Friday, March 6, 2009

Women's Howler

Dear Subtext readers, are you big fans of radio 4's Women's Hour? I sure am, I listen to it on the BBC iPlayer all the time because I think it gives an interesting round up of what's generally bubbling around the newspapers.

This week though they tackled something which had my left eye twitching away as I audibly huffed and puffed alone in the living room - women paying for sex. This is a subject that I'd already seen raise its head on the BBC news website and though I haven't caught any further talk about it yet, I'm sure I will. It's something that I can only see as another ploy in the attempt to normalise the selling of sex and the objectification of women, and now men, in society - and I ain't happy about it. I don't support exploitation because someone the same sex as me thinks it's ok - alright, "Jane".

Anyway, I want to look at the way Andrew, the male prostitute and author was treated on Women's hour, particularly in the Women's Hour Newsletter (Oh, Come On. Someone else must be signed up to it?!) Jenni Murry took the reigns on the radio, talking to a woman who'd bought the services of a man for her sexual wants and to the male prostitute. In her post summary Jenni writes,

No prizes for guessing what you really want to know from me this week. What did the male escort I spoke to on Wednesday actually look like? Tallish, mouseyish and absolutely not a Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig - consequently, as my mother would have put it, 'hardly worth bothering dragging your old bones to the bottom of our street for' and certainly not one of whom she might have enthused, 'well I wouldn't mind finding his boots under my bed.'

It didn't cross my mind during the interview, to me it really was about an issue not whether or not I would want to fuck a prostitute or escort that I'd cold called if he was "ugly". The radio show irritated me (not least because some woman tried to insinuate that anyone who didn't support the commodification of sexuality and prostitution was blind to a woman's right to say Yes) but the dismissive tone which eradicated any prostitutes option to be a real person or anything other than a sex object irked me more.

Listen again here
- you have until Wednesday


1 comment:

Shani Lee said...

Yeh, I think the remarks about the male escort were aggravating - belittling him and the issue.

I'm just wondering why women are paying for sex? What is the motivation? Is it easier, cleaner, safer than negotiating whatever kind of relationship you want to have, including just some sex, please?

And, on the other hand, is it always wrong to pay for sex?