Rebecca's comment in response to A Rapist's View of the World:
Thanks for saying that readers of your journal should read "Lie Dead". I really hope it can be a small nail into the myth of the "Happy Hooker".
I have seen small bits of "Firefly", and am amazed at a vision of a future where women are still sexually serving men. It makes sad that there is such a narrow view of a future. But, I found much of the programme to be dumb, and pretty boring to watch.
As someone who has been involved in the sex trade, I find the media promotes the myth of the "happy hooker". In "Firefly", the "whore" is protayed as a courtisan. This makes her intelligent, can "choose" which men she has sex with and is protrayed as strong. This is a male wet-dream of prostitution. And for the majority of prostituted women and girls is an unrealistic fiction.
Yes, I know "Firefly" is just fiction, but this type of popular TV can put out stereotype views of prostitution. This can encourage the belief that prostitution is not such a bad choice for young women to do. That is safe, and can empower you. If it was one programme saying that, I would not mind. But, all around there is an insistence that prostitution will empower women. That prostitution is a free choice of a woman. That once a prostituted woman, you have control which punter you see. That there some violence, but that is just part of the job.
I don't know where to start with the "happy hooker" myth. First, the vast majority of prostituted women and girls do not choose "freely" what they do. To choose freely, it is important to know the woman's life story. If she was not in poverty; if she had not experienced sexual, physical or mental abuse before entering prostitution; if a "boyfriend" who had said - "Do this to prove you love me"; if she has high self-esteem and more. There are many amd complicated reasons to enter the sex trade, but few are free choices.
Women in prostitution have little or no control of their working condition. They will have to go with any man, no matter how violent. Safety is a low priority, the battering, rapes and murders is not part of the job - but, it is bloody common.
I know most of your reader know the reality of prostituted women's lives - and see through the "Firefly" nonsense.
Thanks for promoting my piece, Rebecca.
I too found the show to be really very boring. Being a committed Buffy fan when I was younger, dis_senter and I decided to hire out Firefly as a bit of light entertainment a few years back. We didn't watch more than half an hour of the show before becoming bored and disgusted. It was only recently that I decided to force myself to watch it all the way through. You sent me your pieces of writing, Rebecca, and I stayed up reading them. Your words left me raw.
The next day I started to watch Firefly. I think one of the reasons that Firefly affected me so badly was because I had just been exposed to the harsh reality of what you had lived through. It bore no resemblance to the 'wet-dream' of Joss Whedon's 'happy hooker' world. And so 'feminist' men can wank to their 'empowered' versions of us as whores and feel no guilt. Because men value orgasm and power and power and orgasm far and away above valuing women as human, let alone respecting our Selves and our integrity.
I don't think that 'free choice' can exist for women when our Selves are so often patriarchally conditioned into accepting our roles as sexualised objects of consumption. It is only in a world where no one can see women as human that a TV show like this can be made. Where the reality of what you and many other women in the sex industry have lived through can be coated over in patriarchally poisoned sugar. Dressed up in poison-laced silk and taken to town as empowerment.
We live in a very sick world. You have so much courage and integrity, Rebecca. You are amazing, to have lived through what you suffered and still be alive to stand up and protest what was done to you. Yes, everyone should read Lie Dead not just those who read my journal.