Motels Not Happy About Hookers

Again, another shoddy attempt at journalism.  Poorly written and bia’s.  The Morning Bulletin published an article in Rockhampton titled Motels not happy about hookers’, dated 18th November, 2011 by Kerri-Anne Mesner.  In this article I am offended by the language that has been used to refer to legal sex workers and the total lack of consultation with sex worker organisations, such as RESPECT Inc.

The derogatory word ‘prostitute’ has been used eight times, and the word ‘hooker’ twice, including in the title.  The correct title ‘legal sex workers’ has not been used at all.  There is also a lack of counter-argument from sex workers in the article.  I have no doubt in my mind that Kerri-Anne Mesner made little or no attempt to consult with sex worker organisations for comments.  If she did, I expect she would have sent an email at 4.45pm on a Friday afternoon, when most people have already left for the weekend.

It doesn’t take a genius to see the obvious bias in the article.  Unfortunately, a lot of Australians are ignorant of the arguments for or against sex workers and rely on the media for facts. Sadly, media articles like this one do more harm than good and are no more than inflammatory.  Journalists need to be educated about how to write and research their stories and at the very least, have their stories read by an editor to ensure high reporting standards are maintained.  Kerri-Anne Mesner’s article is embarrassing and insulting to the general public who are educated who can read between the lines.  I feel I have to fill in some of the gaps in order to develop the story into one worth reading.

It is important to add that the recent Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) decision ruling against the legal sex worker known as GK in favour of the owners of the Drovers Rest Motel in Moranbah, is being appealed.  It is highly likely to be overturned and bought in line with current anti-discrimination laws and modern business practice.  Unfortunately people in positions of power are also human and prone to letting their own personal bias interfere with ethical decision-making, as is evident in this particular ruling.

Following on from this, is the weak interpretation of the Liquor Licensing Act that QCAT based their decision on.  In my opinion, if it is all of a sudden found to be illegal to operate a business from your motel room, which has a mini bar, in a hotel/motel that holds a liquor license, then wouldn’t that also apply to all the other businessmen and woman who use hotels and motel’s?  Consider ‘business’ conferences conducted for all sorts of businesses across Australia where alcohol is served or available.

The assertion that lawful sex workers are now moving into unlicensed premises is a misnomer.  We have always been there.  The comment by yet another motel owner is blatant evidence that he has been practising discrimination against lawful sex workers for at least four years by ‘turfing them out’.  How has he been able to get away with this illegal behaviour?  The idea that there are also legal sex workers who are male or transgender seems to completely baffle the owners.  They  appear ignorant that the sex industry is not a woman only service provider.  I would like to know how they ‘discovered’ how much money the male sex worker was earning?  I can only assume he had been stalked.  What disgusting language to refer to a legal sex worker as a ‘male-on-male’!

Further more, I would like to know how they can tell the difference between one legal sex worker and another?  How do they know which lawful sex workers will behave questionably?  My guess is that they don’t and they have made an unlawful policy by labelling all sex workers as problematic.  All this does is create an even bigger problem by not addressing the actual behaviour, on a case-by-case basis, as you would with any other guest.  I suspect that there is an irrational fear of legal sex workers which has resulted in whorephobia.

In conclusion, although these articles frustrate and annoy me for there poor reporting, they are useful for highlighting what the actual issues are.  Gender discrimination, sex worker discrimination and sexism.  They encourage debate, and in my opinion any debate is better than complete denial of the issues.  It is clear in the article in question, that Kerri-Anne Mesner has not really thought about what the real story here is.  She has missed her opportunity to really make a journalistic impression on those of us with learned intelligence.

It is about time the media took some pride in their stories and did Australians a service instead of slapping us in the face with bigotry.  Kerri-Anne Mesner could be forgiven for taking the easy road, but in this instance the implications of her negligence on the community is too great.  It is important that Australians are educated about facts about sex work, sex workers and the law.  Only then will the general public be fully informed about the pro’s and con’s of all aspects of the sex industry.  It is simply an injustice to write about moralistic assumptions based on what a small group of hostile hoteliers are saying without hearing what key experts have to say on the real issues.

I am carefully considering making formal complaints about media articles like this that discriminate in their own words.  It is about time we take a stand and insisted that journalists are university educated and supervised before their stories can be published.  Australia needs information to be based on fact rather than speculation.  Anything less, is nothing more than bullshit.  Jx

Jx

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  1. Ms Inhibited says:

    I have actually met and spent alot of time with Kerri- Anne Mesner personally and can tell you from experience , she does not research her stories and has below par skills with her grasp of language or grammar. (please note her above response as an example) She has a long string of employment positions where she has been “let go” through her her constant inaccuracies and it’s obvious she wont progress to any position higher than the “local suburban community classified”.

    Unfortunately her stories can be read by the public, and as they are bundled into letterboxes for free, they are litterally not worth the paper they are printed on.

