The Thinking 
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Feminists and Working Girls

August 18, 2009


Feminists have a long history of ambivalence about working girls. I mean, independent contractors.” It’s an issue that ties them into philosophical knots.

On the one hand, independent contractors are bad because their business involves gratification of male desire, treatment of women as objects for pleasure, and sometimes brutal physical abuse, sexual disease and even murder. They also dress in heteronormative high heels and hot pants, and wear too much lipstick. That suggests independent contractors are tools of patriarchal oppression.  

On the other hand, independent contractors stand for female empowerment. They do make money and there is nothing that warms the heart of a feminist more, or inspires her to wax more eloquently about equality and freedom, than a bit of hard cold cash. Prostitution, to the extent that it is a professional field for women, is good. That’s why feminists have openly campaigned for the legalization of independent contractors.

Generally, however, the average feminist takes a stand similar to the one displayed by Oprah yesterday in her interview with Brooke Taylor. She was alternately bemused, curious, mildly concerned, and mildly repulsed. Altogether, Oprah’s attitude was distant, as if all this was part of a world to which she would never belong. “So strange [male organs] don’t bother you?” the interviewer asked with a smile. How does Brooke go to work when she doesn’t feel like sex? Oprah appeared to think prostitutes are aroused by their clients.

In a world lit by feminist lights, prostitution is destined to become more common. That’s because the feminist, either male or female, can never muster true condemnation or even genuine concern. The idea that what a woman does with her body defines her life’s meaning and spiritual destiny is foreign to the neutered feminist mind.

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The Charmer

August 17, 2009


American journalism moved further along on its own exciting trajectory toward truth and the all-encompassing love of reality today. Oprah, the Queen of Vanity and Fantastic Female Illusions, aired a show on How Other People Live. That’s no big deal. As our Maternal Monarch puts it, we need “to see how we’re all interconnected. ” But, this was no ordinary look into an American home. This time the lead guest was an “independent contractor.”

You know, an independent contractor, just like the guy who fixes your leaky pipes or replaces your roof or does your taxes. Brooke Taylor’s professional base of operations is the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Carson City, Nevada. Brooke, wearing underwear and smiling affably, gave us an extensive tour of the facility on the show. “We’ve all been told that prostitution is wrong,” she said, but that’s because we all have “a lot of misconceptions.” Even her Dad had misconceptions and refused to speak to her for three weeks when he found out she was a working girl.  

“If the customer wants to have a drink at the bar, we’ll stop and I’ll let him get a drink,” she said, standing in the barroom. “Then we come back to my room and we discuss really what they want to do and for how long.” That’s fair. She pulled out a whip and leather straps from the drawer in her night table. “These are the ones where I can tie people up.” The soccer moms in the audience looked on with curiosity.

When Brooke, 24, defended herself to her Dad, she appealed to reason. “Hey,” she told him. “I’m a sexual being and this is what I’m doing with that side.” She’s also an economic being and this is what she is doing with that side. Before she entered this line of work, she was tragically “living from paycheck to paycheck.”

Fortunately, her mother was more enlightened. “She was very supportive right off the bat,” Brooke said. “She took it as an adventure.” And, it is an adventure. There’s even an ATM machine in the bar and a shower room with nozzles on all the walls. Not all of her clients are purely into sex. “Sometimes it’s more about the journey.”

Isn’t it cool how we’re each on our own personal journey? The point is what we learn along the way and how we grow closer to each other every moment of the day. We are all interconnected. I am a housewife. Brooke is a whore. Oprah is force of nature. The point is not our minor differences, but our MAJOR SIMILARITIES. We’re human and lovable. No matter where our life’s journeys take us.

On Oprah’s website, which includes a video of Brooke, a commenter defends Oprah’s professional degradation. “Oprah is a journalist. Like any good journalist, she is presenting the issue and all the facts. She simply showed her viewers a very controversial topic and the truth.” Truth is Oprah’s cause and the object of her journey.


                                                                                                   Brooke Taylor says she typically sees one client a day.
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The Queen of Vanity

August 13, 2009


 Kidist Paulos Asrat has interesting observations at her blog Camera Lucida on the latest cover of O Magazine, the scripture of all things Oprah. Could Oprah be depressed? Miss Asrat says Oprah looks “insecure, hesitant and certainly non-powerful” in this photo. So ubiquitous is Oprah’s face, I do not possess the ability to sharply discern one image from another. She seems uniformly plastic in all. Oprah’s handlers like to present her as both fragile and fantastically more attractive than she is, the better to draw the weak to her throne. The hair on her shoulder seems to represent the conceit of a woman who is far too old for this sort of “come hither” gesture. Increasingly, Oprah is a sop to the middle-aged and their search for perennial youth.

I wonder if Oprah has ever gazed into the mirror and said to herself, “I could be wrong. I could be hopelessly and irretrievably wrong.”


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