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September 19, 2008

A Job Like Any Other???

This post will probably have some sex workers up in arms. I don't really mind their profession; what they do is their business (preferably private), but it's quite strange to reconcile the fact that many of them expect their jobs to be viewed on the same level as other jobs when they're not like other jobs. To say, 'it's a job like any other job' simply doesn't ring true no matter how many sex work activists say it is.

What made me think about this? The rising popularity of 'hooker' television, the type that glamorizes the industry, and it did make me mentally explore a high school situation. It's a hypoethical situation, but imagine if a girl entered a career guidance counselor's office and said, "I want to be an escort/hooker/prostitute.' Imagine that? But is it possible in the future? Television tends to glamorize sex. There are no wet spots, fanny farts, butt farts and the sweat is carefully applied. There is seldom any male arse hair. There are no lop-sided penises, droopy boobs or occasional stretch marks. Thus, if a girl – after a constant diet of 'hooker TV' (like Secret Diary of a Call Girl) and the array of perfect-sex sex worker diaries/blogs – arrived at the real deal, what would she experience? Would she be shocked, horrified or disillusioned?

At UNSW, I had the misfortune of picking a general education topic in my third year.  It was called "Social Aspects of Deviance," and to tell you the truth, I hated this class after the first class I attended. Everything was so politically correct. Everyone knows that legalizing prostitution does little to persuade the average person. Call it the Madonna/Whore Syndrome, whatever takes your fancy, but people prefer to live life within clear lines; they have their work, they have their play. They have definitions. There is nice and there is naughty, and so on. You can legalize prostitution but you won't alter the inner definitions of the individual. Prostitutes may say (until they're blue in the face), "my job is like any other," but really, who believes that? I'm not going to pretend and say that I believe it, because I don't, because it's not like any other job or a conventional job. For starters, ordinary jobs don't require a person to show their short and curlies, or their waxed genitals. And that's just the start.

In some countries, there is a 'bring your children to work day,' or something along those lines. Now, don't tell me that you can do this in the sex industry. You can't. Hence, it isn't like any other job. It's not like you can explain the 'punters' or 'johns.'

"Why are you wearing that mummy?"
"Because he likes the texture of PVC, darling."
"But why are you carrying a whip?"
"He likes the occasional smack every now and then."
The child frowns in confusion.
"Is he naughty?"
"He likes to pretend being naughty."
"But what if I pretend to be naughty? Will you whip me with that?" asks the horrified child.
"No darling, this is a pretend whip. It doesn't really hurt. It's only for grown ups, now come along so you can see what mummy does for work." The door opens to an average room in a suburban brothel (if you think everything resembles a glam TV show, then you really need a reality check – most punters can't afford five star brothels).
"OMG…he's not wearing any pants. Ew…yucky!"
"Now, now…let's not be rude to the nice man."

It wouldn't really work would it? Average job like any other? Who are we trying to kid? Ourselves? But that's not to say that it's a morally 'wrong' choice. If a person can handle it, then sure, whatever works to bring home the bacon, but don't push the envelope up my ass and call it a 'job like any other.' Prostitution is about as ordinary as working in a S.W.A.T. team. Imagine bringing your kid to work during a hostage siege?

"That's a big gun!"
"Careful. Don't touch it! It's dangerous!"
"Is it like the movies? Are you gonna break the door and charge through like the Feebies?"
"FBI," child rolls their eyes.
"Are you gonna kill the bad guy, are you?"
"That all depends…"
"On what?"
"If he tries to kill us."
Kid starts crying..."I'm scared. You're going to die...We're going to die...I want my mummy!"
"Stop your grizzling! I can't concentrate!"
S.W.A.T. team parent thinks, 'whose idea was this stupid take your kid to work day?"


To come: my weekly roundup of my frustrated diary of a television viewer. Yes, housemate did it again. Stole the television to perve at Billie Piper, and I don't mind Billie Piper. Which woman carries a roll of cash?...but...that's for later.


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