In This Episode
We discuss Jameela Jamil’s recent internet controversy over her coming out as queer to fend off attacks of her being a judge on a voguing show; answer an advice question with the help of guest advice-giver Everett, and then talk about anti-capitalist themes inspired by rewatching 1990’s Pretty Woman and go on record as being pro-sex worker.
- Capitalism, Feminism and Sex Work by Michelle Keep (The Independent)
- Social Justice Can Be a Clout Game: Here’s How to Avoid It (Leftist Analysis) by Angie Speaks (YouTube)
- @sheabutterfemme’s Twitter thread about community building PLEASE READ IT’S EVERYTHING (Twitter)
- Reversing the Gaze: Constructing European Race Discourse as Modern Witchcraft Practice by James W. Perkinson (JSTOR)
- Racism as Zoological Witchcraft: A Guide to Getting Out by Aph Ko (Amazon)
- Shamanism, Racism, and Hip Hop Culture: Essays on White Supremacy and Black Subversion by James W. Perkinson (Amazon)
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Nichole [00:00:27] Welcome to Bitchy Shitshow your home for queer leftist media.
Nichole [00:00:32] Today we’re having our first ever episode of Bitchy Shitshow. We’re so excited.
Nichole [00:00:38] If you are joining us from our former podcast, Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack!, where we had a good five-year run. Welcome.
Callie [00:00:47] Five years.
Nichole [00:00:49] Five years. Long, long years. (both laugh)
Nichole [00:00:54] But wonderful, wonderful. This is our new platform. We wanted to have a bit of a wider range. We don’t actually talk about vegan topics hardly ever. So we decided to launch a new show and get those creative juices flowing. And it’s been working. We’re very excited to be here. If you’re joining us for the first time ever. I’m Nichole.
Callie [00:01:18] And I’m Callie.
Nichole [00:01:19] And we’re pleased to meet you.
Callie [00:01:20] Yeah.
Nichole [00:01:21] So today we’re gonna be bitching about…
Callie [00:01:23] (silent and then laughs)
Nichole [00:01:26] Every time, girl. That performance anxiety is real!
Nichole [00:01:34] So first episode this is we’re choking.
Callie [00:01:38] Yeah. What’s the title today?
Nichole [00:01:42] Pretty Woman: rich perverts and rugged individualism.
Nichole [00:01:47] Yeah. We’re very excited. Although I should add into the title that this is our official pro-sex worker episode. We were asked for many years…
Nichole [00:01:58] We have been public about being pro-sex worker, but we ask for many years to do an official episode where we talked about it and went on record about it. So consider this that. But today we will be mostly talking about rich perverts and capitalism.
Callie [00:02:14] Yes.
Callie [00:02:15] Yes. So something we had announced on our previous show, we were gonna take the month of February and have do a series on love and sex. And then we realized like we didn’t want to wait to rebrand.
Callie [00:02:29] So we launched our new show and we are doing that series here. So we’re starting it off with discussing Pretty Woman and sex work and capitalism.
Callie [00:02:39] And then we have some other really fire topics planned like labeling things and consent sexual assaults.
Nichole [00:02:50] Versus bad sex.
Callie [00:02:52] Versus bad sex.
Nichole [00:02:53] What is bad sex even?
Callie [00:02:54] Right.
Nichole [00:02:55] Does that mean when we say that?
Callie [00:02:56] Yeah.
Callie [00:02:57] So we’re very excited about this series and we’re very excited about this new show. We’re excited to like, you know, stretch our wings a bit and dive into some new topics.
Nichole [00:03:11] Yeah.
Callie [00:03:11] Yeah.
Nichole [00:03:12] It’s gonna be great.
Callie [00:03:13] Yeah. So in case you are not aware, based on the name, the logo, whatever intro we’ll probably pop on here explaining who we are (laughs).
Nichole [00:03:23] Oh yea.
Callie [00:03:24] This show… We are both like queer, radical, anti-capitalist, leftist, anarchists, like all the things. So this is going to be a place for rants and media reviews and just a disection of anything that is frankly pissing us off.
Nichole [00:03:44] Mm hmm.
Callie [00:03:45] Yeah.
Nichole [00:03:45] Yeah.
Callie [00:03:45] We love to attack oppressive systems.
Nichole [00:03:51] Yeah, it’s our favorite.
Callie [00:03:52] Yeah. Callback.
Nichole [00:03:56] It’s a deep cut.
Callie [00:03:57] A deep cut (laughs). Alright. So the show will have several different segments. We will start off with a pop culture news like rant.
Nichole [00:04:09] Yes. And we invite the audience as we go along
Callie [00:04:12] Yes.
Nichole [00:04:13] to help us name these segments. I do know someone who has siblings who do musics, the music things. They’re musical, you could say.
Nichole [00:04:24] But he is telling me that they would be really good at helping making sounds for transitioning through our segments.
Nichole [00:04:32] But we need to name them first so we have a mood to go into the creative process with.
Nichole [00:04:36] So as we go through… we’ve been tossing around names for some stuff, but we just haven’t quite gotten there yet. So if anyone has brilliant ideas, please send them along.
Callie [00:04:45] Yeah.
Nichole [00:04:47] So, yes, our first segment, news pop culture, what have you. I want to call it P.C. police, but Callie doesn’t like it. (Callie laughs)
Nichole [00:04:55] So we wanted to talk about this whole thing with Jameela Jamil.
Nichole [00:05:03] If you’re not familiar, she’s an actress and I think she’s hosted a bunch of things on TV. I only know her from ‘The Good Place,’ but she’s done a lot of different, kind of like, reality shows and stuff.
