So belle De Jour has been revealed: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article6917495.ece
She is a woman doctor specialising in research into Cancer in Children who financed her phd by selling sex. She is unrepentant and proud of her previous career as a call girl in London charging £300 per hour for her personal services. She declares that she was very happy using an agency that took £100 from her £300 per hour rate for which in return they advertised her, managed her appointments and offered a degree of support and protection she would not have enjoyed on her own. Like many if not most sex workers in the United Kingdom she made a choice to enjoy the money and flexibility sex work can offer and like most UK workers she made the decision to use the services of a third party. In short she was a British worker but unlike other British workers she was not offered the full protection of the law that every other worker rightly expects with respect to their employment.
She is a success in more ways than one because she not only made a success of her career as a call girl but made money from sharing her experiences with the public through the various forms of media that paid her handsomely. In short she can be viewed as an inspiration to women and men looking to enter sex work.
Her story of course is a reflection of one area of sex work and her experiences are peculiar to her. Sex work is so diverse and every single experience both as a worker and as a client is so individually peculiar that it is difficult to portray her as a universal role model. The fact however remains that she is not and never was the victim. We have become all to familiar with reading about real or imaginary abuses within our industry. Abolitionists, whither they be government ministers, radical feminists or religious moralists (and difficult to separate them when it comes to spouting anti sex work rhetoric) love their victims.
Of course women, men and children are abused with in this industry as they are in other industries. Trafficking occurs and that alongside other abuse is something we all must be aware of and work to end. It is however difficult to end abuse with in an industry that is so abused itself by so many ill thought out and bad laws that effectively prevent positive change taking place. I hope that Belle or Dr Brooke Magnanti will perhaps one day make a contribution to Harlots and that she will become a positive voice supporting sex workers rights. That of course will, like entering sex work, be her choice.
The fact is that regardless of what she does in the future she is an icon to sex workers and will always remain a thorn in the side of those who oppress sex workers which makes her OK with me.