July 9, 2008

Once a stripper, always a stripper

Posted in news, representation, sex work, sexual politics at 3:42 am by LB

This kind of bullshit phrasing happens all the time.

Headline:

“Ex-Stripper Claims Affair With Alex Rodriguez, Calls Cindy ‘Smart'”

She’s not just a woman; she is was a stripper!

a) Does it really matter? Is cheating with a stripper somehow “worse” than with a “regular woman” (because see, strippers aren’t just regular women who have a job to pay the bills, they’re some sort of non-human exotic sex-being!) Would a headline similarly read “Accountant Claims Affair with A-Rod”? I think not.

b) She was a stripper. She is no longer. Why must women who are sex workers always and forever be accompanied with the adjective “ex-[insert sex industry job here]”?

Of course I know the answers to my own questions. It’s still utter bullshit.

(And this comes from our ever-“progressive” news source Huff-Po…ya know, the ones who recently celebrated Independence Day with a pictorial of women and men in flag-inspired bathing suits “hottie” female celebs in flag-printed bikinis.)

Not to mention that A-Rod’s marriage is none of our damn business and is nowhere near newsworthy.

(Cross-posted to The Reaction)

3 Comments »

  1. Noticed said,

    Agreed. I was similarly turned off by the 4th of July bikini feature. I thought it was an ad from another site.

    AND did you notice how the coverage of A-Rod’s divorce tried to put the blame on Madonna. Like A-Rod wasn’t responsible for his own actions (I mean, who could resist Madonna or an ex-stripper?).

    Check out my post on the issue (noticingthegap(dot)com).

  2. T said,

    I don’t think that saying she is a sex worker is that much different than saying accountant. They (media) do refer to folks by what they do. It would sound more like an insult if she were an accountant- like she couldn’t be fun. Like George Clooney dated a bar tender, or K-Fed is a back up dancer etc.

    That said, this is BS. They should call her a co-homewrecker (along with a-rod) instead. It takes two to tango and he was known to be married.

  3. lindabeth said,

    I don’t think that saying she is a sex worker is that much different than saying accountant.

    Right. There shouldn’t be a difference. My point is that they don’t refer to women as ex-accountants, but time and again the media refers to women as “ex-stripper”/”ex-porn star” and the like.

    They (media) do refer to folks by what they do.

    Except that this is not what she does, it’s what she did. Big difference.

    It would sound more like an insult if she were an accountant- like she couldn’t be fun.

    Right, that’s what I was implying when I said I “know” why this is done: she was a stripper, which in our culture means that she must be ultra sexy and possess some sort of sexual prowess that mere mortal women do not. That she mustbe some exceptional sex fiend. The real truth: sex workers are just that: women whose job involves sex. They are regular women, human beings even, who put their bodies and minds through the discipline required for sex work.

    They should call her a co-homewrecker (along with a-rod) instead.

    Whatever, this is your opinion. To me, she’s a woman who claims to have slept with him and and that’s that. And quite frankly, it’s none of our business.

    Oddly, you bring up another reportage double-standard: the women he had sexual relationships with are called “home-wreckers,” but don’t the men themselves “wreck” their own marriages (too)? I know you say they both “wrecked” it, but in this situation, his repeated infidelity may have “wrecked” his marriage, but I’m not sure that this one particular alleged fling constitutes “wrecking.” It’s not up to us to determine for other couple’s what grievances “make or break” a relationship.

    I was being generous with your point, but in all honesty, even co-blaming the woman is absurd. Think about it: do we think of attorney-partner jobs that take people away from they’re spouses and children for 70 plus hours a week and often involve late nights as “home wreckers” when they lead to divorce? Isn’t emotional availability for and spending quality time with your spouse and family just as important as sexual fidelity? By definition those jobs make fulfilling those relational responsibilities impossible. Seriously, do we do this? See this job as “home-wrecking”?

    People are responsible for their own relationships.


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