Nichole [00:05:16] She was just invited to be a judge on a new show that’s going to be judging ballroom
Nichole [00:05:25] in terms of and forgive me, I don’t know. I have watched ‘Pose,’ but I wouldn’t say I’m an expert, but like voguing and whatnot?
Nichole [00:05:36] And I think it’s tied into drag culture.
Nichole [00:05:38] So there was a huge internet, you know, kerfuffle over the fact that she was going to be a judge on this show because she’s not a drag queen.
Nichole [00:05:49] She’s not in the ballroom scene and she’s not black, even though she is a woman of color.
Nichole [00:05:58] And also that she’s not queer.
Nichole [00:06:00] And for some reason, people seem to really clamp on to this fact that she’s not queer as a reason that she shouldn’t be a judge on the show.
Nichole [00:06:06] So she tried pushing back a bit and then eventually ended up coming out as queer and saying that she hadn’t want to because Twitter is so vicious and she didn’t really want to, like be out there like that.
Nichole [00:06:19] And then, of course, people started calling bullshit on her being queer, started judging her relationship that she has with a cishet (cisgender, heterosexual) man.
Nichole [00:06:28] And so we are here not so much to talk about… Even the show, or if she should have been a judge, or any of that.
Nichole [00:06:36] But we saw it as an opportunity to kind of dissect this “woke” culture that we’re all fucking drowning in right now.
Nichole [00:06:45] And just what is the point? What are we actually doing here? Is it good to go after someone like this in this way?
Nichole [00:06:54] You know, talk about things like bi and queer erasure, and how it’s impacted us and how…
Nichole [00:06:59] The way that this is playing out in social media, how this could be harmful to people who are definitely part of the LGBTQ community, whether or not Jameela is.
Nichole [00:07:09] So. Thoughts?
Callie [00:07:12] Yeah. I mean, to be honest, like my first thought when I saw this story, beyond just a BIG eyeroll, is like, my whole problem…
Callie [00:07:23] So, we are both very strong critics of capitalism. We’re very anti-capitalist. We fuckin hate it.
Callie [00:07:31] It’s something that we’re gonna be talking about a lot on this show and bringing into things.
Callie [00:07:36] But for me, a really big foundation of being anti-capitalism is looking at the way it affects our lives and our relationships more than just beyond like kind of a basic economic sense.
Callie [00:07:50] Like it’s so much more than like how much we make or like how things are produced. Like, I feel like it has affected the way we, like, fundamentally see the world and relate to each other. And I think they’re… It’s important that we have conversations when someone is doing harm to a community and talking about how to deal with them. But this whole like cancel culture wokeness-off is just going like way too fucking far. And for me, my thought when I saw this story is that I… I don’t think that we should be treating identities or marginalizations as if they’re like playing cards that either gain you or lose you points. And so people are mad at her for coming out as queer and they’re questioning her queerness because they’re like, “oh, now that like you’re trying to like protect yourself from the criticism by now claiming you’re queer. And I don’t think you’re queer.” I don’t think anyone’s identity should be questioned. Like, I don’t think people should be able to be like, well, what is actually your ancestry or what, like, are you actually queer? Have you actually had queer relationships? Like this is where we should just like let people have their fucking privacy and leave them the hell alone.
Callie [00:09:14] But how we do that is by stop assigning power to these identities. Like it does not matter to me whether or not she’s queer. But the problem is that we’ve assigned value to it. And if we stop assigning value to having certain kinds of marginalization or being able to claim identities to certain marginalized communities or on the flip side, like not having that and then being, like, people charging you with privileges that you have, then we can kind of avoid this whole… Just honestly really fucking ridiculous situation from the start. You know, I mean, we have boiled people down to their identities. Like I was literally reading comments that they’re like, well, she’s a woman of color, but she’s not a black woman of color. And like she may or may not be queer. And she does advocacy for like fat liberation, but she’s not actually fat, like how fucking dare her. And it’s like that’s so gross that you have boiled this entire complex life down to like a checklist of like what privileges or marginalizations does she have? And that just feels so grossly capitalist to me.
Callie [00:10:34] Like you literally are turning her into an object, your commodifying her, you’re objectifying her. And I just don’t think that any sort of path to liberation for us as a community is to keep looking at each other in this, like, you only get to talk about a certain thing if you have this certain thing. That is not how we rise above. That’s not how we come together as leftists. It’s not how we fight back against all these oppressive systems by like replicating these fucking weird hierarchies and policing each other and like who can talk and who can’t? And it also forces disclosure. Like setting aside the debate of whether or not she actually is queer, and I’m not going to engage in that because I don’t fucking care and I think it’s gross that anyone is, it like is adding into so much like bi erasure and queer erasure and just all kinds of grossness.
Callie [00:11:30] It forces disclosure like I’ve seen people talking about how they have to disclose sexual assault in order to like engage in a conversation with other people about sexual assault or talking about like what victims have to go through. Like you’re forcing people to out themselves just to have a voice in a conversation. It’s like we have taken this all so far that we’re doing a thing that I think on principle most of us would not be okay with. Like most people, especially whether you’re in the LGBTQ community or you’re just an ally to it would say that whether or not someone chooses to come out and when they choose to come out is their business.
Callie [00:12:09] But you’re literally forcing people to out themselves in online spaces just to be seen as a person that can like talk about a certain thing. It’s gross. And I know this is all complicated because obviously representation matters like it’d be really fucked up if you have a a show that’s about queerness and every actor and actress is straight. But I just think we need to like take a real big step back from all of these kind of conversations.
