, and personally i don't trust men either, and i used to be one.

don't get me wrong, i don't think it's a rose garden, but it's not slavery either. i know i was lucky to work at that agency, because we did a lot of things to look out for our girls, but we weren't some upscale place, we were right in the middle, and if we could compete and still do right by the girls, then there were other agencys that did the same. girls could always choose where they wanted to work. you could go to agencies where they gave you a better split, or were more safe. many of the things we did were simply sound business and happened to do right by the girls too. i really hate sounding like a republican, but there is some level of personal responsiblity here. if you are taking the $200 tip to bareback, then that is your choice. my personal feeling, and i would say this all the time, is, how far is that $200 gonna take you when you have to take your aids cocktail? not very far. the same holds true for the agency you choose, or the boobs you buy or the x-clients you date. there wasn't any pimp threatening those girls when they made those choices. f'reals. worse come to worse you could always go independant, and look after yourself. it's a choice.

that said, my whole point, years ago before slipping to the quicksand of minutiae, was, that absent guilt and societal stigma, there is little difference between that and other jobs where people use their bodies for income.

disease? yeah, medical professionals, EMTs and doctors are certainly exposed.
bodily harm? it would seem construction or working on an oil rig, fire fighters, cops or being a coal minor all have high risks of death too.
emotional distress? crisis councilors, cops and social workers all have high burn out rates because of stress.

the one thing that is singular to prostitution:stigma and the accompanying guilt.

i haven't heard anything that has changed my mind in this, but anyone who knows me knows, i love looking for flaws in my own logic. and pepper, wombat, maddie, and everybody else who debated this with me, thank you. i love having to defend my points. y'all rock.

this discussion began because busties were hearing the ways that the media was talking about these girls, and found it unsettling. i found some of the ways that some people were talking about the girl's work equally unsettling. which, again, is not to say that it's all giggles, but some of the comments were condesending, and my larger point was that we are not free of this same sort of thing we saw in the media accounts. and if we do believe in feminism, that needs to be examined. i say we, because i am no less guilty than anyone else, but all the same that need to separate ourselves, by in some way saying to ourselves, we would never, could never, and are some how better, should be interogated. for me, it is an anathema to what feminism means to me. that's all.
wombat
Whoops, it was actually the January issue of Glamour in which there is the article about the woman who had worked as a stripper helping other women leave.

I don't find it in any way condescending or anti-feminist to say that sex work is different than all other kinds of paid labor and has a lot of problems associated with it. I do respect the women, and respect you, girltrouble, and appreciate your posting about distinctons that can be made.

But, come on. Feel like going up to the electrician on the construction site, male or female, and tell them they may as well just suck dick instead? Do their preference, choices, education, training, skills, and joy in a job well done mean nothing?

What is this assumption that we are all middle-class, pampered academics so we look down upon physical labor of all kinds? I once carried 30 pound paint buckets up and down ladders, piled up furniture to throw drop cloths over it, waved my arms in the air to edge trim and then roller walls, and made more money than I've ever made in my life. Still, it's half of what I would have made as a stripper and a quarter of what I would have made as a prostitute. And I suppose I could have fallen off a ladder or pulled a muscle, if I did something stupid. There's an outside chance someone on the crew could have raped me.

But, the same as being a sex worker? Of course not. I made less money and got to call the most sensitive and intimate and beloved parts of my body and soul my own.

dusty
I agree, Erinjane, who knows how dangerous prostitution is, when murders are basically ignored by police?

And it is shocking how that highway murders continue to be underreported (and underinvestigated?) even while there is a huge media explosion over the Pickton story.
maddy29
a couple of quick thoughts.

girltrouble-i totally appreciate your comments. i think it's soo helpful to hear someone speak from actual experience, to me it makes a big difference. now i can say, ok, there are some good agencies out there.

but, you still only were in one agency, and you weren't a sex worker. so what you saw, and what was actually happening may be different. or maybe it was exactly like you say-but it was still just one agency. other people have different experiences, and those shouldn't be discounted either.

i feel like we're trying to make this too simple-like either prostitution is bad, or it's good. that's just too all or nothing. that's like saying sex is good or all bad. it's different for everyone! some sex workers are probably totally destroyed by their experiences, some work their whole lives and are happy healthy people. and then there's all the people in the middle of that spectrum.

