Sunday, March 2, 2008

Women Making Money As Paid "Friends With Benefits"

The other day, I read a mildly interesting article on Alternet about an organization called Sugar, which matched up older, affluent, usually not-so-attractive men with young women, offering the women more money than they could make as college graduates in an average professional job, in exchange for being a "friend with benefits".

By the time I got to reading this article, there were already several comments and most of what I would have said had already been expressed, along with the typical comments of rebuttal. Nevertheless, I left what I considered to be a short, throwaway comment:

What's the Big Deal?

It's all out in the open, no one is trying to fool anyone about the true nature of the transaction, and the participants are all consenting adults.

Everyone who gets involved in this knows full well what they're getting themselves into; it doesn't occur under duress, so I see no reason to complain about it.

I'm guessing that the main objection is based on their belief that sex "should" occur only in relation to love and for no other reasons and that these transactions do not even give the illusion of love. That's perfectly well and good to conduct one's own sex life based upon this belief, but as far as I'm concerned, sex for any reason between fully consenting adults need not have to be justified to anyone.

I didn't think too much more about this article until I read a follow-up to it entitled, Readers Respond. This follow-up article featured what the site owners considered to be the best reponses to the original article.

To my surprise, my throwaway comment was the lead-off comment that set the tone for those that followed.

Again, there were several comments in reponse to this second article. I didn't make a comment of my own here, but responded to one that especially irked me, made by someone with whom I've tangled in the past: Her comment:

Buyers of Bodies

What does it say about us as humans, when we let men believe it is THEIR right to buy the bodies of women and children. And it is mostly women and children who are victims of prostituters. In reality, it is the world's poor, uneducated women and children who have been deemed, by your brother, your son, your uncle, as sub-human committed to live without any rights of human dignity.

My response to her was:

Women Are NOT the Same as Children.

Every time you refer to women, "and children" always follows. It is extremely sexist to always group women with children. Your attitude assumes that women are just as helpless as children and are no more competent to be responsible for their own actions, thus must be protected to the same degree as children should be.

I'm sorry, but women are not the intellectual and moral equivalent of children. Adult women can be and should be able to conduct their lives and take responsibility for them, just in the same way that adult men do. Save the protecting for real children.

I don't know about you, but if I were a woman, I'd find the "women and children" attitude to be patronizing and condescending.

Indeed. If this organization matched up young men with affluent, older gay men past their sexual primes, I sincerely doubt that this woman would have been hooting and hollering about victimhood, as most people assume that men can look after themselves and are responsible for their own choices, good and bad. After all, I don't think any of us has ever heard the term "men and children".


1 comment:

Winter said...

Your reply to her was dead on. It's people like her who make women seem like victims. She's furthering that belief rather than furthering the idea that women are in charge of their own destiny. I'm glad you told her off. Women like that piss me off.