Top career advice blogger Penelope Trunk has been known for taking unorthodox stances, but I was still surprised – and proud – to see her come out against three common sex worker-bashing cliches: oppression by pimps/madams, lumping different types of sex work together, and the depressed sex worker.
The only problem with her career is that prostitutes tend to have much higher rates of depression and other mental health disorders. It sucks having to behave sexually for people you aren’t attracted to and who probably don’t respect you.
Penelope Trunk’s reply:
I am not sure it’s fair to lump depression statistics of high end prostitutes and crack-addict prostitutes and everyone in between. Not really informative. And, as a side note, lawyers have a very high rate of depression and I think if you compared lawyers and prostitutes with similar yearly incomes, the lawyers might be more depressed, on average, than the prostitutes.
I’m not saying prostitution is a great career choice, I’m just saying that it’s a complicated discussion.
And in response to the madam talking point:
Also, I want to point out that even as a supposedly self-employed business owner, I work for someone else — I mean, I have investors, and they will make a lot of money off of me (hopefully) for doing much less day-to-day work than I’m doing. And I actually feel lucky to have the investors.
So (to Matt’s point) it’s not like the issues of prostitution are all completely unique to prostitution. [emphasis mine -Ed.]
She may not be much for nude modeling but it’s still nice to see a respected mainstream female career blogger sticking up for the agency of women to choose sex work. Thanks, Penelope.