See also: The Cruellest Fetish – False Hope
At least “8 Minutes” unintentionally spawned a starkly honest truly seminal article on sex work:
Did 8 Minutes Lie to Sex workers?
US reality TV is not generally known for it’s good taste or sanity, but many consider A&ETV’s Show 8 Minutes to have hit a new low. Cop turned preacher Kevin Brown sets up a vice style “sting” with a full camera crew…but he only has 8 minutes to “save a sex worker”, not because that builds small screen tension (while totally messing with the mind of his target), dear Lord no…that is because 8 minutes is as long as Kevin Brown estimates you have before “the pimp” becomes suspicious (I guess US clients are quicker and easier to do?).
Even as hyped by A&ETV “8 Minutes” is a little bit beyond disgusting, particularly to anyone who knows the reality of the sex industry rather than buying into the multi million dollar abolitionist hype.
The truth behind “8 Minutes” is far worse again. My message to A&ETV is very simple:
If anyone had done this to me I would certainly have killed myself, and probably have killed them first, and they would have thoroughly deserved it, though I deserved better. Before I explain why let me fill you in with a synopsis of the hard facts from The Rescue Scam:
People with the show call the women’s ads. They tell them right away they are with a TV show. They promised them the world (and the fee they use to charge). They tell them they are going to get them work, assistance, support, money, HELP. Every one of the women sitting there giving their story acting as if they are surprised knew before filming what was happening. They signed a contract. One woman who participated was told they would give her a job, help her find housing and get her resources to get her back on her feet . She was so happy and truly invested in the idea. She had a friend driving her for lack of a car (who was depicted as a trafficker by the way) and she gave her story believing this was her ticket. And trusting this crew she also believed she could get help for other friends “in life”.
After filming she was told how amazing her footage was, how heartbreaking and they thanked her. She got her $fee and went home to wait for the call which would bring the life changes she so desperately hoped for and needed.
Praise Jesus! Thank you! Thank you! RELIEF is coming!!
The next day, no one called.
Days are passing, a week later still no call.
Now it’s two weeks later and rent is way passed due, she trusted their word and therefore had not posted an ad. Now she’s even deeper in the red. She decided to call the advocates to see what was going on.
“No one has called you yet?” They said.
She is given a list of local resources that have nothing to do with the show or anyone participating in it. The resources turn out to be the same old exhausted resources and some were even discontinued all together!
Frustrated and desperate she goes back online with an ad.
Using the same phone number from the previous ad that the show was aware of, she put up an ad. That day she had less than $10 in her pocket, certainly no money for a new phone, just enough to place her ad in fact.
Things are slow, her money is ending. Not so much food left and eviction.
She takes a call. It turns out to be a cop and he arrests her. Actually a total of six or so officers arrested her.
Now we are aware of yet another woman who was filmed who was also subsequently arrested; what are the chances these women were highlighted to the police?
Our lady called pastor so and so after her arrest. He offered to PRAY with her. No legal assistance, no money for food, no job like they had promised.
I was a sex worker because, through little or no fault of my own I had multiple serious problem for which I could get no help at all. I tried, hard. There was nothing then, and there would be nothing now. A lot of sex workers I have know were in versions of the same position.
Just the way the cards were dealt…or so we believed until years later I have come to discover how much of the funding that SHOULD have been used to help us, in every area, has been diverted into bolstering personal and political ambitions, or even creative expense accounts and junkets. In truth, they waste so many resources on helping themselves that even if there were simple solutions they would not be available.
So, intelligent women that were were, we accepted our reality, built our defence mechanisms as good and strong as we, personally, needed them to be, buckled on our sluttin’ shoes, got up on our own two feet and got on with it, accepting unbearable fate on the chin with nary more than the usual grumbling about the weather, or a slow night than anybody else does.
I hated it more than any of them, and I was already more damaged than any of them when I started. I am also a lot more intelligent and objective than most people. I made it my business to know to the last degree what my options really were…or, rather, were NOT.
I used crawl into my car and cry my heart out a lot…not because of my clients…a lot of them weren’t in much better shape than I was mentally and emotionally. All of them were harmless and well behaved…far nicer and more genuine than most of the people I had previously encountered in the so-called “normal” world.
I cried because sex work and whatever I earned from it was all I had, and all I could have. There would never be a way to get the help I needed to be able to function normally, have friends, love, a career, my own safe home or a family…and sex work was the only option I had on survival.
Let me tell you what that kind of desperation is like from a private mail I sent out 2 years ago:
…a very dear friend of mine…returned to Iran after the overthrow of the Shah. PHD Chemical Engineering, he was more Irish than the Irish, atheist, communist (don’t ask me how that squared with running a private language school, cos I have NO IDEA) and exiled under the Shah…he only had one brother and his old mum REALLY needed to see him again. He was a terrible hypochondriac and a mortal coward, you’d have to give him local anaesthetic to sew a button on his shirt. Loved Chivas Regal. He got a job in the University of Zahedan. There was sedition…he was part of it. One night they came and rounded up all the academic staff at Zahedan…brought them to a prison where they held them all night and shot them in the morning. It is said that they spent that night singing songs to keep their spirits up. You will not find that online, the world has forgotten now.
Desperation is just like that night…except it does not have a natural (albeit horrific) ending in the morning, it just goes on and on…and the world forgets you…
So, if someone had made me the kind of offer “8 Minutes” is making to sex workers to get ratings and I had fallen for it…
…all the defence mechanisms I needed to keep me functioning would have let go at once…
…and when it turned out to be a scam I would never have been able to put them back together again…
…I would, quite simply, have know I could not longer even survive and lost my mind and the rage of all the years of injustice and abuse thrown at me by the system itself would have gained control…
What do *YOU* think I would have done?