lastly, thinking about the difference between sex work and other work. i think everyone has made great points. it's true that stigma and shame causes sex work to be looked down on etc. but, i really think there is something different about having sex with someone. maybe htat's just me, and other women don't feel that way. but i do feel that having sex is just so intimate, so personal-in a way that other "difficult" jobs just aren't!

i'm trying to be really honest here, so that i can grapple with my true feelings about this stuff, instead of trying to be a "good feminist" so please bear with me if i say offensive stuff. i'm tryign to work this out in my head.

i DO look down on sex workers. strippers, hookers, madams. just like i was brought up to look down on blue collar workers. because "I" was supposed to have this big career, and go to college, and be a good girl, etc. so my upbringing told me that only a professional job is ok. anything less than that is failure, or embarrassing, or a really bad choice, not living up to my potential. not that my parents said that directly, but in my social circle, school, etc-that was the norm. now, i'm not saying that's a good thing-just that it's really hard to change these beliefs.


partly, i get mad at women who do this. i feel like it hurts all of us. i feel like it's totaly taking the easy way out. i mean, anyone can lay there and let someone fuck them or whatever. and then get a bunch of cash. i feel like they are just taking the easy way in a sexist society, instead of fighting to be more than just a sex object. i feel like they are giving in to patriarchy, and it hurts me and all women.

ok i guess i should do some work...heh heh, this is way more interesting than work!
dusty
don't get me wrong, i don't think it's a rose garden, but it's not slavery either

Too frequently it *is* slavery, even if it wasn't in your agency.

I respect women's rights to make their choices, but I think that prostitution is very often not a choice.
erinjane
Awesome points, maddy.

Girltrouble, part of the problem I see with your analysis is that you're only looking at one small aspect of sex work, which I see as the exception. As others have said it often is slavery, and you only witnessed one aspect and weren't personally a sex worker.

I also agree that it's not black and white and good or bad. There are so many varying experiences across the board but the way you talk about sex work makes it sound like you're trying to say it's just not that bad ever, when in reality it's extremely dangerous and forced for some, but not all. I read a lot of sex workers blogs and have picked up many books, and written many papers and the one consistant thing I take away from it all is that there is not one experience and it's not necessarily good or bad. You can't really put something like sex work into a box and label it.
pepper
QUOTE
partly, i get mad at women who do this. i feel like it hurts all of us. i feel like it's totaly taking the easy way out. i mean, anyone can lay there and let someone fuck them or whatever. and then get a bunch of cash. i feel like they are just taking the easy way in a sexist society, instead of fighting to be more than just a sex object. i feel like they are giving in to patriarchy, and it hurts me and all women.



hear hear, this is something that i also grapple with. more so with the porn and music industries (aren't they really the same thing, one with a better sound track?) and stripping. i do feel that contributing to the view of women as sex objects adds to the general objectification and undervaluing, devaluing of women and yes, that does directly affect me. in fact, i feel the same way about the Fashion industry. there is a reason that plastic surgery is on the rise instead of meditation retreats. it's sickening.
girltrouble
i'm sorry if it came across like i think it's never bad, and if i'm not mistaken i put some sort of caviat in each post i wrote, but i HAVE to speak from MY experience. ive had friends who have been at knife and gun point. but that was because they were stree walking. that's not my experience. yes, there are bad things that happen, yes there is slavery, yes, women get raped, yes, yes, yes. but that to me isn't the whole story. every agency isn't bad. there ARE a lot of choices that women who do this work can make, and it doesn't have to be a highway to hell. i think that when you look at it in this constantly, all bad view, that condesension sticks, you can always think, well i don't know anyone who would do that.... when chances are you probably do. as long as it's all mob ties and slavery, rape etc, then we are distanced from it. i think maddy put her finger on it. it's not all bad. it's not this binary of it's all good or bad. and the experiences and reasons why women prostitute aren't monolithic either. i wouldn't say that sex work isn't the easy way out, and i think it quite odd that on one hand people call it that, but at the same time elevate it to this work that is capable of rending your soul from your body. which one is it? or is it some where in between for most of the people who do it? i think it's in the middle and that is what i've been trying to get at in my own clumsy way.

sigh. here comes a whole nother wrench in this conversation....

