From the ages of 15 to 22, a woman by the name of Rachel Moran worked as a prostitute in Ireland. She found herself homeless when both of her parents were struggling with mental illness and soon turned to prostitution as a means of survival. In a new memoir “Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution” Moran writes with the aim to reveal the world of prostitution for what it actually is; stripped of any myth and enchantment.
Recently, Moran spoke with Feminist Current about the book, and the interview was simultaneously heartbreaking and highly enlightening. With every word, Moran de-glamorizes an industry that sparkles in movies like “Moulin Rouge” and TV shows like “Boardwalk Empire.”
A particular aspect of this glamorization is the use of terms like "escort" and "call girl." In her interview, she says that these words are “deliberately constructed to conceal a truth I was living every day.” They are used by clients or “Johns” as well as the prostitutes themselves in order to mask the reality of an otherwise unspeakable situation.
Another element of the industry Rachel Moran wants to turn on itself is the inclusion of prostitution in the sex-positive movement. When asked about this connection by Feminist Current, you could hear the bristle in Moran's voice. Being sex positive, she says, does not include condoning sexual exploitation. In prostitution, sex is "polluted and contorted" and not anywhere close to normal sexual activity between two consenting adults.
No matter where you stand on this issue, take 30 minutes out of your day and listen to this very important interview. Moran's firsthand experience is raw, real, and will leave you thinking for a very long time after.
Thanks to Feminist Current.
Image via Gill & Macmillan Books