Callie [00:12:43] Where we’re… We’re just boiling people down to their either privileges that they have or don’t have.
Nichole [00:12:52] Yeah, yeah.
Nichole [00:12:56] Angie Speaks has a really good YouTube video that we’ve watched a few times. I’ll link to it in the show notes. It’s something about social justice as a clout game. I think that’s roughly the title of it.
Nichole [00:13:10] But that’s what it is, right, like.
Nichole [00:13:12] And, you know, Aph Ko talks about this in, I think, ‘Aphro-ism’ and possibly also in ‘Racism as Zoological Witchcraft,’ this idea that we’re… Our.. Our social justice movements are just based on colonialist and capitalist hierarchies and approaches and measures of success. And it’s just like a ridiculous way to think that we’re going to dismantle oppression when we’re literally playing within the rules of the oppressive system. So. Totally agree. It’s disgusting to make someone feel like they have to disclose in order to have a voice in a conversation or have any rights to anything and also to… allow or… or form this this system where you get points for having these marginalized identities.
Nichole [00:14:06] It’s just really fucking weird and gross and it’s, and it’s tokenizing…
Callie [00:14:10] Yeah.
Nichole [00:14:11] At its root, because, you know, someone can have all the marginalized identities and still be a fucking asshole, or be a predator, or be whatever. It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t really say anything about that person’s character and it doesn’t even necessarily say anything about their lived experience.
Nichole [00:14:27] I mean, that needs to come from them, right? Like you need to hear someone’s stories.
Nichole [00:14:31] And I’ve known a lot of people who have, you know, on the surface relatively large amounts of privilege. But then you hear their story and you’re like, fuck, like you’ve been through some shit or you’ve really suffered from some stuff, or you have a lot of oppressions that are invisible, which being queer / being bi can be one of those things. Right? Like if you’re straight passing, whatever that’s supposed to mean, you know, you can face your identity being raised all the time. And you, you know, Callie and I came out as queer last year? I think?
Callie [00:15:06] Literally right about this week, probably last year.
Nichole [00:15:14] Oh that’s right! Because it was around Valentine’s Day!
Nichole [00:15:14] You know, I kind of just recapped a lot of what Kelly said, but something I wanted to bring into the conversation from our viewpoint and is specifically from my viewpoint, was that conversations like this kept me in the closet and literally kept me from my self for almost my whole life up to this point. I would see conversations like this and then think like, oh, well, there’s no way that I could be queer because I haven’t dated someone else with a vagina or I haven’t, you know, had X, Y, Z experience or I don’t dress queer enough or I don’t look queer enough.
Nichole [00:15:47] So like I couldn’t come out because then people… Not only like I couldn’t come out, but like I must not be that thing because all of these people who are that thing are saying that it should be obvious.
Nichole [00:15:59] You should always know, you should have always only been in queer relationships, or you should look super queer where there’s no question that you’re definitely not straight.
Nichole [00:16:09] And that literally kept me from knowing myself. So. Beyond the fact that it’s incredibly harmful to the person it’s happening to, and that’s reason enough to stop, it’s actually harmful to the very community that it’s coming out of.
Nichole [00:16:24] Like you’re hurting other queers, you’re hurting other LGBTQ folks when you’re talking this way about… To people about how they are or are not showing up in this way where you’re gatekeeping that label.
Callie [00:16:38] Yes.
Nichole [00:16:39] You’re literally a racing other people’s identities and experiences. My queerness ended up now that I’m embracing it and aware of it and, you know, living in it like it’s so obvious to me now. But the narrative and this gatekeeping, because… If you have someone who gives a shit they’re trying NOT to appropriate! They’re trying to be an ally. Right?
Nichole [00:17:02] They’re trying to do all these things that you’re supposed to do as a good… Angie Speaks always says as a “good little boy or a good little girl.” Right?. Like in this SJW space you’re always supposed to be signaling that you’re this good person.
Nichole [00:17:14] And one of those things is to think like, oh, well, I can’t take on this label because then it’s taking away from someone else, especially if I’m not 100 percent sure, if especially I don’t really know what it truly means yey, I just know that it’s true.
Callie [00:17:28] Yeah.
Nichole [00:17:28] Or if I don’t look enough, or I haven’t suffered enough oppression or earn this label.
Callie [00:17:32] Oh, God, that one’s so real.
Nichole [00:17:34] It’s so real.
Callie [00:17:35] I still deal with that.
Nichole [00:17:36] Yes!
Nichole [00:17:37] I literally talked to my therapist, who’s a lesbian, about how I felt bad because my queerness was mostly just really cool and good.
Callie [00:17:46] Joyful, yeah.
Nichole [00:17:46] And I didn’t have like these horror stories about, you know, growing up as a person who suffered things.
Callie [00:17:53] Mmhmm. Yeah.
Nichole [00:17:54] But it’s not supposed to be about trauma.
Callie [00:17:56] Right.
Nichole [00:17:58] Why are we all trying to trauma bond and why are we all trying to, like, shut the door
Callie [00:18:03] Yesss! Yeah (laughs).
Nichole [00:18:04] on other people? First of all, basically, everyone’s fucking queer. (Callie cracks up laughing)
Nichole [00:18:10] I’m not choosing your sexuality for you.
Nichole [00:18:12] I’m just saying, when you actually look at definitions of what bisexuality, for instance, means. I mean, it can mean even just finding someone else pleasant-looking, like, you know, attractive. It doesn’t mean you have to want to sleep with them. Yeah. So like, come on. Tell me that most of us aren’t on the spectrum?
Callie [00:18:32] Yeah.
Nichole [00:18:32] Okay.
