Clarisse Thorn's picture

Sex worker sob story totally misses the point

Originally posted at Clarisse Thorn: Pro-Sex Outreach, Open-Minded Feminism

Forget the voices of sex workers who genuinely enjoy their jobs and are tired of being cut out of the discourse on the sex industry. Forget arguments about how the Craigslist shutdown will end up harming sex workers who are genuinely trafficked or abused. No, let’s focus on Phoebe Kay, who’s mad because Craigslist made it easy for her to sell sex, and she didn’t like doing it. Therefore, she argues in a recent Salon piece, it is entirely right and proper that Craigslist has been pressured into removing its “erotic services” ads.

Wait, what?

Ms. Kay’s experience does sound unpleasant — just as any job a person doesn’t want to do will be unpleasant. And I do sympathize. She writes that before she even started working, she “felt like vomiting” and adds, “There was no question this gig didn’t come naturally to me.” Hey, I’ve felt like that about jobs before. Usually those feelings are a strong hint that I shouldn’t take the job! Ms. Kay, on the other hand, went right ahead — but it’s not her own fault, it’s Craigslist’s fault.

She notes that she’d sent out “hundreds” of cover letters to other jobs before trying her hand at escorting, but one wonders if she tried McDonald’s. Or was that too degrading to contemplate? What about selling the car she mentions in the article, or asking the parents she mentions for support? I’m not trying to mock the “desperation” Ms. Kay says she felt, but it’s hard to believe that a woman with such an obvious safety net truly felt that she had no choice at all. Not to mention, there are plenty of escorts who got into the business because they were strapped for cash, but who don’t disown the choice they made, even if they had a bad experience in the end.

Clarisse Thorn's picture

Exciting new “Time Out” blog; reflections on blogrolls and blogospheres

I’ve been hired as a professional blogger! I’ll be keeping my personal blog here, but I’ll be posting quick links and even quicker commentary over at Time Out Chicago: Love Bites.

While setting up my Time Out blog, I found myself thinking about one of the more headache-inducing aspects of blogging: the Blogroll. You can see my blogroll on the right side of this page, and that’s where the Time Out editors put my Time Out blogroll as well. Blogrolls are sticky and interesting because there are definite social conventions surrounding them, but those social conventions are not well-defined, and different people use very different approaches.

* Some people just post links to whatever blogs they like or consider interesting. Some people work really hard to screen blogs for their blogrolls and figure out whether they really want to link them or not; others just glance over blogs and add them if they seem interesting. And others avoid the whole problem by not having a blogroll on their site at all.

* Some people are straightforwardly tit-for-tat about blogrolls: they do “link exchanges”, which means that you post a link to someone’s blog in your blogroll, and in exchange they post a link to you. This means that not only will people maybe find your blog through that other blog, but that hopefully your PageRank will improve. (PageRank is Google’s measurement of a given page’s importance. For example, my blog has okay PageRank, which is why it’s usually on the first or second page of Google results if you search for the name “Clarisse”, even though there are over two million total results for that name.) I’ve accepted offers for link exchanges occasionally, though I obviously only do it with sites that I appreciate.

Lance A Worth's picture

There Is No White


Clarisse Thorn's picture

Sex-positive in southern Africa

Right before I came out here, I was recruited by an online magazine to write about sexuality in Africa and my experience thereof. I wrote some columns, sent them to the magazine … and was told they weren’t quite right. So I sold them to CarnalNation instead! Here’s a roundup of my first four CN pieces; I doubt this is the last time I’ll publish with them, as CN (and editor Chris Hall in particular) is very awesome.

January 7: Rest In Peace, Pitseng Vilakati
I met an incredible, high-profile lesbian activist and wanted to be friends, but soon after she was murdered … and her partner charged with the crime.

January 14: Sexual ABCs in Africa, Part 1: Abstinence
In which I discuss how my relationship started with my current boyfriend, a Baha’i convert who doesn’t believe in sex before marriage (the pseudonym I chose for him was, therefore, Chastity Boy). I also describe some of my hesitations in promoting abstinence as a good sexual choice, even though it is a legitimately wise one in a place that’s so beset by HIV.

Christina Engela's picture

A Summary Of Straight Privilege In Daily Life

The other day I found online a list of observations made by a class of heterosexual university students in the USA, asked to think about advantages held by heterosexual students over their non-heterosexual counterparts. I think they made a very good effort, and I think doing such an exercise helps to broaden the mind.

It certainly helps to show others how fortunate they are - and highlights the clear advantages straight people have over us - and thereby reveals the inequalities in society we face today. Hopefully this will show people why it is we fight for equal rights - and that we really have a few good reasons to gripe after all.

I thought about it and worked through the original posting, making some additions of my own - and this is what I came up with:

fugitivus's picture

Trans stuff

Hi! Time for a welcome post!

piecesofstring's picture

The Great Gay White Hope

Hello, SGB'ers!  This is my first post as a featured author, I'm so happy to be writing here.  For now I'm just going to post something I wrote at my original blog, Pieces of String.  It got a LOT of views but no responses so I'm going to edit some things and hopefully garner a conversation here.  Here we go!

The Great Gay White Hope

I came across another letter to President Obama from “the LGBT” community today, here, via The Sexist.  Once again, we have a cry for help out of the mouth of a Great White Hope.  This is absolutely not the fault of the author, I don’t mean in any way to imply that.  It’s admirable that he has taken the time to write such a letter when others (myself included) have resigned ourselves and seem to be waiting it out.  I just wish I could come across an article by a gay girl, a trans person, a bi person, someone of color, etc.  Maybe (hopefully) I’m not looking in the right places, and if so, I’d love for someone to correct me and point me to a plethora of well written and received articles like the one above.

And I can’t help but see the awkward contradiction of statements made in the letter:

Right now my day to day life is pretty nice. I don’t have a desire to get married or serve in the army, I’ve lucky enough to have never been gay-bashed and I’ve never faced discrimination in the workplace. So my problem is the most basic one: You are not making me feel very good about myself.

LaPrincipessa's picture

Ignorance- conscious or subconscious?

(Click image to see larger version)
Back in 2008, right before the elections, Nate silver of had an analysis of the political bent of Portland, Oregon; concluding that Portland is by far the most liberal city in America.This is something I relish. I am a born and raised Portlander who fully enjoys shopping at Trader Joes, taking public transit, and saving the trees. [any more liberal stereotypes, please insert here] I also pride myself on being very socially aware- specifically in regards to racism and sexism (this includes prejudice against any sex, LGBT community included).


Yesterday, as I walked home, I passed the statue pictured above.

How could this be any more wrong?

1. It's a white male.

Is this what Americans look like? Is this what represents fire fighters? Do not fire fighters, and all Americans, come in all shapes, sizes and colors?

Syndicate content
Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system