Thursday, December 3, 2009

Belle de Jour's Latest Emails!!

The always fabulous Belle de Jour has just posted her “post-coming out edition” that describes some oft repeated comments she's received since she has disclosed her true identity, and what they really mean.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with her, Belle de Jour had been the nom de plume of a celebrated British erotic author, and award-winning blogger, who was also a London call girl for two years.

On Nov. 15, Belle revealed her true identity through a voluntary interview with the London Sunday Times. Brooke’s specialist areas are developmental neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology. She has a PhD in informatics, epidemiology and forensic science and is now working at the Bristol Initiative for Research of Child Health. She is currently part of a team researching the potential effects on babies of their mothers' exposure to toxic chemicals.

But, from 2003 to late 2004, Brooke worked as a prostitute via a London escort agency; she started blogging as Belle de Jour — after the Buñuel film starring Catherine Deneuve as a well-to-do housewife who has sex for money because she’s bored — shortly into her career as a call girl, after an incident she thought funny enough to write down.

She charged £300 an hour for her services, of which she got £200. The average appointment lasted two hours; she saw clients two or three times a week, “sometimes less, sometimes a great deal more,” she has said.

As Belle de Jour, Brooke, of Bristol, England, has written four books and an award-winning blog about her work in the sex industry. The media furor triggered by her decision to disclosed her true identity continues across the UK.

You can read her fresh post below in its entirety, or read it directly on Brooke’s blog.

mercredi, décembre 2

I've been overwhelmed with messages of support in the last few weeks - and not a little criticism, which is only to be expected. Something unexpected, however, is that while the people who support have shared amazing, individual stories that it makes me smile to read, those in the opposing camp fall into several tried-and-true patterns. In a way it's good - seeing the subtext of people's arguments against me is a useful heuristic for sorting out those not worth my time.

So here it is! Your cut-and-keep guide to what people say vs. what people really mean: post-coming out edition. Hope you find it useful too! I'm considering making a board game version of this and calling it Rosie Boycott Bingo.

When someone says: "I have too much respect for myself ever to do that."
What they mean is: "My self-esteem is so fragile that stepping outside the mainstream would mess it up for life."

When someone says: "She's not even that good-looking."
What they mean is: "This woman's choices make me uncomfortable but I don't have the intelligence to address that so will criticise her looks instead."

When someone says: "See? Other people in her family have problems. That explains everything."
What they mean is: "In spite of the fact that all families have difficulties, I'm going to pretend otherwise in order to make an ad hominem attack."

When someone says: "Stories like this glamourise a trade that enslaves and kills women."
What they mean is: "I don't actually know the difference between the separate issues affecting call girls, massage parlours, brothels, and streetwalkers, and I'm not going to bother finding out."

When someone says: "I wouldn't pay £300 for that."
What they mean is: "I think a woman's value, sexual or otherwise, is entirely based on her looks."

When someone says: "I have similar factors in my life and didn't choose this route."
What they mean is: "I am unfamiliar with the notion that free will more or less assures that people will makes decisions I would not have done."

When someone says: "If she liked the job so much why isn't she still doing it?"
What they mean is: "I don't believe people can, or should, change direction in their lives without self-hatred and regret."

Posted by belle at 5:22 PM”

Belle de Jour’s Guide to Men, published by Orion Books, hit store shelves in the United Kingdom on Oct. 1. Not yet available in the US, it is widely available across the pond at UK bookstores, or via Amazon’s UK division.

When you’re there, be sure and check out Belle’s other books: The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl, September 2005; The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl, May 2007; and Playing the Game, June 2009. Not a ringer in the bunch – trust me!

— The Curator

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