Callie [00:18:33] Right.
Nichole [00:18:34] And you know, I know that it’s a hard thing when you’ve suffered oppression and when you’ve suffered trauma because of this identity and when yours is one that’s more apparent, so you suffer more of that oppression and trauma because you can’t hide it. You know, people see it.
Nichole [00:18:51] But at the same time, part of it is being in the minority, you know, being marginalized and just keeping people out and trying to keep it, the small club of like the most oppressed people is just so backwards in so many ways. Yeah, it’s it’s harmful. It erases other people’s identities and it keeps us from making progress.
Nichole [00:19:13] I don’t think we should have to make progress off of it being like more common. But the fact is, it is more common. And there’s so many people out there.
Nichole [00:19:21] I’ve dated so many dudes who have been like, “oh, I’m actually really attracted to transwomen” or “I would make out with a guy,” you know, and that might sound to some of you like offensive or silly, but like, these are people that if we didn’t have these barriers up, would be queer. They would be out here using whatever label they want to use, but they would be more open and they would be experimenting with their friends and like we all could. We all could benefit from this freedom.
Nichole [00:19:52] But we can’t do it, A) under an oppressive system, which is one whole problem. But B) if we’re replicating oppressive systems even within our own communities.
Callie [00:20:01] Yeah.
Nichole [00:20:03] The gatekeeping has to stop.
Callie [00:20:05] Yep.
Nichole [00:20:07] You know, so many more people would identify as bi or queer or gay. If it was okay for that definition to mean whatever it meant to the person.
Nichole [00:20:18] Mine means something different than probably even what Callie’s means versus someone else. But it’s very real.
Callie [00:20:25] Yeah.
Nichole [00:20:25] And it’s something I could’ve been celebrating and living in much younger.
Nichole [00:20:29] If I hadn’t thought that, I had go scissor like 14 people and shave my head (Callie’s giggling), you know? (Nichole laughs) and wear a prosthetic dick in my pants before I was able to be like, hey, guess what? Although I do actually want to do all those things.
Nichole [00:20:49] But you know what I mean? Like, it shouldn’t have to be this this, you know, performative thing. That’s the thing is it all becomes so performative.
Callie [00:20:57] Yeah.
Nichole [00:20:58] Your allyship becomes performative. Your identity becomes performative. The community becomes performative.
Callie [00:21:04] Yeah.
Nichole [00:21:04] And it’s fucking gross.
Callie [00:21:07] Yeah.
Nichole [00:21:07] And so with this person, Ms. Jamil, I don’t know. I don’t know what her deal is. I only know her from ‘The Good Place.’ Sounds like she does really good work.
Nichole [00:21:18] Like, you know, spends her time and her influence to like do really good things. But it doesn’t matter because what it’s doing, it’s not making a positive difference for the community that people are supposedly advocating for. And it’s definitely hurting her and other people.
Callie [00:21:34] Yeah.
Nichole [00:21:34] There is no net positive here.
Callie [00:21:36] Right.
Nichole [00:21:37] With this behavior.
Callie [00:21:38] Yeah. I mean, one of the things I’ve struggled with the most in the last year after coming out was feeling like I gained a power, by… or, you know, like I, I was somehow appropriating it because I was someone who was trying to, like, distance myself from a privilege that I had had. And I and I felt… And obviously there is privilege that can come from like straight passing or whatever. And I didn’t experience trauma in being, you know, someone who was like identified as queer when I was younger.
Callie [00:22:12] But like, that’s also a shitty thing to like. I was in my thirties while I am still in my thirties, but like to be a person, my coming out like later in life and and realizing like so much of the pieces of me were were obscured by this like really fucked up like societal expectations of what coming out looks like, like what being queer means, how like coming out stories always sound the same. Like if you didn’t know when you were 3 years old that you were, you know, real gay, then I guess what you aren’t and you’re just pretending to like get clout. And it’s like that did a lot of damage to me personally, to you and to so many other people that I’ve talked to, too. You know, even people who are on that closer to one end of the spectrum, who are still trying to figure out how to make sure they like always look real gay.
Nichole [00:23:11] Yeah.
Callie [00:23:12] You know? And these are people that like I would have assumed don’t worry about it, but it’s like this… If the problem is, we think that these things only affect those like kind of in the middle and people have this like, well fuck them. Who cares? They’re not important. But it actually does affect all the other people, too, which is, I think, what your point was.
Callie [00:23:31] And it’s it’s so important. I want to make sure that people really heard it. Like we tend to think that this like cancel culture only really hurts people that like have a lot of privilege only and deserve to kind of be under a microscope.
Callie [00:23:46] But it actually affects even the people that have like the most marginalizations that you think would feel safe, like they still feel nervous.
Nichole [00:23:58] Right. Because they see…
Callie [00:23:59] Right.
Nichole [00:24:00] How easy it is to just get…
Callie [00:24:02] Yeah.
Nichole [00:24:02] Churned up by the SJW machine.
Callie [00:24:05] Right. Yeah. You. You make a false step and you’re fucking done. And I just part of the reason why we wanted to launch this show specifically is because we have gone on kind of this journey the past few years where we did our duty as good little like allies for a lot of things. And we said and did the scripts that we were given and then we realized like how it was not only eating us up inside and really causing damage, but how it like was not effective and it was hurting others. And we wanted a place where we can. Talk more freely about all of this toxic liberal bullshit and how this, like cosmetic diversity and fake wokeness fucks us over.
Nichole [00:24:56] Yeah.
Callie [00:24:57] So like we gotta stop.
Nichole [00:25:00] Right.
