ps: the invisible majority

A few afterthoughts and reactions to my post.

I don’t have a problem with the awareness and understanding of privilege. Being aware of one’s advantages (luck, earned, given) is what’s known as “counting your blessings” where I grew up. It’s something every person should do at regular intervals. Counting one’s blessings is a private moment of personal reflection and it’s not necessary to be beaten over the head and/or ostracized if others don’t think you’re doing it right. There are ways of educating others about the concept of privilege and pointing out ways in which one may have an advantage. Then it’s time to move onto something else of greater importance: like changing laws that affect everyone regardless of any supposed privilege.

I apparently confused some [white] people by using the words “KKK” and “prejudice.” The KKK itself (or those who follow its value-system) hates quite a lot of people for a wide variety of reasons. It’s not all about skin color, folks. Prejudice and racism are different words, which is why I used “prejudice.” There is some overlap in concept (racism being a form of prejudice) but they do not actually mean the exact same thing. I wrote this post as clearly and simply as I could and it still confused people with too much schooling. Sigh. One activist who should know me better reacted as though I was a pet who pooped on the rug. No I’m not, and no I did not.

The UK seems to have some similar issues as the US. If you would like to take a look at thoughts from UK sex workers, please go over and enjoy the musings of Elrond and Douglas Fox — who made the most brilliant statement on the whole issue: “Activism groups have to understand that sex workers have many voices and many political allegiances and many experiences. Our diversity is our strength but instead it is being made our weakness.”

Furry Girl was inspired to bring the issue to a head. She is absolutely right in that it’s a (literal) working class issue. She boiled it down to 4 important points. I look forward to the start of her new project. Changing minds is changing minds. It needs to be done. Period.

the invisible majority and the PC exclusion factor

When I was 15, a stunning article in Allure magazine introduced me to luminaries Veronica Monet, Tracy Quan and the irrepressible Norma Jean Almodovar. All three women talked about sex worker rights and changing the law. That article was the only bright spot in the next eight years of reading about sex workers.

By the time I began stripping, I knew what a sex worker activist was: a lesbian vegan living in San Francisco who didn’t shave (let alone wax) and was often very overweight. She had a useless degree in philosophy or women’s studies from Berkeley (unlike my highly-useful photography degree!). Sex worker activists were overly-represented in my readings about sex work and they never, ever described me or any other strippers that I knew. I remember emailing Jill Nagle and complaining that Whores and Other Feminists was not representative of all sex workers, I wanted stories from sex workers who looked and sounded like me and my co-workers, workers who walked in our shoes too. I never heard back from her.

Maybe because I and the sex workers I knew looked mainstream. Veronica Monet and Tracy Quan were the only two public sex workers who looked normal to me (I did not find other interviews with Norma Jean, sadly). I was so happy to discover the books of Dolores French, Lily Burana and Heidi Mattson because I could identify with them, though Lily and Heidi weren’t “activists.”

Everything I read told me activists discounted you if you looked mainstream sexy, as though they believed a sex worker with implants or blonde hair has nothing of value to add (just like everyone else in society).

There is a deep prejudice permeating the sex worker rights movement in the US. Just because some of us have a mainstream appearance doesn’t mean we don’t deal with the same stigma that every other sex worker does, that we somehow work under a different set of laws. Just because we look much like the “pretty” depictions of sex workers in mainstream media doesn’t mean we’re not “real,” it means we’re making money (most sex workers are in sex work to make money). Does the movement think that because mainstream media depicts a certain look that it’s somehow representing or speaking for those who have that look?

Just because we’re hetero doesn’t mean our sexuality should be ignored or dismissed — it’s as meaningful to us as it is to LGBTs. Whore Stigma is based on fear and hatred of female sexuality in any form. Just because we’re female doesn’t mean our “female-centric” views should be automatically discounted. Women have made up the vast majority of sex workers ever since women were invented. The majority of the issues sex workers face are parallel with women’s issues, and sometimes parallel with issues confronting those who identify as women.

“Inclusiveness” and “diversity” are such huge preoccupations in the movement that they often derail energy and focus on the real-world issues staring all of us in the face. In the stampede to be inclusive and make sure that all ethnic/gender/occupation/whatever boxes are ticked and that a token representative is present, a huge majority go unnoticed and unwelcome. Many in the movement seem to think that because a certain type of sex worker are a majority, that somehow their concerns are being met or they don’t face serious, often universal, issues. Because they are a natural majority, they are punished by being given no voice.

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bits and pieces 5

— One of the tracking services I use for my book’s site gets some hits for odd search phrases. I only read the summary and do not log into the control panel to see if there was more than one hit (one hit is enough to go in my stats, of course).

For the person who wants to know if putting in a tampon is like having sex — no, it isn’t.

Here are a few suggestions for the person who wanted some “tips when ordering an escort.”

When ordering an escort, make sure the delivery service wraps her up in a foil blanket so she stays warm on the ride over and will be hot and fresh at your door. Make sure she’s made up of only the bits you like best, no sense in throwing in some extra intelligence if you always ignore it anyway! Always ask for extra cheese or sauce, you never know, the kitchen might be in the mood to throw that in. Tip the delivery person if the escort arrives early. Don’t bother to tip the escort — that’s just silly! Always have your coins counted out in advance, no one likes to wait at the door while you pull pennies out of the change jar. Make sure the escort ordering service offers a “30 minutes or it’s free” guarantee just like every other pizza kitchen in town (since a pizza and escort are exactly the same thing, of course). Most importantly, make sure to announce you’re using a coupon when placing your order! Coupons can usually be found in the local papers.

On the other hand, maybe the person wanted to know how to order an escort to do something. Good luck with that, pal.

— I went over to Europe with a set of photos that showed a lot of personality, not a lot of skin. I liked them, US guys liked them, but they didn’t impress many over there. I resolved to do ultra-sexy (for me, at any rate) when I got back. So I did. Irony of ironies, these new photos are generally too sexy for US advertisers working around 2257. So I can’t use many of the ones I’d like to. (Obviously this one has been sitting around for a while in the Drafts folder.)

— Did you know that Angelina Jolie, Eva Mendes and I are all way over the hill for highly-discriminating escort agencies? (At least according to their stated hiring policies.) I did find one agency in London for whom we’re all almost 20yrs too young — which was refreshing.

random escort musings

Specifically — other escorts. Not me. No, of course not me.

I wrote this several months ago, came across it again and decided to post it here. It’s me being curmudgeonly. I have less and less patience with certain aspects of my own industry. Familiarity breeding scorn? Possibly. Do I think perhaps the industry could move forward? Yes.

Ahem: I’m obviously writing this from the perspective of a female escort/male client relationship simply because it’s most typical and I’m most familiar with it.

I’m standing in front of the classroom, pointer in hand, frowning. Remedial detention is now in session. (Men can imagine me in my secretary/librarian look. Girls…probably aren’t interested in imagining me.)

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