Sunday, September 9, 2012

Their Daughter, the Whore


Recently, a “high-end escort” wrote to Chuck Klosterman, the New York Times’ Ethicist columnist to ask whether she should tell her parents how she earns most of her income.

Klosterman offered sage advice:

There’s no ethical obligation to tell your parents about the details of your sex life; the fact that your (unorthodox) sex life also happens to be how you pay the rent does not change that. If you truly believe they would be devastated to know the truth about your vocation, don’t tell them. Personally, I don’t have any qualms with how you make a living, but this feeling is not universal: it’s not as if your parents are going to feel relieved about having raised a forthright prostitute.

If your only motive for providing this information is to lessen the blow were they to find out independently, I would keep the information undisclosed. If they ask you directly (and specifically), there’s not much you can do. You either have to tell them the truth or awkwardly decline to comment. You should not lie. But don’t initiate the conversation out of guilt or fear. You get to decide what other people know about who you are.

Since her parents most likely do not want to know, she should respect their feelings.  

I disagree slightly, however, when he concludes: “You get to decide what other people know about who you are.”

What she does to earn extra income is not necessarily who she is.

More than a few prostitutes give up the profession and return to more conventional lives. Among “high-end escorts” this happens more than most people would imagine.

Being a “high-end escort” is more like dating for pay than selling one’s body. You might think that it’s a distinction without a difference, but still, it happens more often than you would think.

If a woman does not want to be labeled as a prostitute she must remain discreet. Obviously, it impossible to remain completely discreet. Prostitution is not a one-person activity. Yet, if fewer people know she will have a better chance eventually to put her past behind her. 

If she takes the path of complete openness and honesty she will not.

As though to prove Klosterman’s point, a Chicago prostitute who calls herself Robin Hustle, described what happened when she told her parents what she did for a living.

Even before she told her parents, she was anything but discreet.  Frustrated artist that she was Hustle had used her experiences as a not-very-high-end escort as a basis for not-very-high art.

She was doing public performance art based on her experience as a prostitute, so it was only a matter of time before a friend of her parents attended one of her readings and reported back to them.

Convinced that they knew and feeling that she had no other choice Robin Hustle fessed up to Mom and Dad. It was not a happy day.

To repeat what Klosterman said: “…it’s not as though your parents are going to feel relieved about having raised a forthright prostitute.”

We understand why she might think that her parents would be perfectly non-judgmental about her lifestyle choice. After all, they brought her up in a hothouse of radical leftist thought.

She was a pink-diaper baby, a child of radical leftists who lived the radical leftist life.

In her words:

I was a typical pink-diaper baby: I sat in on my mom's feminist book clubs, we had family outings to protest U.S. imperialism in El Salvador, and I was into Joan Armatrading while my classmates were obsessed with New Kids on the Block. Fortunately, my crushing unpopularity was alleviated by a wonderful home life. All told, I can safely say I am a product of good parenting. I was encouraged, not coddled. I learned to be responsible at an early age by being given, within limits, a great deal of independence. My appreciation for my family goes well beyond their parenting skills. They aren't guilty liberals who stir into action when an election or a war rolls around; they have always been fully engaged in living and working in radical ways. They never imposed their politics on me — my own politics mirror theirs because they taught me to think critically and set a powerful example of how to live. I'd be embarrassed by my uncanny similarity to my parents if I didn't think they're, well, totally amazing.

If she believes that her parents did not impose their beliefs on her she is deluded. She was so thoroughly brainwashed that she does not know that she was brainwashed.

By forcing their child to grow up in an ideological bubble her parents rendered her so dysfunctional that she suffered from “crushing unpopularity.” Having been rendered radically asocial, she has behaved as such. Given her upbringing the only place she felt at home was at home.

How did her radical upbringing ease the way toward prostitution?

In her words:

I got into sex work for the same reason a lot of women do: the work I enjoy doesn't tend to pay well, and I needed a job that would take up as little of my time as possible so I could concentrate on the work that I actually care about doing. For me, that's writing and drawing, for other women it's raising children or going to grad school. Initially, it just seemed like a decent way to get by in a culture that devalues the work that women and artists do, so I was surprised, from my first client onward, to realize that I loved the job.

I will not try to explain how a self-proclaimed lesbian learned to love having sex with men, but note the hustle: she is shifting the responsibility away from herself and on to society. If only society were willing to pay women artists what they should be paid she would not have to turn tricks.