Nichole [00:25:00] So. I’m glad we talked about that generally, but I also wanted to talk about it because I want anyone listening who is kind of struggling in that middle space of like you’ve learned some things and are trying to be an ally and you’re trying to do good and you’re calling…
Nichole [00:25:20] Like I was telling my friends, I said the term ‘virtue signaling’ the other night over game night. And they were all like, what is that?
Nichole [00:25:29] So for those who don’t…
Callie 00:25:30 You’re like, I wish I didn’t know!
Nichole [00:25:33] I know! But it’s a big part of the ally script that you get when you join the SJW community and you sign up to be, you know, a good, good boy or girl or enby (nonbinary person), is that you’re told, like if you see something like this, right, like you see a show
Callie [00:25:52] Right.
Nichole [00:25:52] That’s like black trans women doing stuff and then there’s someone involved in the show who’s not a black trans woman that you’re supposed to jump on it.
Callie [00:26:03] Right.
Nichole [00:26:03] You’re supposed to call that out for the prejudice that it is and whatever. And I’m not saying that this never needs to happen or that it’s never valid or important or that it even isn’t in this case.
Nichole [00:26:13] Like I said, I don’t I don’t really know. And I don’t really care to, like, weigh in on it. I don’t think my voice is needed in this conversation, but it was like the whole Joe Rogan endorsement of Bernie. This was a good example of it, is that, you know, people were talking about that it was a good thing because Joe Rogan has an audience of a lot of like apolitical middle of the road kind of people who very much could be moved to support Bernie and are the types of voters that we need, but are generally either apolitical or they’re like all over the place.
Nichole [00:26:50] Like, they might have some very conservative beliefs and then some very leftist beliefs. And they’re just kind of like they don’t really have a theory that they adhere to. And they’re exactly the kind of people that he could reach. And a Joe Rogan endorsement of him… It wasn’t like a full endorsement, but like, you know, his interview with Bernie and then his semi-endorsement of Bernie is a really good thing for Bernie’s campaign and which is a good thing for the whole country, because Bernie would do some good stuff. Right?
Callie [00:27:16] Right.
Nichole [00:27:16] With us. But you had people all over the Internet who were, like Joe Rogan said something transphobic once. So. Bernie’s canceled.
Nichole [00:27:28] And it’s like, come the fuck on, like that’s virtue signaling it’s people wanting to get the cookies or wanting to be shown as as like, oh, I know! The one thing that that person did wrong and I’m going to call it out because that’s what we’re supposed to do, right? We’re supposed to call everything out.
Callie [00:27:43] Yeah.
Nichole [00:27:44] And what… Fortunately – I think they are talking about this on ‘Low Society’ – they they feel like this cancel culture is starting to die off and I fucking hope so.
Nichole [00:27:56] But what happens is that we stop doing the work or we never do the work. We never even start. People don’t even know what the fucking work is. And they think the work is just being online, monitoring everyone.
Callie [00:28:10] Yeah.
Nichole [00:28:10] And calling out whitewashing! You know, sexism! Trans-erasure! And it’s like not to say these things aren’t valid. Of course they’re fucking valid. And like Callie and I do have enough marginalizations that like we are impacted by some of these things. So we’re not, you know, sitting on a throne of privilege and just being like, none of this affects us. But it doesn’t DO anything. Just calling it out and canceling people over small shit doesn’t actually do the work.
Callie [00:28:38] Yeah.
Nichole [00:28:39] And I just. I just wanted to empower people listening. I know it’s fuckin scary because we’ve been there.
Callie [00:28:49] Yeah.
Nichole [00:28:49] And we have. I used to say it on the old show. Like, I literally had to go into therapy over this shit because I had such bad fucking generalized anxiety from feeling all the time like I had to watch constantly watch my words, couldn’t make a mistake, was gonna be canceled at any given moment. And a lot of people get canceled… It’s over something they didn’t actually do wrong.
Callie [00:29:10] Right.
Nichole [00:29:10] Too, which we don’t talk about enough.
Callie [00:29:12] Or it’s something that’s like iffy, you know.
Nichole [00:29:16] Yeah.
Callie [00:29:16] Like something that could really be up for like some discussion or debate…
Nichole [00:29:20] Or it’s questionable.
Callie [00:29:20] Yeah.
Nichole [00:29:20] And even within the community they don’t agree with…
Callie [00:29:22] Right.
Nichole [00:29:23] You know, what is the actual right thing or how to approach it?
Callie [00:29:26] Right.
Nichole [00:29:27] So just in the spirit of like we can’t fuck around in the United States, specifically where Callie and I are based out of, you know, this is election year. We’ve gotta get Trump out of the fucking White House and we really need to get Bernie in. Yeah. And whatever candidate you like. You know, we’ll we’ll talk more.
Nichole [00:29:46] We’re kind of figuring that out right now. We might do it in like a separate show or we might do it as part of the show. But we’ll talk more about why and kind of give information on other Democratic candidates. We do not suffer Republicans here. So if you are one. Sorry.
Callie [00:30:01] We don’t suffer liberals here!
Nichole [00:30:03] No.
Callie [00:30:03] So we’re putting y’all on notice!
Nichole [00:30:05] Like everyone is on notice.
Callie [00:30:05] Know you’re not in ‘vote blue no matter who’…
Nichole [00:30:08] No.
Callie [00:30:09] type crowd. But, also, don’t add us because obviously we will vote for whoever is running against Trump (no longer true!, but still don’t @ us because we don’t care).
Nichole [00:30:16] Yeah. Calm down.
Callie [00:30:17] But like, come on. Liberals are not offering you anything.
Nichole [00:30:21] No!
