Sample page of "Diary of a London Call Girl"

This is somewhat old sample pages from the diary of Dr. Brooke Magnanti, a scientist and a London call girl, who wrote a blog as "Belle de Jour" before she came out, and still she continues her blog. She has written numerous books and essays on various topics. I think she is a very fascinating woman.  

jeudi, mars 11Belle de Jour

ObNotRant: Things are good at home with T. Sex is great. Life's tolerably decent and my friends? Doing their thing. It's all tickety-boo, nothing new to report.

Now for your daily rant.

One nice thing about coming out has been re-discovering and connecting with sex bloggers from back in the day. Matisse and Trixie obviously, but also the peerless Furrygirl, who I - to my shame - did not know was still going. Read her blog... she has a lot of interesting things to say about sex work and feminism. Many of which are pretty similar to my own feelings on the subject.

You see, up until November, if you'd asked me, I would have said that I was a feminist.

Then I found out the hard way that feminism in this country is like the Ivy League: there's an application, old school alums think it's gone downhill, and it's mostly filled with the sort of people you spent your school years avoiding.

I genuinely do not get the third-wave bluestocking Professional Feminists in this country. Genuinely. Do. Not. I've tried to give a shit about maternity leave and who does the housework, and all I can come up with is, if your job doesn't give you as much time off as you want, suck it up or get another job. If your partner doesn't do the washing up, same. Why this need to publish endless tomes on the subject? It seems a pretty lame preoccupation when there are still eight countries in the world where a woman can legally be put to death for adultery.

Seriously, people. Bit of perspective might be in order. But unfortunately everywhere you look these days is yet another po-faced article that is more opinion than fact, and yet another debate that descends into privileged tut-tutting. I would love to see intelligent debate on the hypersexualisation issue, but when people are waving padded bras around on telly you can see exactly no one is pursuing that end. Grandstanding, book promoting, and 'I'm a feminist, me' smokscreen seems to be the order of the day. Not, oh, reading and discussing the Scottish Parliament's well-designed review on the topic.

(Also, I would like to know when exactly this halcyon era of feminism we are constantly being told we have "lost" occurred. When have girls not aped what grown women do well before puberty, when has the way women dress not been significantly different from the way men dress, and when did teenagers not get pregnant? Apparently it was some time in the 70s. But seriously? I've seen the pictures, people. I don't think anyone was mistaking a maxidress for androgynous getup.)

But that's not my real beef. My real beef is, after all these months, I am still waiting for one single 'feminist' newspaper columnist who called me a man, a fraud, or a liar to apologise.

Slagging off my family? Oh, they've done that. Criticised my appearance? Tick. My writing? Absolutely. Exercised daredevil feats of armchair psychology in order to justify their continued revulsion of me? In fucking spades. I promised something on this blog a long time ago: I am a woman, who lived in London, who had sex for money, and you will never discover differently. Guess what? It wasn't a lie. But basically, where the Daily Mail went, the liberal middle class white women who make a living expounding on liberal middle class white woman guilt were all too happy to follow. As for addressing the central argument against me - that I was a fantasy made up by a man, and could not exist - has there been a peep?


Here's another thing I noticed: blatant and disingenuous misstatement of what I write. The jury is out on whether feminists hate men, but I can tell you they really do love a straw man. Have I ever said that being a sex worker is a great job for everyone? No. In fact, I spend about half of my email time every day discouraging people clearly unsuited to the job from doing it. I'd be interested to know how many of my critics have actually successfully talked anyone out of sex work, because I do it all the damn time. But guess what they think this blog is about? Why, it's some fucking self-discovery odyssey to them. My statement of how selling sex made me the woman I am, or some nonsense like that.

Grow up. Archives are to the right, ladies - between swanning to this or that media engagement it must be tough to find the time to read up on the things you talk about, but we got a saying where I come from for people who don't... her mouth was running all right, but the brain is stuck in neutral. Executive summary: If what you're after is some twaddle about how having sex (paid or otherwise) is a political statement, you're in the wrong place.

My theory is because they could not do my job - any of my jobs, much less all of them - it shows the occupation of Professional Feminist as the sham it is. Turning out one book a decade on Bratz dolls is not a real job. I know many self-motivated, intelligent, strong and modern women in science. They don't write books deconstructing the whatsis of the zeitgeist whocares. They get up, stick on a skirt and makeup (or not), and get down to the business of living life as a woman rather than making sweeping statements on the nature of the workplace - which, incidentally, many columnists have never experienced. As far as women go, there are plenty who by their consistent and daily actions of living life are making changes, regardless of what Our Betters have to say from the dizzying heights of the women's studies reading list.

Oh, let me guess... you might be among the people who think this or that book was 'influential' and 'changed lives'. Really? You sure about that? 'Cos correlation sure ain't causation, sister, and writing about stuff that is happening - that people are already living - is reportage at best and capitalising on the current mood at worst, and ages about as well as wine in a box. It's not philosophy and certainly not anything resembling a call to arms.

Want to know the most feminist statement I ever heard? It wasn't in a book and it didn't come from the hallowed halls of arts graduates. It didn't make the talk show rounds with pat little pronouncements on how smugly middle-class it was and aren't we in the grip of a national crisis because working class women who go out in pink minidresses on Saturday like Lambrini and don't appreciate all that was fought for back in the day. It said, more succinctly and with a lot less PR, what the point is.

It was a Sleater-Kinney song, a single line actually: Culture is what we make it, yes it is / Now is the time to invent, invent, invent.

I'll stick to the intellectually honest sex workers rather than the sad sell-outs who eulogise the 70s as if they singlehandedly changed the world with midlist sales figures and a sharp eye on the commercial possibilities of life as a commentator. And their Jenny-come-lately wannabes who sit on their Raunch Culture pronouncements like they just laid a golden egg.