Um, if you want to use my story….

Yesterday I posted a very sincere post about a conversation that I had with my mother. Later, Jessica at Jezebel posted this:

Karly Kirchner of sex-worker site Bound, Not Gagged recounts a similarly accepting response from her mom, but adds that she wants her mother to start reading her posts on the blog.

She goes on to quote Morgan Winters, whose bio at Utne Reader says:

Morgan Winters graduated from the University of Minnesota. He enjoys writing about media, food, and uncomfortable social situations—but never a combination of the three. With confidence and authority, Morgan does his best to convince his two children to listen to him. He rarely succeeds.

Wow. This guy sounds like an expert on the sex industry. Jezebel continues:

Perhaps those posts will lead Ms. Kirchner’s mother to a deeper understanding of the oldest profession and her daughter’s reasons for choosing it. But, says Morgan Winter on the Utne Reader‘s website, “There seems to be two basic motivations for writing about one’s tenure as a hooker, neither educational. The prostitute either wants to glorify or vilify the industry and its consumers. Either of these seems simplistic and disingenuous. After all, not only are we talking about the oldest profession, we’re also trying to understand arguably the most complicated physiological aspect of nature—sex—through books about themes that, if authored by anybody other than former prostitutes, would fall under the ‘teen’ section in the local library.” Even with a more nuanced view of prostitution, I can’t imagine any mother would be particularly thrilled to discover that her daughter was a hooker. I got an awkwardly scolding phone call from my mother when I wrote about foreskins. I can’t even imagine what she’d say if I told her I touched them for a living!

I am sorry for (correction) Jessica that her family is so uncomfortable with the human body that she would be scolded, as an adult, for writing about a simple part of the male anatomy. It’s no wonder that Winters would simplify a sex worker’s desire to tell her own story as either glorifying or vilifying the industry. Of course. We are either rabid, angry victims who are shameful and resentful of our past, or we are deluded gold-diggers.

When Diane Sawyer and Brian Ross pull this kind of shit, I’m not surprised. But if gossip blogs want to be taken seriously, you may want to actually re-post material available in the wealth of writing available on the ‘net by actual sex workers, we are the ‘experts.’

And Mr. Winters, you may want to stick to writing about food and socially-awkward situations that you’ve actually experienced yourself. It’s sad that a writer from Utne, who gave $pread Magazine an award for best new publication in 2005 (or 2006?) a publication that we thought supported the voices of sex workers, would over-simplify and minimize the experience and writing of sex workers.

His quote really does summarize his own as well as Jessica’s posts:

Either of these seems simplistic and disingenuous.

5 Responses

  1. Like Winters understands why a sex worker would want to tell their parents, and why they fear the reaction. Someone this immature does not need to be writing about sex.

    XX

  2. Jessica wrote me back last night to say she reads Bound, not Gagged — it’s still very new to people outside our circles that there IS good information out there on the industry by sex workers ourselves.

    We need a media cheatsheet, stat — listing some of the best intro material, starting with Sex Work 101.

  3. […] Um, if you want to use my story…. « Bound, Not Gagged “When Diane Sawyer and Brian Ross pull this kind of shit, I’m not surprised. But if gossip blogs want to be taken seriously, you may want to actually re-post material available in the wealth of writing available on the ‘net by actual sex workers…” (tags: sexwork blogs assholes) […]

  4. I’ve encountered people who’ve read what sex workers have written and “don’t believe it,” unless, of course, they write negatively about it. I’ve tried to use the web sites of some escorts, for example, to demonstrate that many of us are intelligent, educated individuals, and have had people tell me that they don’t believe the web sites were written by the escort. The same for blogs. It is amazing how many people just can’t seem to get over the stereotypes associated with the sex industry. It’s quite depressing, actually.

  5. Alexad, I think it is no use to try to change such small minds. I’ve given up (but am still astounded at how small human minds can actually be), although it is very much worth explaining this to *thinking* individuals who can see past their noses.

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