A friend of mine recently corrected another friend when talking about ‘Prostitutes’ – actually they prefer ‘Sex Worker’. This was a recent reference to After Life, a TV series on Netflix written by Ricky Gervais. It got us thinking about public portrayal of sexworkers in mainstream media.
I, for one am glad to see happy portrayal of modern day Britain. The character ‘Daphne’ works as a sex worker, raises several issues we face in a humorous way, making it more accessible for us to be seen in modern day media.
It is really great for me to enjoy the character. For once I don’t have to roll my eyes. Often we are portrayed as exploited, sad or on drugs. At least, Satine in Moulin Rouge is thought provoking and some moments accurate, but this negative saviour narrative is so often played and feels a little out of date.
Pretty Woman – The Classic
Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman shows realistic scenarios. As well as, dialogue, judgement and opinions of others, but still from a working class perspective. The difference in treatment by the male characters is quite realistic – for my point of view. Some main characters , the hotelier, and Gere shown as kind normal gentlemen, as opposed to forcing the narrative that all men objectify women and sex workers.
However, the most accurate portrayal for me and my experiences personally has to be ‘Secret Diaries of a Call Girl’. This is no surprise being based on the real memoirs of sex worker Belle de Jour.
Recently however, I was extremely disappointed to see Bonding on Netflix. What could have been such an opportunity just played on such stereotypes. I’m not even sure they consulted a sex worker. Even if intended as satire, the very fact the dominatrix character has her own Twitter feed, whilst Twitter shuts down millions of real life Dom accounts – is disgusting. I have so many feelings and anger to articulate, it deserves its own post entirely.
This topic is so broad. There is room to explore it all day, and I feel this I just the tip of the iceberg. What do you think about how society shows escorts in the media?
Image Credit @emirparrotta