You know how the Stool Pigeon has that feature called ‘achingly beautiful‘, where they quote music journalists using the phrase, coz people using clichés are a bit funny? I thought it might be amusing (at this stage, ‘finding things amusing’ is the only thing standing between me and stabbing myself in the brain with a fork) to do an occasional feature on the prohibitionist ‘Belle de Jour’ trope – a trope which, almost without exception, inadvertently indicates “this writer doesn’t know as much about this issue as they think they do”. Hee! Aw, prohibs, I’m just teasing yous.
Here’s my two examples to kick us off:
“With TV programmes such as Belle de Jour not only glossing over the damage done by men who buy women for sex but also glamourising prostitution as a viable career, confusion among young women as to what is empowering and what is exploitative is completely understandable. Belle de Jour‘s TV realisation as ‘The Secret Diary of a Call Girl’ was based on Belle de Jour‘s blog and book, a development that very much represents the sort of ‘brand development’ seen previously in Playboy.” (Rape Crisis & Women’s Support Project News, issue 8, spring 2011. p.3)
“No doubt such Belle de Jours do exist. But the point is they exist as an extremely tiny minority. For most prostitutes their work provides a misery almost without limits.” (Hell de Jour: The Sex Trade & its Advocates, Tony Mckenna, HuffPo, 2012.)
And a new addition, sent to me by the legendary Maggie McNeill, via twitter:
Obviously I’m not going to go looking for other examples, because I am fully confident that they will continue to fall into my lap, like problematically-worded over-ripe plums. Do, however, feel free to forward to me any juicy examples you find – either via twitter, where my moniker is @pastachips, or by email – glasgowsexworker at gmail dot com – or, of course, in the comments. This feature could be achingly beautiful.