For her, prostitution is a political statement. Having been brought up to believe the feminist rallying cry, that the personal is political, she is taking that idiotic thought to its most logical absurdity.  

A commenter on the Jezebel site pointed out, in response, that society does not reward wanna-be artists of either gender. One needs to ask who tells talentless young people that they should become artists. And then, ask  yourself why she is incapable of finding a career path that would try to fit her talents to the marketplace.

Might it be that she does not believe in the free market, except the market in female flesh? Because women, Naomi Wolf is trying to sell us, are all about their vaginas!

One might believe that an increasing number of young women are turning to escort work because of the bad economy, but I have been hearing these stories for three decades now, so I doubt that this is the whole story.

Years ago radical feminists theorized that when a woman had sex with a man it was always a form of prostitution. It did not take too much ratiocination for them to conclude that being paid well for it was better than giving it away for free.

While it is true that many feminists are appalled by effort to slutify young American women, many others are more than happy to tell women to get in touch with their inner sluts and thus, to give it away for free.

If a woman has been induced to give it away for free, she will eventually start thinking that she is cheap. If she convinces herself that she is worthless she will likely find that having sex for money is a step up the self-esteem ladder.

What’s better, giving it away for nothing or selling it for $2,000 a night?

If you tell young women to get in touch with their inner slut and give away their sexual favors for free, you are putting them on the road to prostitution.

Anyway, Robin Hustle does eventually tell her parents what she does for a living. On the telephone. Apparently she is so “proud” of it did that she cannot face her parents.

Their reaction, as she describes it:

… it was followed by the longest silence ever. And then one of them said, "Why don't we think about this and call you soon," probably the best response they could've given me, and also the most difficult. The silence extended through the week, and then the real work came along.

Apparently, she does not know the difference between best and worst, because receiving the silent treatment is not a good thing. It is not positive. It is not respectful.

When she finally sat down to talk with her mother, the response was anything but encouraging:

My mom started sobbing, uncharacteristically, the first time we saw each other after my revelation. She blames herself for permissiveness or some kind of abstract "bad parenting" that made me this way. Her perspective insists that there's something inherently unhealthy about doing sex work, and that she is at fault for decisions that I know are mine. … It's not easy to assure your mom that you think she did an incredible job of raising you when she thinks your perspective is warped. Fortunately, since that initial encounter she has slipped back into Don't Ask, Don't Tell; telling was way too rough on both of us. I felt guilty, she felt guilty, and we're both better off feeling guilty privately and moving on with the rest of our relationship.

Apparently, telling her mother was not such a good idea. They have decided to forget that she ever said it, because otherwise their relationship would be more severely damaged than it has been already.

Keep in mind, she is not just telling them that she is a whore; she is also telling them that she is advertising the fact in public forums. Thus, her parents are going to be forced to share what they consider to be her shame.

Robin Hustle is relieved that her parents are still her parents, she still does not understand their attitude:

What I've never understood is why my parents can't wrap their heads around the idea that sex work might be a healthy, positive choice for me, and why they haven't worked harder over the years to try.

If she were ever to take off her ideological blinders she might understand that prostitution does not quite qualify as “a healthy, positive choice.”

Whatever her protestations about the “work” that her parents need to do in order to numb themselves to their emotions, the truth remains that Klosterman was right: there are some things that you should never tell your parents.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know that there will always be prostitutes and people who use them.
And I pray that I know noone who becomes one. I pray that my nieces all have enough self-respect to stay away from a "job" like this>
REALLY? There are women who love this kind of work??
I remember a discussion with my niece several years ago. She was thinking about working at Hooters. We came from a family of very good looking women, but a family of values brought down from my mother. So when my niece told me about her option to work at Hooters (she knew people who offered her the job), I had a frank discussion with her, asking her to think about how she might feel at the end of each day...
I told her how I might feel if I had worked somewhere like that, I told her that I would feel objectified, used, and, I'd feel like I am using my body for an unrighteous reason (the more I'd flirt, the more I know I'd get bigger tips).
Now, this is just Hooters we are talking about!! And thankfully, after a frank discussion with an Aunt whom she respected, my niece decided against dressing like a slut for tips at Hooters.
Where are the positive influences in these other women's lives??
How can a woman really grow up thinking that a life of prostitution would be "fun" to get into?
I can say that I could very easily have fallen into the feminist movement, simply because of my age and demographics. The empowerment part of feminism, Yes. The sexual misconduct and vile behavior, well, there aren't even words to describe the horror when I read this...

