Episode 2: Maggie ‘Ex Call-Girl’ McNeill

eyes

“I think it was George Carlin who said: ‘If selling is legal, and sex is legal, why is selling sex illegal?'”

“By the time I got to formal sex work I was  almost 31, it’s funny that I didn’t think of it sooner”

In our second episode we talk to Maggie ‘Ex Call-Girl’ McNeill. Maggie has been a librarian, stripper, call-girl, madam, and housewife.  She is now best known for her blog The Honest Courtesan where she discusses the issues surrounding sex work.  Her blog has led to guest lectures on the topic as well as multiple media appearances and her work has been published in theWashington Post.  She is also the author of Ladies Of The Night, a book of creative fiction based around her experiences as a prostitute.  She currently lives in the Southern US but did most of her sex work in New Orleans.  Maggie is very active on twitter as an advocate of sex worker’s rights and opposes the mainstream media of all sex workers as ‘broken dolls.’  Maggie made a wonderful, charming, interviewee and I’m sure you’ll find what she has to say thought provoking.  Enjoy.

6 thoughts on “Episode 2: Maggie ‘Ex Call-Girl’ McNeill”

  1. Hi. Managed to listen to half your podcast with ‘Maggie/ex call girl’. Need to listen more when I have time. Interesting and I do want to listen again to the first half. There didn’t appear to be any mention of why prostitutes exist in the first place, i.e for generally for men to utilize. To take something they want. By working in this profession doesn’t this just simply fuel the behaviour of these men?
    I guess I’m coming from a position of personally knowing of someone who was in my life long term who disclosed his long term (20 plus years) of using prostitutes. Men in general are not open about this in their lives especially when they have family/children, which many do, so subsequently a second life is generated.
    A hidden life where prostitutes are actually colluding with a web of lies and deceit. A prostitute may well say (and I have personally witnessed this) that they have no responsibility and that is up to the guy to do what he likes. I disagree. As a female human being, a woman, as a feminist who cares greatly about women I feel that we are all (including men) responsible to care about other human beings. That we have a responsibility to try at least and not engage in activity which may cause others harm.
    Do I ‘expect’ more from other women? Do I expect them to care more than men? I think I expect both to care.
    It’s way way too easy to simply talk about the rights of the sex worker, prostitution as a career choice; there are further consequences, there are intricacy’s to choosing this type of ‘work’. I am fully in support of protecting anyone who can be potentially harmed in their workplace or job. By being a prostitute are you not offering up your body to be utilized by a stranger as they wish? Giving yourself to someone you know nothing about, who as your caller said ‘is unpredictable’, where is the safe choice in that as a job?
    I wonder what the caller feels about self worth. My own interpretation of self worth includes not putting myself deliberately in an intimate place with people who don’t care for me, who may just want to harm me and who don’t have my best interests at heart. Could you really include that in the Prostitutes job description? If there is full awareness about this why really would you want to choose it as a ‘job’?
    Going back to my original point of the potential consequences of prostitution/i.e the men who use women, hidden lives and the lies and deceit involved; this actions can cause a lot of emotional pain and devastate trust..not great really but as I said your caller didn’t mention any of these things.
    thanks.

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  2. First of all, thanks for listening and taking the time to post.
    In terms of not asking why prostitutes exist I didn’t feel the need. They exist because their services are required. It’s a case of supply and demand.
    Guys who use prostitutes and lead secret lives due to relationships/marriage etc. are not to be envied.
    I agree with your point that we should all take responsibility for our actions and their consequences but is it the responsibility of the women involved in sex work to be aware of the potential trouble they may cause in other women’s lives? I’m not so sure. Should publicans refuse to serve people they know have alcohol problems? Or bookies refuse customers who gamble? Maybe they should.
    I don’t think Maggie said it was a safe choice but the point is it’s a choice. Like boxers, or jockies, or dentists if suicide reports from that profession are to be believed.
    Maybe you would have preferred that I had taken a harder tack with Maggie, maybe you’re right. That said most media do this and I just want to interview rather than interrogate so people can make up their own minds.
    I consider myself a liberal feminist in the sense that I believe women should have full equality. I don’t think this profession should be a problem for feminists. I do feel sympathy for lives ruined but that is on the men as I said in my earlier examples.
    Thanks for listening

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  3. Socialist feminists assert that since we use various parts of our body in exchange for money, sex work isn’t any different. Not all feminists have a rigid view of sexuality. Sex can be an empowering thing, sex equals power and when you control that power it’s very constructive to your “self-worth.” Not all sex workers are victims, in fact some of the strongest women I know who are educated or in school(some majoring in women’s studies) are sex workers. There is a difference between empowering yourself and your situation and being subjugated.

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    1. Couldn’t agree more about a lot of feminists having a balanced view about sexuality and sex work. One of the problems is most mainstream media want extreme views when presenting debates of this kind. The reality is surely that majority of us are somewhere in the middle on these issues.
      We shouldn’t have to pick sides but in simplified yes/no debates we are often forced to. Thanks for thoughtful response.
      Dave

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It's good to talk

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