Bad Girls Dictionary

New dictionary hopes to help redefine the world’s oldest profession

While most of us never challenge or even consider the role of linguistics in our daily lives, Empower, a charity offering support for sex industry workers, has braved the norm and created the Bad Girls Dictionary, in which typical meanings of words are reworked in a new light. For the creators of the new book, the real definition of a word involves “not just its meaning, but also the context in which it is used”. Written in the first person, the text works to present old ideas in a new prejudice-free light.

To paint a clearer picture of the radical dictionary, let’s take a look at a couple words.

Prostitute n Prefer sex worker. The name others call our profession. Politicians blaming each other for corruption and vote selling also use it, enhancing its negative association. In Thailand, the abbreviation “P” is commonly used to refer to women who have regular STD checks, and researchers use it in statistical analysis. When we hear prostitute or “P” it has the negative connotation of something underground and subversive.

Journalist n Our regular customers; our good friends and supporters; people who like making money from Empower stories; however, sometimes after a story runs, the police crack down, and the women blame Empower.

Fat adj Fat old men, etc. Many fat old men are very respectful, kind, entertaining, generous and polite customers. We’re not prejudiced.

Bush Policy exp During 2003, after Bush’s policy failed to make any impact on the global problems of drugs, arms and terrorism George W. Bush had a new idea. He mistakenly deduced that migrant sex workers were moved by the same channels that drugs, guns and Osama were. Therefore he used us as a scapegoat in unrelated issues.

Along with its colourful entries, the book also includes a sassy 20-FAQ section which is highly recommended for anyone interested in the sex industry. It includes questions such as, “If a customer offers to pay more money, will women agree not to use condom?”

And the given answer, “If you ask this, we understand you believe we are stupid and greedy women who will do anything for money even risk our lives. Would a paratrooper not use a parachute if offered more money?”

The ‘Bad Girls Dictionary’is available for 200 baht at http://www.empowerfoundation.org/. Call 02-526-8311 for more information.

Documentary on Deborah Jeane Palfrey

Straight from the New York Post’s Page Six: Movie Madam

May 13, 2008 — WE haven’t heard the last of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the DC madam who committed suicide last week rather than go to jail. Literary agents Marianne Strong and Jason Allen Ashlock are discussing doing a documentary on Palfrey with producer Beverly Camhe, and they have also commissioned legendary biographer C. David Heymann and Gerry Visco to “pen a book looking inside the sex industry, with Palfrey as the touchstone. Perhaps her life won’t have been taken in vain,” Strong told us.