Harlots Parlour

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A Feminist Whore ? Surely not …

Am I a feminist ? Absofeckinlutely, but here’s the thing, I am what you might call a traditional feminist. To me that means that as women, we are equal to men, not superior. Oh sure, we carry the can when it comes to childcare etc, but don’t we expect a lot of our menfolk too ? If you subscribe to the age old stereotype then man should be the hunter, slaying a mammoth for dinner or at the very least beating up the guy next door because he peered at “his woman” over the geraniums. These days, and in times of recession then it’s whoever has a job hangs onto it for dear life, conforming to stereotypes for the sake of it can lead to poverty, relationship breakdowns and a serious compromise to the welfare of the children, that’s a fact. 

 
A long time ago and in a doctor’s waiting room far away, I was busying myself by reading the gardening section of a Sunday Times magazine, (I hate gardening). I was praying to anyone who would listen that the very elderly lady beside me wouldn’t try and strike up a conversation. (I know, but I was in a dreadful mood and really not in the humour for a conversation around the useful properties of figs in the treatment of constipation.) As it turns out, I’m very glad she did strike up a conversation because we ended up so lost in our exchange that the receptionist had to bellow my name to get my attention. Eunice (not her real name, not that it matters) told me that as a young girl she worked for a number of years in a factory, before falling in love with a dubious cad who went on to become her husband of some 40 years. (He was a bastard apparently, but she still missed him every day.) Eunice became the first woman to successfully challenge the rule in that factory that all married women had to give up their jobs to become home makers. This was in a time where the woman’s place was very definitely in the kitchen, as a matter of fact under Irish law, until relatively recently, a woman was considered a “chattel”, no better than furniture, and there was no such thing as marital rape. I’ll just say that again. THERE WAS NO SUCH THING AS MARITAL RAPE, once you were married you were automatically deemed to have given consent, ergo, your husband could do as he liked and there was nothing you could do about it.
 
Further, I can remember when the proposed legislative change to the divorce laws in Ireland came up for consideration. Night after night we sat watching RTE broadcasts of Catholic priests urging us to consider our faith and our pledges in marriage, to divorce was to fly in the face of The Vatican and those who sought a divorce would surely burn in the fires of hell. So, if your husband broke your jaw, or regularly beat your children to within an inch of their lives, tough. You were married for better or worse, brush that hair and be sure to be at Mass at 10am on Sunday, in case the neighbours talked.
 
When it comes to feminism, I don’t believe that I should burn my bra, aside from anything else, have you ANY idea how much that cost ? Also, I don’t think throwing myself beneath a horse or chaining myself to the railings of Holyrood will achieve much either, well it would certainly get press coverage for whatever cause it is I’m proposing to champion, but ultimately, I think I would look pretty foolish. I wouldn’t consider myself a “radical” feminist either, quite obviously I don’t believe that every time I allow a client to have sex with me it is rape and I am letting down “The Sisterhood”. It’s been an age since I’ve looked at actus reus or mens rea but I’m pretty sure that the burden of proof rests upon a lack of consent. As a sex worker, when I have finally untied a submissive male and as a “reward”, allow him to have some sexual favours with me then to be honest I’m struggling to see who is consenting in that situation.
 
As I have declared myself a feminist, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I probably should and have read “The Female Eunuch”. The answer to that would be a resounding ‘no’, because I have no great desire to taste my own menstrual blood and further, given my own curly mop then I resent, yes I said RESENT, Greer’s pop at Suzanne Moore for her back combed hair, (sigh). See I’m not a selective feminist either, I don’t subscribe to the notion that there is an elite group of women who are entitled to give themselves the title of feminist and to hell with everyone else. Either you support ALL women in their given choices or you don’t, it’s that simple.
 
So what do I believe in then, as a feminist in the very old fashioned “I have so reclaimed this word” kinda way ? It’s very simple really. Like Eunice, I believe I have the choice to work, quite legally, without fear and the overhanging threat of intimidation, and stigma. That’s all.
 
I don’t ask you to place me on a pedestal, I don’t ask you to declare me as superior to the male sex, I don’t ask for any “special” treatment whatsoever. I simply ask you to respect my right to work as a sex worker, to make the informed choices that I make every day, without recourse to a “nanny state” which seeks to impose sanction on me, or my client.
 
In that regard, I ask my readers to consider the latest proposals from Rhoda Grant which will be tabled shortly in Holyrood. Ms. Grant is seeking to have a bill approved which will make it illegal for my clients to come to me as a perfectly willing and happy provider, and pay for my services.
 
The link is here, and I will write on it further as it develops.
 
Laura Lee
 
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3 comments on “A Feminist Whore ? Surely not …

  1. MJ
    25 May, 2012

    If only other Feminists had your sense of balance, Laura, the world since the ’70s would be a great deal more sane! I’ve previously replied to a post noting that I was raised with full-on misandry ringing in my ears, and learning that the salvation of the Earth would be achieved with the destruction of us dreadful violent (ab initio) men (argumentum ad hominem).

    A few years ago I visited a delightful harlot in London, in a house of good reputation, just at the time that Mad Harm-men was pushing her vile bill through the UK Blabhouse. I pointed out with sorrow that our short moment together would soon become illegal, and it was all down to the Feminists. A tear rolled down her cheek as she stated that she too was a Feminist, and did not know of this absurdism in the offing! My suggestion, at that point, was for her to enrol all such sane F-Sisters in a campaign for the maintenance of the status quo, at the very least.

    ‘Purely Grindel’ has very recently been on Radio 4’s Rant Hour railing against the idea of brothels being legalised. Yet, she hates even the idea of sex with men anyway, so why the h**l should she have any say on this matter?

    I will support your brand of proper equality seeking.

  2. Wendy Lyon
    26 May, 2012

    Just FYI, the marital rape exemption comes from English law and was a feature of all common law countries until relatively recently. It was still legal for a man to rape his wife in some US and Australian states at the time Ireland finally outlawed it (in 1990). Ireland’s still hugely backward in a lot of ways on women’s issues but was never peculiarly so on this one.

    Also, feminists never went around burning their bras! That’s a myth.

  3. Laura Lee
    26 May, 2012

    The comment about burning bras was very much tongue in cheek. 😉

    If you subscribe to the myths surrounding my profession then I have just woken up from an 18 hour drug induced bender, which was necessary to suppress horrendous memories of abuse and I’m panicking because I haven’t made enough money for my pimp who will break my jaw, again. (sigh) Reality – I’m heading out into the sun to read my book (“Trafficked” by Sophie Hayes) accompanied by my cat and a bowl of coco pops and wondering whether I can be arsed to switch my phone on today. 😀

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This entry was posted on 25 May, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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