Callie [00:30:22] The status quo and the status quo is that we run off a cliff in nine years because the worst like if we don’t drastically change then the worst effects of climate change we will be locked into.
Nichole [00:30:35] Right.
Callie [00:30:35] So it’s like get out of here with all this middle of the road garbage.
Nichole [00:30:38] Right.
Nichole [00:30:39] So one of the reasons we’re such fans of Bernie and supporters is because his whole platform is based around and his campaigning is based around, like, I can’t fucking do this by myself. Like, you all need to pitch in if this is the shit you want. I’m going to fight for it. This is my platform. But like, you need to be voting the right way and you need to be calling your congresspeople and you need to be putting pressure on people. And we need to do this all together.
Nichole [00:31:07] And…
Callie [00:31:07] Yeah, the work isn’t done after election day.
Nichole [00:31:09] And we cannot continue to fall into this ridiculous fucking woke culture, colonizer approach to fucking social justice issues. When we have a goddamn fascist in the White House and we have the fucking media literally lying about what is happening with on the Democratic side of things to keep Bernie out because he’s not part of the establishment. We don’t have time for this shit.
Callie [00:31:40] No.
Nichole [00:31:41] And we never did.
Callie [00:31:42] No.
Nichole [00:31:42] But now we’re saying it. We don’t have time. We’re not suffering fools this year. OK? We’re not doing it.
Callie 00:31:49 Nope.
Nichole [00:31:49] There is way more important work to be done. And I read and will post an Instagram… Well, there’s actually a Twitter thread, but that was posted on Instagram by @sheabutterfemme. And they wrote about like all these people, you know, I know nuance about – we love nuance here, on Bitchy Shitshow, just so you know.
Callie [00:32:11] Yeah, we’ll be talking about a lot (laughs).
Nichole [00:32:13] A whole lot – but, you know, sheabutterfemme was saying like, you know, I know y’all treat nuance like it’s a bad word. But those of you out here performing in this way that we’ve been talking and – I’m obviously paraphrasing – that we’ve been talking about so far on the show, like clearly are not actually doing the work of building community. Because once you start to actually build community and work with people, you realize that all of this is like extremely immature and extremely ineffective. And, worse than ineffective! It actually helps support the systems that you’re supposedly trying to dismantle.
Callie [00:32:49] Yeah.
Nichole [00:32:50] So, you know, 2020 is a year of grow the fuck up and let’s do the real work.
Callie [00:32:55] Yeah.
Nichole [00:32:56] And that’s what Callie and I are here to do.
Callie [00:32:58] Yes, bitch!
Nichole [00:32:59] Those are the people we follow and support. And we’re not going to be putting up with like people trying to take us down or other people down over small shit,.
Callie [00:33:09] Inconsequential.
Nichole [00:33:10] Inconsequential shit. And you had a good point before it and know if you’re going to bring it up, but like just being done with attacking individuals.
Callie [00:33:19] Oh, yeah.
Nichole [00:33:20] That was a really good point.
Callie [00:33:21] Thank you.
Callie [00:33:22] Yeah, no, honestly. Like, why are we even still talking about celebrity bullshit? Like I I’m so tired in general of us spending so much time and energy about what celebrities are up to or who’s filling the… Like, our world is on fucking fire. In some cases, literally. And we still care about the most inconsequential shit.
Callie [00:33:47] And the other thing is like as leftists. A lot of us have spent a lot of time like learning about and discussing and reading up on like systems of oppression, and we understand them, we understand how fucking insidious they are because they are like everywhere. It’s what we’re taught from like the day we’re born, especially if you’re in the U.S. or other like, you know, Western countries that follow this, like colonizer, like heteronormative patriarchal bullshit. Right? It’s fed to us in every way. It’s in our media, it’s in our schools. It’s what our parents teach us. It’s what our teachers teach us, like it’s everywhere. And we will understand that as leftist. And yet then we still pin everything on individuals. Like we’ll look at an individual and we’ll be like, fuck you, you’re a piece of shit. Like, I’m going to shame you and I’m going to cancel you.
Callie [00:34:39] And first of all, shame is like part of like as people as humans. It’s like the worst possible thing for us. Like you, you’re not going to shame people usually into making better choices. Like you’re almost guaranteeing that they’re going to be like, well, fuck off. Right. It’s such a it’s such a primal fear.
Callie [00:35:02] So the fact that now that we all live in this like constant threat of being canceled is like worst case scenario for our psyches. Like you are not putting people in a position to like open up and be vulnerable and learn and like deconstruct like the whole their whole lives and everything they’ve been taught. Right, because they’re so fucking scared to make a wrong step, but so we’ll understand these societies. But then we’ll look at someone be like, well, fuck this person, they must be garbage because they did this thing that seems mildly appropriative or they did this… They made some joke that like now I’m going to say is not okay.
Callie [00:35:40] And it’s like, well, (scoffs) they’ve been living in a culture of like teaching them how to act like I don’t understand. Like let’s talk let’s let’s go for the throat of these systems and give individuals the place of like not letting them off the hook, not telling them that they like never do anything wrong or aren’t like shouldn’t be held accountable.
Callie [00:36:03] But also like, it’s okay, you were taught this and it’s wrong. But we’re gonna give you a place to learn and let you come back from it and not just like fucking say like, oh, your trash, your done and throw you away like a disposable Ziploc bag. You know?!
Callie [00:36:21] It’s just like we’re so fucking capitalist in the way that we’re relating to each other. It’s really gross.
Nichole [00:36:27] Yeah. Well it’s all about competition mentality.
Callie [00:36:30] Yeah. Scarcity, right?