    Her inability to listen, research and comprehend the basics of journalism unfortunately hasn’t detered her from pursuing a “career”, rock hopping from one backward news classified to another.

    I wouldnt give her story much creedence, or time. The little “ranga” isn’t worth it.

    • Jezabel says:

      Yes. It is very concerning that people are being trained to do research who don’t understand about ethics. When I was at university, doing research on anything, required a solid ethics and evidence base. Jx

  2. Jim Gordello says:

    Jezabel – someone who sells their vagina, something that almost every second person on earth has, because you have neither the brains or skills to make a proper contribution to society while making a living out of it, means you do not deserve the same rights or respect as proper human beings.

    • Jezabel says:

      My apologies Jim for the late posting of your comment. I wanted to take some time to process it before I responded…

      I fail to see the point that you are making by your comment, other than you feel you are morally justified in making a personal attack upon me, and with a particularly nasty undertone, which I assume is a righteous attempt to justify your abuse. Something I strive never to do to another person or bear witness to it, and do nothing about it

      It has always baffled me that the minority of people seem to think they have the right to abuse others as if it is their God given duty. Your beliefs, so aptly demonstrated in your comment, are what collectively separates society, causes wars and sabotages projects and initiatives that attempt to improve the lives of all human beings through out the world.

      Unfortunately I don’t think anything I would say, could enlighten you on what the real issues are in the sex industry, in a modern world. I don’t really believe you want to know, which is why I find your comment so pointless. You seem to have a very closed mind and this makes you intolerant, belligerent and extremely dangerous to those who are easily intimidated. I am not one to be silenced by bullying.

      I think I have found an article written by SWAAY which might be able to give you a better awareness of the issues, so you can at least make informative comments that contribute to the debate in a positive way. Please view the article at http://www.swaay.org/action/google.html.

      I hope that you can begin to see how these types of comments do so much harm to both sides of the debate. Remember, we are all human beings and as such we all have the human right to be treated with dignity, respect, tolerance and acceptance. There are NO exceptions.

      Jx

  3. Kerri-Anne Mesner says:

    Firstly, the general population only sees such people as ‘prostitutes’ and ‘hookers’.
    Not something I can change.
    Secondly, I was told by the anti-discrimation organisation I had been trying to contact all afternoon on their mobile phones that are listed on the web, for comment, and was told to email at 4.45pm.
    Thirdly, I would love to do a five story ideas I have with women and/or men in the legal sex work industry, with legal sex workers, about the discrimination they encounter, why or why not brothels, why motels, and what things they do for clients, other than sexual acts.
    However, I need a legal sex worker to come forward. To be willing to talk to me about the issues legal sex workers face.
    Since the QCAT decision, many are unwilling to talk to reporters, who do actually want to report all sides of the stories, but fear if they talk now, they will make things worse for the QCAT appeal
    The biggest issue I see with the industry is that people still have this ‘not in my backyard’ phobia, as well as old-fashioned ideals about the world, which really only came out of ‘snobs’ dictating to the world what is acceptable and what is not. ‘Prostitution’ has been around longer than the idea of Jesus Christ.
    I would be happy for any prostitutes to contact me, tell me their stories, and help me put all the arguments out there on the table to debate.

    • Jezabel says:

      Please do not refer to me as a ‘prostitute or hooker’. I do not give you permission to call me anything other than by my name, Jezabel or as a ‘legal’ or ‘lawful’ sex worker in the state of Queensland (and New Zealand) if you need to refer to me in the third person. According to the Law, ‘prostitution’ refers to criminal sex workers. As it is not illegal to sex work anywhere in Australia or New Zealand, it is inappropriate to use the word ‘prostitute’ to describe legal or lawful sex workers.

      I am concerned Kerri-Anne, that you believe there is nothing you can do about the way the community see’s sex workers. The fact that you are a published journalist with little awareness and understanding about the concept of ‘power’ and ‘language’ and your responsibility to the community to get this very basic awareness right, makes me feel very nervous talking to you.

      Language is the shaper of peoples attitudes and if you change the language you can change how people think about things. You appear to be speaking from a very passive viewpoint as if you are powerless to act. As a journalist, you are in one of the most powerful positions to act today! What you have to say could act as a powerful agent for change. You would then be contributing to the sex worker debate with integrity.

      Sex workers would be more likely to talk to you if they trusted you and what you had to say about them. We are all individuals with our own unique stories shaped by our experiences, age, gender, culture and therefore our viewpoints on sex worker issues at any given point in time, will also vary.

      It would be more appropriate to interview sex worker community organisations like RESPECT Inc or Scarlet Alliance in order to get an expert collective representation. However, would you let me or any other ‘legal’ sex worker check your article before you publish it? I might be able to get others to talk with you if this was the case.

      Thank you for being open to exploring this issue further. Jx

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