perhaps the reason i have view this work as not-that-different, is because i have worked as an escort, i AM working as an escort. i was hesitant to post in this conversation because i didn't want to out myself. for me the stigma is the worst part about it. for the last year, it's what's paid my bills. i've looked off and on for work. my main issue is dealing with the stigma. really. i don't mind the work. sometimes it's gross, yes, i don't particullarly like the smell of boy on, me so i take more showers when i work. but maybe it's just me, but it's just a job, with upsides and downsides like any other. but that is my pov. i haven't lost my soul, i don't feel particullarly guilty, although i've known girls who were haunted by it. but even so i think the stigma was a large part of that. and this madonna/whore complex thing this cuture has.

do i lose sleep because i had sex with someone for cash? no. in all honesty, i don't. do i wonder what the fuck i am doing with my life? yeah, but i do that anyways. when i have a straight job and when i don't. i like a lot of my clients, and if i get attitude from them on the inital phone call i hang up on them. i have a very frendly relationship with most of them, i know what they do for a living, their family life, where they vacation, and i've learned a lot from them. one guy would show me martial arts moves incase anyone started trouble. sometimes i enjoy myself, sometimes i can't wait for them to leave. but if i don't like them, i don't see them. but if there isn't something i don't like to do, i work around it. it is a choice. never walked the street, and i hope i never will. but i know girls who have.

have i lost a piece of my soul? no. i still know who i am. i still have a sense of what i will and won't do. and i keep it balanced. as i said, there are a lot of choices to be made, so it's up to me to make the best ones for me. there are girls who make a lot more than i do, but i am picky about who i see. i set paramiters. i know that if i do this, i have more time to paint and the flexablity to dj when i can find gigs. the trade off for me works. i can work for fewer hours and make the rent. the trade off is work is inconsistant, and i stress about money constantly. but that is my choice. i keep myself safe. i worked for other agencys. they weren't as good as the one i started with (yes doing phones), mainly because they weren't all that interested in my safety, and i wanted to make all the money, since i did 90% of the work, i should get atleast 90% of the pay. even with the split i negotiated, the work they did was minimal. so i went i went independant, and still am. so now my pov is discounted because i am transgendered. there is always something you can pick at to think, well, that's not typical. it's always bad. someone always 'knows' dispite having only read something in the paper or watched law and order. but i would contend that the rate of girls getting murdered is higher for t-girls. and because of the stigma there is more of a chance of someone getting away with murder if it is a girl like me. but hell, girls like me get murdered, even when they don't charge. so no matter what, it's dangerous.

in a lot of ways to me, this is commodity, pure and simple. and perhaps it's because i'm trans, that i look at it this way. i know that guys get this thing where they are curious about t-girls, so they want to try it. i could sleep with them for free, but when i've done that, it's been a raw deal for me. they have their own shame issues, and dating me threatens their masculinity, so i figure, they are paying a transphobic charge, for not being honest about what they desire. they look down on me, so they get taxed. to me, a t-girl who doesn't date a few times before she has sex with a guy is a sucker. from my experience, most guys see t-girls as strictly booty call material. not that i think it's different for gennys (genetic girls). i would bet that most guys that t-girls see only see them once, and they never see them again.

i do miss the consistancy of a regular pay check, and for the last year ive looked for a regular job off and on, but i quit my last job because my boss was a serious fuckstain, and i think staying there would have done more fuck with that part of my soul that wombat talked about, than escorting. and i don't think it's always the easy way out. even in my progressive city there is still a lot of transphobia. ive gone for jobs i am without a doubt over qualified for, but didn't get it, for what i can only guess is trans-phobia. but i've been homeless before, and there is very little i won't do not to go down that road. being homeless is my worst nightmare, litterally and i mean that over anything you could imagine. so escorting is what i do.

my problem, again, is stigma. most of my friends know, but some don't. so i don't tell them. coming out about anything is something i am very tentative about. when i came out and transitioned i lost all but two of my friends, and my family, so coming out about this is something i don't like to do. lol...even on forums. every coming out changes the way people treat you. and i've had way too much experience with people who thought they were open minded shutting their minds, and talking behind my back.i try to be a very open person. i spent years in the closet before i transitioned, which was my own private hell. not to be open about things is hard. i have no problem talking about "back when i was a boy" with people i barely know, but escorting... i have to know you very well, and one of my friends of about 8 years probably knows, but i'm not gonna tell her. i'm afraid of what would happen. i've lost more friends coming out for things, than i can count.