Nichole [00:36:32] Yeah!
Callie [00:36:32] Yeah.
Nichole [00:36:33] But we’re doing it to each other.
Callie [00:36:35] Right.
Nichole [00:36:36] And the resource is like, whatever. Right?
Callie [00:36:39] Yeah.
Nichole [00:36:39] Like respect or a platform or this, this protection from criticism. I mean we’ve seen people who’ve weaponized their marginalized identities. We’ve seen it many times.
Callie [00:36:54] Yeah.
Callie [00:36:55] Yeah, that’s the other thing too. It’s like we have this idea of like oh no one group is like a monolith. Right. Like people have. But then one person on Twitter will say a thing and we’re like, oh…
Nichole [00:37:07] You’re canceled!
Callie [00:37:08] No, no, the opposite! Like, oh, now that’s the party line. If you want to support like this specific ethnic community or this specific like…
Nichole [00:37:18] Well that’s what I mean like this one person comes out and cancels you…
Callie [00:37:20] Right.
Nichole [00:37:21] With their opinion. But yeah, because they’re part of this community now it’s like the community is drawing a line.
Callie [00:37:26] Oh yeah.
Nichole [00:37:26] And you’re out of it. And you’re dead.
Callie [00:37:27] Yeah. You say a thing and it’s like, oh guess what, that’s now like not okay. And it’s like, well maybe we don’t agree with that language.
Nichole [00:37:35] Right.
Nichole [00:37:36] Or you just hear I hear this so often now, too, it’s just, you know, you’ll say like, oh, I like this movie or, whatever. And someone’s like, oh, I heard that person was transphobic. And you’re like, well, what happened? And they’re like, oh, I don’t know, I just heard that.
Callie [00:37:52] Ugh… That, I’ve been there and I feel so embarrassed now for any times that like I’ve done that…
Nichole [00:37:58] Oh, we’ve done it on the old show!
Callie [00:37:59] Yeah.
Nichole [00:38:01] Because again, we thought that’s what you were supposed to do.
Callie [00:38:03] Right.
Nichole [00:38:03] You’re supposed to do my job home on the interwebs and like be on high alert.
Callie [00:38:08] Yeah.
Nichole [00:38:09] For anyone who’s doing a thing and then call it out. Make sure everybody knows that, yeah, you might like that YouTube video and it might be funny or maybe it made you feel good. But like this person said something five years ago. So you have to not only not like that anymore, not share it, but be ashamed that you ever did it. Make sure if anyone ever says that person’s name that you let them know that they’re dead forever.
Callie [00:38:32] There are so many like I was in this mode for so long where I wouldn’t even ever share a thing or be like, oh, I really liked the show because I’m like, oh, I have to do like research first and make sure that it’s not like somehow offensive in a way I’m not seeing. And it’s like, y’all, that’s crazy. Like, that’s, that is so fucking ridiculous.
Nichole [00:38:53] It’s… Yeah. Like it’s.
Callie [00:38:55] That’s the most performative ridiculous shit.
Nichole [00:38:59] Yeah, it’s fake! The thing is you’re making everyone jump through these hoops that you all know are fucking fake.
Callie [00:39:03] Right. So that’s the point of this show is we’re not playing these fucking games anymore.
Nichole [00:39:08] No. Not doing it.
Callie [00:39:09] We firmly believe that nothing can be summed up in like anything close to a meme. Like, your talking point if you’re gonna make some fucking stance about something and it could fit in a tweet. It’s probably wrong.
Nichole [00:39:28] Yeah.
Callie [00:39:28] Because almost nothing in life can be summed up. I said almost nothing because there are a few things like…
Nichole [00:39:35] There’s some moods out there.
Callie [00:39:37] Like “all cops are bastards” or “black lives matter,” you know, there are some things.
Callie [00:39:42] But like for the most part it’s like we we can’t keep like tweeting these things out that have just no room for nuance or discussion or any sort of like in-depth analysis. And we’re just now playing these fucking games anymore. I’m not I’m not going to pretend to believe things that I don’t. I’m not going to like virtue’s signal and feel like I’m constantly like, oh, no, I’m going to like say and do all the things to make it seem like I’m not taking up space.
Callie [00:40:12] It’s ridiculous.
Callie [00:40:14] I’m going to be sensitive and make sure that I’m not closing myself off to constantly learning and pushing the bounds.
Callie [00:40:21] But like, come on.
Nichole [00:40:23] Yeah. Yeah, we’re actively rejecting meme activism.
Callie [00:40:27] Yes.
Nichole [00:40:28] And we’re participating in like workshop activism.
Callie [00:40:31] Yesss.
Nichole [00:40:32] Even though this show seems maybe like a one way street, because we’re here, it’s recorded and it’s coming out to you. We have and we’ll continue to find avenues where we can facilitate open discussion. Like this is the starting point.
Callie [00:40:48] Yeah.
Nichole [00:40:48] Is for us to come here with the ideas that we’re having. Our goal is to make our thoughts accessible.
Nichole [00:40:56] So if we read something, if we have our own thoughts, whatever it is, to come here and be able to talk about it in a way that’s that is hopefully as accessible to as many people as possible. Tonight, gay keep over like academia or needing to have a ton of background knowledge to understand we’re talking about.
Nichole [00:41:14] But then we want you to take it further and not just with us, but with each other.
Callie [00:41:18] Yeah.
Nichole [00:41:18] And we managed to do this with a group that we have on Facebook where we’re figuring out what we’re gonna be doing going forward with that group and just in general, what platform would be the best. But yeah. This is all about like starting a conversation that needs to continue and grow and expand. Yeah, we love when we hear from listeners that they’ve taken concepts and they think about them and they talk to other people and they have their own, you know, it like becomes its own their own thing.
