Sunday, 22 November 2009

Belle de Jour

Earlier today, BBC published an article about the famous call girl cum blogger cum writer cum celebrity.

This is what I had to say about the article after I first read it:

What a strained and muddled article!

The author seems to be unable to decide if the good doctor is really good or bad, if the oldest profession is really as bad as he wants (us) to believe.
Yes the good doctor was a prostitute, a high class one, apparently. Yes, there are prostitutes who are nowhere nearly so successful or happy about what they do. Yes, there are those unfortunate ones that are forced into it and exploited by ruthless pimps.

But, is horse racing bad because a few fix the races (it IS always bad for the horses)? Is the football bad because some cheat? Is marriage a bad thing just because there are arranged marriages, or worse, marriages which (wo)men enter out of pure greed, and desire for money and status? How is this last thing different from prostitution?

The matter is too complex to make a call in a mere article. Unfortunately, the above does not seem to be a particularly good stab at it, either.

Could do better, try again.

And the good doctor was at least her own boss, and is continuing to call her own shots. What does it matter if she created software or slept with men for money? I bet that people with "honest" jobs at least sometimes feel like the prostitutes have had it good.

I've no idea if BBC will publish my comment, and frankly I don't care that much. It's really a shame that a reputable news and opinion outlet like BBC can allow such a muddled piece to come out. It really, really strains to cast a light on prostitution to make it not an "honest" job. It even repeats the "honest" word quite a few times, and most of them gratuitously. It is obvious that with the material available the author could not really build a good case.

But is there a good case for prostitution not being an "honest" job?

As you can see from my short comment above, I don't believe there is. Yes, it can be spoiled by criminal acts and other similar horrors, but then pretty much any other profession can. Anyone can get on the other side of both law and morals. Prostitution is not special for it, and it is not criminal, immoral, or in any other way bad per se. In many ways it is a more honest job than many, and if you want to include human activities involving sex, I have know a good few marriages who would have been much more honest affairs if both parties admitted to be in it just for material gain and/or sex received/given for it.

So, if you can't build a good case against prostitution just refuse writing about it with a set goal. Otherwise you, the writer, have just prostituted yourself, giving something you don't particularly feel about away for the gain of your hourly rate or salary.

In the final analysis, we're either all prostitutes in what we do for money, or none of us are. And that includes the prostitutes that sell their bodies and sex for money.