Home' LOTL : January 2007 Contents 8
You liked the lesbian spin we put on Christmas,
but had mixed feelings about our article on sex
GIFT OF AN ISSUE
My Chrissie pressie arrived early in my mailbox.
Thanks LOTL for the Kiss-mas issue (December
LOTL). This time of year has always been a pain for
me. Every year I go to my brother’s for Christmas
lunch, and there my sister-in-law, a happy hetero
Harpy breeding quietly in the suburbs, rules the day
with a sense of superiority over her lesbian rellie. I
am surrounded by a cast of suburban grotesques, all
going on about how much they earn, what to do about
the “Muslim problem”, whose kid is doing better in
school, and then they all get drunk and watch sport.
There is nothing sacrosanct or ‘Christian’ about the
event. It was such a relief to pick up your magazine
and for me to indulge in something honest, alternative
and fun in preparation for the ‘silly season’. Now if
only I could have a really lesbian Kissmas Day.
Becky, Bondi NSW.
OPENING MINDS AND CLOSETS
Congratulations on your “Scarlet Closet” article
(December LOTL). I am a post-graduate student
supporting myself with some part-time sex work
while I study. Those closest to me know how I earn a
living – it’s no big deal. But I hesitate telling anyone
else because of the intense prejudice, especially held
by other women. Do women who pour drinks, mind
children, give massage therapy or empty bed pans,
make a more honest, admirable living than I? I don’t
think so. I work. I get paid. Anyone who works has
rights. Your article made it clear that there are many
lesbians who are in the ‘world’s oldest profession’.
It’s time we acknowledged that and got over our own
prejudices. Well done LOTL for running the article.
V.Y., Brisbane QLD.
I was disappointed at Katrina Fox’s article, suggesting,
especially to younger lesbian and bi girls, that sex
work is a viable profession for women. The article
with its burlesque-type sexy imagery of especially
younger ‘whores’ sent out the wrong message. It is
not a viable profession for any woman who considers
her physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing
to be important. There is another side to the coin:
a good proportion of damaged and disadvantaged
women are attracted to the profession for the wrong
reasons, either to support substance habits or act out
abuse, and continue to further inscribe their damage
through their work. Lesbians wanting to engage in
sex work, or get involved with sex workers, need to
go into the situation with open eyes.
Can someone tell me why Katrina Fox’s article
repeatedly used the word “whore” to describe a
prostitute? The word whore comes from the Old
English word hōra (from the Indo-European root
kā meaning “desire”). It’s an inappropraie word
to “reclaim”, if that is indeed what is being done
by the people who reclaim it. Who is feeling this
desire? The whore? The client? Prostitution is not
about desire. It is about the power that surrounds the
spending and earning of money. To suggest otherwise
is to be dishonest. “Prostitute” is a less value-laden
and more honest term, and this is what academics,
commentators, and the women themselves should use
as a label. Semantics cannot disguise the basic and
fundamental practice of this profession. There can be
no “Pretty Woman” scenarios here. These women are
exchanging their sexual services for income. Where
does desire, or romance about empowerment and
autonomy, come into that?
Liz Bowden, Hawthorne VIC.
Katrina Fox: Many sex worker activists across the
globe have reclaimed the word ‘whore’, and use it
as a term of empowerment to describe themselves,
in the same way some lesbians have reclaimed the
word ‘dyke’. All the women interviewed for the
LOTL article are self-proclaimed out and proud queer
whores. It is not for any academic, commentator or
anyone else to silence those women and dictate what
labels they ‘should’ or should not use.
I am a well-educated, well-travelled, lesbian, with a
good job and a happy life, so I was very disappointed
on Sunday night when I was reduced to ‘just another
lesbian with a sob story’. My female companions
and I were unable to get served at one of Brisbane’s
gay and lesbian venues in Fortitude Valley on the
weekend simply due to the fact they we were females
and therefore did not register in the mind of the
bartender. Understandable in many ways, however,
when we made our complaint
to the owner on the way out we were yelled at and
abused for being ‘just another bunch of lesbians
with a sob story’ and then laughed at and heckled as
we walked away. Never have I felt so typecast by a
person of my own community before or been treated
so rudely or disrespectfully. If we can not even go
out to gay and lesbian clubs and pubs and be treated
with decency and humanity what hope is there for
us in the greater community? So a word of warning,
‘Sunday Funday’ is not so fun and I would implore all
lesbians not to support a venue which is obviously not
supportive of our community.
Rachel Hinds, via email.
Madeleine Marx-Bentley, QLD contributor:
“Sunday Funday” is held at The Beat Megaclub in
Ann Street, Fortitude Valley. It is predominantly a
boys’ club. The Wickham Hotel in Wickham Street,
Fortitude Valley, is a better, far more woman-friendly
venue – and every Saturday night, the women-only
MINT Cocktail is held upstairs. Another good space
is at Family on Sunday nights after 9pm. Other
women-only or women-friendly events and venues
are listed on the LOTL calendar.
The photo of Angel printed in the December article
“Opening the Scarlet Closet” was taken by Emmy
FEEL LIKE MOUTHING OFF?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your letter of 200
words or less by January 12.
All I want for
Christmas is 41%
A piece of the
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