So, err, why is this a problem?

From the earliest ages of cinema, the “prostitute with a heart of gold” has been a stock character in comedies, romances and dramas alike. The legendary producer Samuel Goldwyn is reputed to have roared: “Get me a P with an H of G!”

But that was the 20th century. Goldwyn died 46 years ago and there will be many who assumed the most clichéd of fictional female characters had been laid to rest after years of debate about sexism in the entertainment industry and the rise of the #MeToo movement.

Instead, the cheerful, resilient prostitute epitomised by Julia Roberts’s performance in the 1990 film Pretty Woman is about to make a comeback in London’s West End.

There are some number of ex-prostitutes out there. Who have married, had families, carried on life just as in any other such nuclear unit.

Why the problem in portraying such?

It has all proved too much for anti-sexism campaigners such as Sandi Toksvig, the broadcaster and co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party. “I wonder if the all-male creative team that produced Pretty Woman have had much experience of being prostituted?” she said. “If not that may explain why their dance moves leap so nimbly over the links with trafficking and abuse. Better representation of women on screen and stage doesn’t just mean picking things with ‘women’ in the title.”

Sandi’s getting dangerously close to the line that if you’ve ever once shagged for money then that’s that, no more normal life for you. Which will come as a hell of a surprise to a certain number of women.

Sorta the one drop of semen, as opposed to blood with the colour bar, damns you.

Bit of an oddity, isn’t it?

29 thoughts on “So, err, why is this a problem?”

  1. >Sex work is REAL work, bigots!
    >Slut walks for everyone, bigots!
    >How dare you write a sympathetic prostitute character, bigots!

    Feminism is basically that psychic nightmare realm from FROM BEYOND, or the HELLRAISER franchise, full of inarticulate screaming without a merciful God to end the suffering.

    That feminist is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear! And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are miserable!

    “I wonder if the all-male creative team that produced Pretty Woman have had much experience of being prostituted?”

    Well, they’re writers, so…

  2. “I wonder if the all-male creative team….”

    also i wonder whether if it was up to men, whether Rom coms would even exist as a category. If Sandi went all out on the genre as a whole then she’d get the patriarchy on her side for once.

  3. They’re determined to make the stigma attached to being a working girl as large & enduring as possible, aren’t they? For the deterrent effect? As for the “heart of gold” stuff. What, the one they ripped out of the chest of some vulnerable punter & now rolls around in the bottom of their handbag amongst the lipsticks & condoms?

  4. Now that Ms turkey-baster has cut her ties with Bake Off I fear we will be hearing increasingly more from this annoying little person on our “national treasure” broadcaster.

  5. If fictional characters were obliged to mirror their statistical occurrence of people in real life the world would have been spared wizards at boarding school.

  6. Prostitution is a huge problem for feminists. On the one hand they don’t want men to have easy access to sex, on the other, they insist women have agency. So if a woman can think of an easier way of paying the bills than shelf stocking, it must be because a man made her do it. I think feminists are going to be surprised at how popular Sharia will be when we get there.

  7. As Desmond Morris wrote the only difference between a prostitute and a woman who marries for money is that the prostitute works on ‘a pay as you lay’ basis.

  8. I have alas found very few Danish midget lesbians on Youporn. Alternative occupation for Ms Toksvig seems limited.

    There was just one writer for Pretty Woman and he was only 30 according to Imdb.com.

  9. John – yeah, but tbf that’s bollocks (my first wife doesn’t count)

    Otto – that’s the thing about Pretty Woman, if we’re gonna take disposable Hollywood pap seriously then the message of that movie is probably more harmful to men than it is wimmins.

    Can’t turn a ho into a housewife, as Tupac tried to warn us.

  10. The Wimmins Equality Party is no more than the “More stuff for people like Meeeee!” party. The ‘me’ in question being middle aged, middle class bluestockings. They probably hate the working class happy hooker even more than they hate men.

  11. The one-drop rule is rife on the Left, because they assume that anyone who deviates from white cis hetero male able-bodied mentally-stable norms must be a leftie. They are of course mistaken: the Right’s promise of equal treatment for everyone has wide support.

  12. You’d think someone who had been involved in writing would understand that it’s a modern day update of Pygmalion. You find a woman at the lowest end of the social order and turn her into a princess. Street-walking prostitute is pretty much the lowest end of the social order.

  13. And the story of toilet cleaner “Cinderella” having the beauty and demeanor of a princess.

    The intelligent and articulate slave, Kunta Kinte.

    Implausible characters rising above their condition, and HAVING THE ATTRIBUTES OF THOSE ABOVE THEIR POSITION, has been a mainstay of fiction forever.

    There are pros and cons to such fiction.

    Toksvig smothers hope, the message that even a prostitute can succeed must be banned.

  14. So we have status signalling – I’m better than that! She doubtless feels the same about cleaners, but there’s no status to be gained saying so.
    A power grab- men must comply with my terms, those offering better terms are to be banned.
    I would think that those involved in the production of Pretty Woman knew at least as much and cared at least as much for prostitutes than Sandi: probably much more. And the audience sympathised far more.

  15. . . . there will be many who assumed the most clichéd of fictional female characters had been laid to rest after years of debate about sexism in the entertainment industry and the rise of the #MeToo movement.

    People who assumed, without evidence, that a longstanding, useful, trope would be gone within a year or two of a single scandal that was mostly about young women allowing themselves to be exploited for their own potential gain?

    Those would be some stupid people. People we shouldn’t even bother thinking about.

  16. Rather sexist of Sandi to assume only women can be prostituted, maybe she’s lived such a sheltered life she’s never heard of rent boys or gigilos

  17. Does Toksvig hate Pygmalion too? Pretty Woman, pretty much a modern interpretation

    Sandi Toksvig: Better representation of women on screen and stage doesn’t just mean picking things with ‘women’ in the title.

    Like these women?

    Guardianistas’ Apocalypse:
    Shakira & J. Lo’s Full Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime [Pole Dance] Show
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pILCn6VO_RU

    Or do you mean the Grid Girls you had sacked?

    Sandi and her ilk attacked the Christian NI Farmer who stopped Beyoncé filming in his field as it was too raunchy

    btw If I’d had a ‘looks OK” unmarried female boss who wanted a ‘relationship’ for money and promotion I’d have done it. Going further, I’d shag Pocahontas if she paid a lot, might even kiss her for more

  18. @Steve

    +1 Left’s 180s from one day to next

    @BoM4 beat me to it on Pygmalion

    @Noel C

    Must be Turbo or the Bond one

  19. The condemnation and prohibition of prostitution has always been central to Feminism, from the 19th Century onwards. Central to this is the rejection that any woman makes sexual choices, other than those in agreement with Feminist principles.

  20. “Sandi Toksvig, the broadcaster and co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party. “I wonder if the all-male creative team that produced Pretty Woman have had much experience of being prostituted?” “

    Given the propensity of those males of the acting persuasion to be other than strictly heterosexual, I’d not be surprised to learn that the number of those on the all-male creative team who have also been rent boys was larger than zero.

  21. The Left doesn’t want to help the poor; they want to hurt the rich.

    The Left doesn’t want to help women; they want to hurt men.

  22. The left doesn’t like the term ‘prostitution’. They call it ‘sex work’.

    Presumably there is also ‘gender work’ – for fifty quid a bloke can get a bird to tell him what a beautiful woman he is.

  23. No, it’s not a surprise.

    It’s a publisher desperate to have **anything** new day by day on their website.

    It’s more an indication of the desperation and stupidity of this class of publishers and their preferred authors than anything else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *