15 January 2009

"The prostitute has come to symbolize
for me the ultimate liberated woman,
who lives on the edge and whose
sexuality belongs to no one."
- Camille Paglia

Let's get something straight. I'm not a prude. I'm a person who is perfectly comfortable in the presence of adult conversation, adult bodies of both sexes, adult acts, and adult toys. 

However, I do believe that there are some things best not touted outside a private bedroom, and certainly not within earshot of children, legislators, or other non-consenting adults. A fine example of what ought never be made public for any reason, other than as a cautionary tale against trying it, has been playing out all over the news and the public media for the past three months. There's so much wrong with it, I'm having a difficult time knowing where to start.

I was driving home yesterday and caught about 5 minutes of local talk radio. The host, Laura Ingraham, was interviewing a 22-year-old woman, "Natalie Dylan," who is auctioning off her virginity to the highest bidder.

Dylan, whose name is a pseudonym designed to keep her safe (ostensibly from sexual predators and weirdos), informed us that the bidding has reached nearly $3.75 million, and that she gotten bids from nearly 10,000 people. She also said she doesn't consider this prostitution, just a real "business opportunity." She pointed out that she's got a valuable commodity--her virginity--and since people are willing to pay for it, why shouldn't she sell it for the top dollar, instead of just giving it away? Dylan, a student at Sacramento State College, said that she got the idea for this auction while enrolled in a "women's studies" class, and that she and her sister decided this would make an interesting social experiment. 

Her plan for the money? To pay for further education, and to "stabilize" herself in this time of economic uncertainty.

When Ingraham questioned Dylan about her understanding of what prostitution actually is--the exchange of sexual favors for money--and whether she knew she could be arrested for this, Dylan's breezy response was that yes, and that is why she was taking care to do things "legally," under the auspices and protection of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Reno, Nevada. 

Yes, that's right. The deflowering will be completed at a brothel, after which both satisfied parties will leave the premises, presumably never to see each other again.

I would love to know what the Regents and the Board of Directors of Sacramento State College are now thinking about the direction that higher education in their institution has taken, but that's another story. Right now, my biggest issue is just with Natalie Dylan, and this hideous way she's picked to get her fifteen minutes in the public eye.

Are we really so jaded as a society and as a civilization that we have lost all sense of shame and decency? When did it become okay for a young, healthy, intelligent woman to announce to the world that she's entering the world's oldest profession, even if it's only for one night, and we all look on with prurient interest and cheer her audacity as the bidding climbs higher? When did it become okay to bid millions of dollars for a one-night transaction with a little fool, when there are countless causes that are more worthy of the money?

Let's all hope this naive, stupid girl either comes to her senses, or her family and friends intervene to stop her, before it's too late and she gets a psychological scar that she'll never recover from or be able to remove.

Camille Paglia, I hope you're happy.

Excuse me. I have to go wash my brain out with soap.

R.B.

1 comment:

tfeeney said...

speaking of the regents of the college - i really wonder if the whole thing is a hoax? i mean it could be real, but google aliza shvarts - weirder (and grosser) things do get pawned off as college projects.