do i think escorting makes me less of a feminist? hell no. i believe in a third wave feminism, that is pluralistic, inclusive, and is about a full range of options for women no matter what they do, no matter where they came from, and no matter what they believe. as i said in my earlier post, i've seen too many movements cut off their members who need their help and strength most to simply to curry favor of a larger society that doesn't give a fuck about the lot of them. to me feminism HAS to be an all of us or a none of us proposition. otherwise, you aren't in control of your movement, the larger society is. and you keep re-drawing that line in the sand. today it's trannys, or prostitutes, tomorrow it's women of color, and the thing about 3rd wave is, that is the lesson of all those other feminist waves. if it isn't all or nothing. it's nothing. but then, that point of view is self-serving, but i defend it fiercely no matter who you are.


thanks for listening to me think out loud...edited 20,000 times for brevity and clarity..lol
maddy29
here's another perspective-maybe the woman feels "fine" about it- but would she feel so fine about it if she knew what the guy was thinking about her? i don't think so.....i've been reading one of erin's blogs she posted, and it brought up that point-about what men REALLY think of sex workers.

girltrouble, thanks for "coming out" as it were smile.gif i think this brings a lot to the conversation. just fyi, there is a sex workers thread in the work forum that would be a supportive place for you, if you want to talk about being an escort. not telling you to leave! just an fyi. that thread is specifically for peop[le who do some sort of sex work, and it's not a debate thread..

so, it doesn't bother you that they are looking down on you? you don't mind having sex with someone who is looking down on you? i guess i just don't get that.

also, i think girltrouble did make it clear that she wasn't saying all escort agencies are super duper great. and her experience counts, we can't just say no that doesn't fit. just like she can't say all sex workers are super happy and empowered...
erinjane
girltrouble, i literally just finished reading a great article that sums up issues from both sides, but in particular parts stuck out that sounded like what you were talking about. It was really interesting. I tried googling it but you have to pay. If anyone wants me to email it to them I can.

"The Rights and Wrongs of Prostitution" by Julia O'Connell Davidson.
girltrouble
QUOTE
so, it doesn't bother you that they are looking down on you? you don't mind having sex with someone who is looking down on you? i guess i just don't get that.


no. it doesn't bother me. i think of it as a commodity/closet/ignorance/shame tax. but strangely enough, i understand why they do it, and perhaps it is not as simple as them looking down on me. society views guys who are attracted to tgirls as homosexual, and so they hide that desire. if they really knew how common it is,they'd see it really isn't that rare (stigma again). if you give it a tiny bit of thought (most people don't), you'd see where sexuality and gender definitions break down when dealing with TG's. so hetero, homo, it doesn't apply. i could go into the construction of sexual binaries and their irrelivance when viewed in a post modern, feminist queer filter blah, blah, blah, (sorry, i've been getting back into post modern gender theory again lol...) but the long and the short of it is: guys who are attracted to ts are closer to being heterosexual, occasionally bi, and almost never gay than anything else. bluntly: gay boys like boys to look like boys.

if they look down on me it's because of their own ignorance/shame. but guys don't care to deal with their desires so. they get taxed. i used to think that i would try dating guys, but for me atleast it became pretty obvious, they only wanted to satisfy their curiosity. i do know a guy or two who dates only t girls, but they are rare. this way, i at least get paid for it, and there is no pretense of a second date, or a phone call. besides, i prefer dating women. i know how guys are. half of it is what you think of the girl you date. the other half is what your friends think. as fucked up as it is, to some degree women are status symbols in this culture. dating a t girl or several is frowned upon. what would my boys think? oh, he's just a closet case... etc. most guys haven't the cahones for that kind of thing. and believe it or not, the male identity is a very fragile thing as far as this society is concerned. a man's manhood can be impuned quite easily. for all but the most secure men, dating a t girl calls all of that into question.
dusty
Sorry, girltrouble, could you clarify tgirl for me? Thanks.

Hmmm. I don't think I have a problem from a feminist perspective with women selling sex, if they are safe, if they are in control of the situation, if it is a choice.

I have more of a problem with what I perceive as young women being pushed by our culture to act and dress in an overtly sexual manner. It makes me wonder what happened to feminism, but I feel like an old lady when I say it, and probably everyone is going to roll their eyes and think I'm an old skool feminist.
maddy29
dusty-that's how i feel too. if it's a real choice, and the woman feels good about it, and is relatively safe, then ok. but again, in a culture where girls are taught from a young age to be cute, pretty, sexy, etc, is it ever really a choice?

i think tgirl means transgendered?

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