it’s the end of the world as we know it…

By amy ~ July 13th, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

And it’s gone, for now at least (well, until the near-identical replacement arrives) and never was a departure more welcome. The still-emerging antics of an indeterminate number of News International employees have done the job for all of us who objected to this squalid, scabrous rag well before the current outcry, since amongst the tawdry drivel published over the years has been many a headline outing yet another unfortunate working lady (all working legally and minding their own business) on some feeble premise (the most recent I remember being an elderly lady whose only ‘newsworthy’ attribute was to be related to somebody who appeared briefly in a reality television programme).

I cannot be the only one who has looked on in disgust whilst simultaneously breathing a sigh of relief that it wasn’t our ‘turn’ this week (some will remember for example, how one of our number was plastered across the headlines when it came to light that – best sit down now – her partner was a dentist). And now, no longer content with persecuting rank-and-file prossies guilty of no wrongdoing, it would appear that these parasites have realised we make fairly boring targets and the real interest lies in invading the privacy of grieving families, among them the bereaved relatives of servicemen whose plight had already been used to fill many hypocritical pages under the guise of praising the heroic actions of those killed in action. Hacking the private voicemail of a teenage girl murdered at thirteen by a psychopath. Their mothers must be so proud.

Given that Scum on Sunday (or whatever) is likely to materialise faster than a Sun photographer at an East London brothel raid, it’s something of a Pyrrhic victory. But as it happily emerges this afternoon that following public pressure which prompted even the Conservatives to turn against them (turncoat politicians, whatever next?) the BSkyB takeover has been scrapped at least for now, a victory for the people of the land however small against beyond-the-pale activities of those responsible for such misery, embarrassment and suffering. Hopefully a few more of those people will be ditching the Sky subscription and thinking twice before handing over money for the Times, Sunday Times (guilty) and The Sun (the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal too, for anyone still monitoring matters from across the Atlantic). Anyone feeling on a bit of a roll people power-wise would do well to have a look at 38 Degrees – join in the fun!

There seems to be another wave of media interest in us at the moment – the last being following the BdJ story, as I remember – I have personally had contact from a couple of interested TV types, and whilst it is always tempting to grab any opportunity to demonstrate how ordinary we are, and how mundane and low key the vast majority of daily life working in the sex industry is, their naivety can be incredible. For the third time in the last twelve months now I have been informed that the hoped-for result will be a programme featuring currently working prostitutes talking face to camera about not only their work, but their personal lives and families; well, I’d like a unicorn then, in that case. Naturally the enormous lengths we go to to keep our work and personal identities separate and our private lives private is just a silly vanity and not really important – people don’t really post excrement through the letterboxes of strangers, abuse and harass visitors to their homes until their businesses and social lives are destroyed or go up to seven year old children and tell them that their mummy has AIDS and will die soon. Nah.

Unfortunately, as much as many ladies would love to regale the nation with fascinating tales of scouring Tripadvisor for likely incall venues, shopping around for the best bulk condom deals and the joys of having half a dozen showers and doing three loads of washing a day while taking phone calls and answering emails ranging from the charming to the daft to the just plain offensive, in the event that we were identifiable we would no longer have a job. No punter would want to be seen within three streets of us or our premises, and even leaving aside the predictable ‘wouldn’t-pay-a-tenner-for-that’, ‘christ-isn’t-she-a-bit-old’ and ‘how-much??!!’ers, the idea that we could appear on a television programme undisguised, reveal information about ourselves and our families that we would not tell a regular client we had known for years to the world and then just carry on as if nothing happened is optimistic, to say the least.

I would also envisage being refused check-in at hotels I have frequented for many months, having problems with hotel outcalls (in Scarborough at least) and even possibly being refused entry to the US should I decide to return there. And there are the forgotten people – whilst many ladies’ family members are aware of their work, that does not mean that their friends, colleagues and acquaintances are likely to be. I do not believe many fathers would look forward to the next morning at the office/factory/site following their daughter’s cheerful appearance on a prostitution documentary, and no matter how proud of and comfortable we may be with our life choices it would be ridiculous, not to mention extremely insensitive to expect that those around us are all going to feel likewise.

The media is not our enemy (and at least the demise of the market leader in perpetuating the hatred and misinformation is a step in the right direction), but the idea that we exist in a vacuum has really got to go. The oft-bandied accusation that we use working or ‘stage’ names, blur or obscure our faces in pictures in some instances and conceal details about our personal lives (as I have always done no matter what job I was doing, purely because it’s nobody else’s business) because we know we are dirty, bad and wrong and are really disgusted by ourselves and ashamed of our work couldn’t be further from the truth, but until the day comes where we, our loved ones and our clients need not fear vicious persecution by those with an agenda to push and nothing better to do, this is the way it will have to stay. It is certainly not us who are ashamed, nor is it us who should be.

More soon. Next stop Oxford!

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