Dennis said...

Have you ever wondered why it seems so important to feminists, the handmaidens of the Democrat party, to turn young women into "sluts, "whores," prostitutes or anything that degrades women and femininity? It appears to be counterintuitive for a group who is trying, supposedly, to create more respect for women.
Sex is a powerful force and motivator. It has been used since the dawn of history to affect the actions of leaders, mostly male, and to keep them from taking actions that would be in their, and their countries, own best interest.
One has to ask themselves just who are feminists trying to reach and control by making young women eager to satisfy their carnal motives? What group of individuals would be the most likely to rebel against a takeover of a country and successfully thwart the ambitions of those who would dictate the way we lead our lives? This group is one that needs to be marginalized at the same time offered sexual rewards to stay compliant. This is where the use of degraded young women comes into play.
The women think they are being independent, getting "free stuff, and are really smarter that those of the opposite gender except they are being used by their own desires.
I will leave you to ascertain just who in this country needs to be kept from taking action that would actually stop the desire for power exhibited by the statists? I suspect that Tip, if he bothered to extrapolate actions utilized by the Left, would know.
Everything has a political purpose to those who would dictate. A sexual politics so to speak.

George Boggs said...

Two things struck me in Ms Hustle's post. First was this: "...a culture that devalues the work that women and artists do." This is an interesting perspective because it presupposes a value in human activity that is independent of the value the culture assigns. One of the cultural problems we have today is the belief that Ms Hustle's artwork sells for less than that of, say, David Hockney or Vincent van Gogh because her work is devalued. Maybe it's just... oh, I don't know... inept and pedestrian.

The second was her mother's lachrymose regret. It's amusing to watch leftists faced with situations they demand other people "tolerate": e.g., "'Warren Beatty is beside himself over the [sex-change surgery] situation with his daughter Kathlyn,' said a source."

It's all good and well and oh-so-avant-garde to support tolerance for bestiality until you come home early from work and find your son screwing the dog.

Dennis said...

George Boggs,

One of the ideas I try to get over to my musician and artist friends is that we don't do well until everyone else does well. We come somewhere after, survival, security, safety, and societal beginnings. I think it was John Adams who said something like this, "I become a solder, politician, lawyer, engineer so that my children can become musicians and artists." (SIC)
I was talking to a friend who is a composer, arranger and a fine bass player yesterday. His wife fell and needs surgery and he was feeling down. As we talked after I had asked what course of action he had looked explored it invariable got to how the challenges we deal with are what makes us who we are I made the point that musicians do well when the members of the audience do well. Most musicians and artists can not survive on the money from others just like them.
What little pink diapered princess fails to recognize is that for every musician and artist who makes it there are a thousand other who are just as good or better, but lack something that appeals to the larger audience one must stand before. This is even considering that little pink diapered princess has the requisite talent.

JPL17 said...

This may be a little far-fetched, but the reaction of Robin Hustle's left-wing parents to their daughter's revelation made me think immediately of Hitchcock's film Rope.

For those who haven't seen it, Rope is about a couple of wealthy New York preppies who murder one of their classmates, hide his body in a wooden chest in the killers' apartment, and then throw a party in the apartment with the body still in the chest, all for no reason other than to prove and savor their "superiority" over normal human beings who try to live their lives within moral limits. One of the guests at the party -- played by Jimmy Stewart -- is the killers' former philosophy professor, whose nihilist (and apparently Nietzschean) teachings inspired the killers to commit their murder. When Stewart's character begins to suspect what his former students have done, they reveal their deed to him, expecting his understanding, even approval. But Stewart's character reacts with shock, and alerts the police. As police sirens blare, Stewart's character tells the two killers that they weren't supposed to take those nihilistic teachings seriously, or at least not literally. But it's too late, of course, as the evil deed has been done.

The far-left parents of Robin Hustle seem similarly shocked that their daughter took their left wing ideas seriously, and actually "lived" them out to their logical conclusion. Robin's surprise at their disapproval is like the killers' surprise at their professor in Rope. "How could you not approve?" she seems to ask. "You taught me this. I thought you'd be proud."

Teaching bad philosophy to one's students or children, it seems, is like playing with fire.