Friday, February 16, 2007

Gypsy Rose Annie

When I go home I watch a lot of TV. This is as a result of the fact that I have no TV in my apartment. I love trash TV, my favorite show is probably Celebrity Fit Club. As I said, trash TV. Fortunately I am joined in this love by my father. We have watched a number of TV shows and movies together over the years. We continue in this, despite the possibly awkwardness, because it is absolutely hilarious. Dad went with me, (and my mom and baby brother) to watch Borat. That was a classic example. The "chick magnet" sketch had him laughing uproariously.

At any rate, my dad and I watched Gypsy together while I was in high school. He was apparently very affected by it, because forever after whenever he was talking about grades, he would say: "You know what happens to girls who don't get good grades in high school? They become strippers." On the theory that Gypsy didn't get good grades, and therefore had been forced into stripping. Which is not, by the way, how I remember the plot.

This was not out of character for my father, who, every morning upon leaving the house would tell me (from age 5 or so): "Go to school, get good grades, get into a good college." But that is beside the point. When I stumbled upon this blog (thanks Gawker) all I could think of was my father's exhortations to get good grades so that I wouldn't become a stripper. (warning: the blog is definitely NSFW and for sure NSFDad)

For the record, I have very conflicted feelings about sex workers. Part of me thinks that it is a degrading profession, where men take advantage of women, and racism runs rife, but another part of me can't escape the thought that maybe these women are expressing their sexuality, and being paid for it. Maybe it can be both, or neither, or something in between. Also, when I, in my younger years would defend the intelligence and choices of strippers to my father and Uncle, the response would almost always be: "I listen to the Howard Stern show. Those women are not intelligent, or well-educated." Some women do strip their way through college (not that stripping and prostitution are equivalent), but it is more common in California than here. I actually had one such woman speak to a Sociology class that I took in college. She wrote her doctoral dissertation about racism in the sex work industry.

Long story short: you should probably not become a prostitute, even if you need the money. I'd suggest tutoring instead. In NYC you can get something like $80/hr, under the table, and untaxed. And there is less of a worry of STI's. Just saying.


Benjamin said...

As long as sexual expression is closely tied in most people's psyches with their personhood, I'd say it's exploitive. It's only when the two can be divorced that you're sure that you're not hurting someone.

Anonymous said...

Where does porn "acting" fall on this scale? Just curious.


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