delve a little deeper....
As much as I am loathe to link to The Scum, this article was brought to my attention and I felt the need for a rant. For those of you who don't want to click the link (I feel dirty, so I don't blame you) it is an article about a school secretary who has been working as an escort, or as The Scum put it a 'kinky hooker', cos well escort sounds too nice, The Scum like to sleaze it up a bit doncha know?
Shock, horror, a woman who sells sex. Regardless that thousands of women are doing it, it's not illegal and she's doing it through her own free will it's still in a newspaper. It's actually not news. Oh but The Scum (and other tabloids) continue to print these stories, for what odds? To fill column inches, to titillate or just because they get their kicks out of trashing people's lives? Certainly not because they feel they need to lead the nation to some moral utopia.
It appears The Scum even have a template to follow when creating these vile pieces of tripe...
Make a meal of the organisation the woman works for.
In this case a catholic school, despite the fact this school lets pretty much anyone in and is considered not particularly good. But tabloids need an emphasis. Do its illiterate, ignorant readers sit there reading such things and say 'Er, Gazza, look at this, a caflic school, blimey, those poor saintly children'? Probably. A 'Not very good state school secretary' doesn't quite have the same ring to it does it? Tick.
Make the woman sound like a cow. She 'boasts', she 'brags', add inverted commas round words such as 'classy' to let your readers know that really she isn't. Tick
Use the cliche 'by day she is...' as if she turns into some kind of a cartoon villain at night. Oh yes, The Scums rates prostitutes alongside pedophiles, people who mug old ladies and crack dealers who peddle outside infant schools.
Come up with some bollocks on how this was uncovered. In this case 'her sideline was uncovered after a parent of pupils saw photos of the petite brunette on the site'.
Utter rubbish. Any leak to the employers was made by The Scum themselves. I would bet money on that.
Steal photos off her website. Tick
Add another picture taken unawares in the street. Tick
Allow Scum readers (I use that word loosely) to make nasty comments about the woman's physical appearance. Tick.
As I said, this is not news. Her private life is her own and what she chooses to do in bed (paid for or otherwise) is irrelevant to her job. So what if she works with children? Sexual appetite is not contagious. I'm quite sure she wasn't seducing the kids and demanding their dinner money for payment.
The school will probably now sack her. Despite her not actually doing anything wrong, not in work time and probably not to any affect to her job the school will be within their rights to dismiss her. Contrary to the opinion of sensible people who think that even though what she does is legal and her own personal business; organisations that have a public or professional reputation to maintain can pull the 'bringing the organisation into disrepute' line. And it will stick. She can not say I am discreet, noone knows, because it is now in the fucking Scum! Argument void! Go straight to HR and collect your P45.
But why should she lose her job? Because the sex industry is seen as seedy, unsavoury and full of drug addled pimped whores and dirty old men in brown macs. Those who don't know any better will get their sensible granny knickers in a twist. Even those who do know better aren't usually willing to publicly stand up and defend the trade. Men in every single profession pay for sex. Very few of them would actually stand up and be counted when it comes to it. Even if the head teacher of this school has been shagging call girls for years, has an understanding of the industry and is thoroughly sympathetic he is not going to show that publicly by announcing that it doesn't matter and she can stay in her job.
This is why we hear about Harriet Harman and her ilk making ill informed proposals which come down to Ban all prostitutes! Criminalise all men who pay for sex! Do we ever get any MP's say, 'Actually, there is a genuine supply and demand here, but girls put themselves at risk because they can't work in pairs or groups because that means the premises becomes a brothel and therefore illegal, we should change that?'. Um no. No one wants to admit that actually there is a thriving industry with successful, professional, clever women who are happy to be paid for sex. Women aren't meant to want to do such a thing are they?
What accepting prostitution means is having to face that actually, we don't all want to settle down in the monogamous relationships expected of us. Wives want faithful husbands, men feel shame at choosing to pay for sex, mothers want their daughters to be virtuous, women can't comprehend how other women can fuck a man she has only just met and so on. Prostitution rattles what conventional society and culture dictates. Despite the adage that prostitution is the oldest profession it still, and probably always will be considered wrong, dirty, shameful and something that newspapers can use against women who have done nothing more than have a liberated sex life and make a bit of money.
As an aside, something does need to be done with the UK laws in terms of making it safer for women who choose to sell sex as well as a crack down on trafficking, but certainly not criminalising those who buy and sell sex willingly.
Back to the latest victim of The Scum. She will probably be out of a job (they may 'let' her resign, but she will be out (the irony being she may may have to turn to escorting full time), she may lose friends, have family relationships wrecked, be shunned by the neighbours and so on. She will be feeling absolute horror at having her private life splashed across the newspaper. She will feel invaded, violated, betrayed and sick. She will hate leaving the house, convinced everyone is looking at her. It's a thoroughly shit thing to happen and those who have anything to do with these (quite regular) outings of working girls should be shot. My heart goes out to her.
What happened to her happened to me.