Callie [00:41:43] Yeah.
Nichole [00:41:44] That they branch off of it and it creates this whole new chain of thought like that’s what it’s about. It’s not about owning the thing. It’s not about keeping people out of the thing. It’s about inviting people in. And to be constantly building new things together, to have thoughts and ideas that are like living works of art. Right. You take one person has their own version and then it grows and expands. By the time it gets down there, it’s like still the same elements. But also this beautiful new thing.
Nichole [00:42:14] That’s what we need. And so we’re not going to be participating in this performative bullshit. We’re just not going to do it. And if people want to read that as privileged or as trying to get away with shit, then like bye.
Callie [00:42:25] Yeah.
Nichole [00:42:26] Honestly.
Callie [00:42:26] Yeah.
Nichole [00:42:27] I’m not going to respond to people on social media. I will delete horrible comments. They will not be seen by people like I’m just not doing it. I don’t think that there’s anything good about that. And I’m not going to suffer from anxiety anymore. And I’m not going to let people… It used to break my heart because when we first started, we had a lot of people reach out and be like, I’ve always wanted to do a podcast or have a blog or, you know, make art in some way, be a content creator. And I have social anxiety and like, do you think that I can do it? And I had to be like, I honestly can’t comfortably say that you can, because it’s rough out here. Yeah. People will be on you and they will want you to bend to their will and they will do that through shame. Right. They will find whatever they can to make you feel shame. Which as Callie was saying before is like the most powerful primal mechanism that we have in our brains. Like it’s how we keep order.
Callie [00:43:24] Yeah.
Nichole [00:43:25] And.
Callie [00:43:26] It’s what protected us when we were like way back. It’s like hunter-gatherer.
Nichole [00:43:31] It’s like it’s why it’s ridiculous. You know, we mentioned we’re anarchists, too. It’s why it’s ridiculous that people think the world would fall to chaos if there weren’t fucking cops because like our literal fucking programming makes us have shame and have these ways of wanting to fall into what society generally thinks is good…
Callie [00:43:51] Well we’re social.
Nichole [00:43:52] And society generally thinks it’s good to not kill people, you know?
Callie [00:43:55] Yeah.
Nichole [00:43:57] So it’s… Anyway. But yes, we’re not suffering. We’re not entertaining any of that anymore. So hopefully this is resonating with you and like… You’re safe here.
Callie [00:44:10] Yeah.
Nichole [00:44:11] This is gonna be a space of like warmth and love and laughs and growing and TMI, as I always end up saying something that Callie’s like, I can’t believe you just said that.
Callie 00:44:20 That’s true.
Nichole [00:44:22] And Callie’s amazing laugh. You get to hear that.
Nichole [00:44:25] But this is home.
Callie [00:44:27] Yeah. Aww.
Nichole [00:44:28] And home should end up being everywhere. And we can’t do that if we’re kicking people out of our home all the time.
Callie 00:44:35 Or making people feel uncomfortable.
Nichole [00:44:37] And we have to protect our own. We have to care for each other.
Callie [00:44:40] And we have to just start like not ascribing this like fucking value to people, you know, and then having that value be like changing like with fucking inflation (laughs). And you know how like how many woke points they have or how many privileges they have. And it’s just we have to just start like connecting to each other again and seeing the personhood in those around us and the like… The validity in…
Nichole [00:45:09] Someone’s humanity.
Callie [00:45:10] Yeah.
Nichole [00:45:11] And what, what a messy tapestry that is.
Callie [00:45:14] Yeah. And then we all deal with shit and we all are having to like constantly work to undo a lot of the like toxic shit we’ve been taught. And there needs to be a safe space to like work through all of that and learn and grow. And you just can’t be like, oh! You didn’t already know the entire history of this?? Like you’re fuckin dead to me! Like you’re canceled!
Nichole [00:45:38] I can tell everyone else that you’re canceled and you’re gonna lose your whole social network. Your whole platform or your income or whatever.
Nichole [00:45:45] I can’t stand when those people when you ask them why are you ruining this person’s business. They’re gonna say, “oh, well, I heard from… I just heard somewhere that this person was something.”
Nichole [00:45:55] I don’t know. Actually, I don’t know why or how, but yeah. Yeah, they’re done.
Callie [00:46:00] Not even their business, just their lives.
Nichole [00:46:01] Yeah. Anything.
Callie [00:46:02] We all are like on social media now to the point where it feels like we all are mini brands which like don’t get us (Nichole yells UGHHHH!) fucking started on that.
Nichole 00:46:11 I don’t like it!
Callie [00:46:12] Yeah, but yeah, I loved all that. That was beautiful.
Nichole [00:46:15] Yeah.
Callie [00:46:16] That was a great ending.
Nichole [00:46:17] Yeah! Good first episode so far.
Callie [00:46:19] Yeah!
Nichole [00:46:19] If I do say so myself.
Callie [00:46:20] Mm hmm.
Nichole [00:46:22] So the second segment. That we will do today. And that we want to be a regular part of the show is… We answer a question. So typically we like advice questions. But this could be a question of any kind. And this question came in from a person who seems quite lovely and it was a wonderful, very vulnerable kind of question. And it was one that was not really in our area of expertise. Beyond the fact that we could give some kind of general advice. But so I sent it over to my friend Everett, who for context, you know, is a trans non-binary person and does drag or is involved in the drag world and wanted them to, you know, try to answer this from having that kind of inside perspective. So the… So I’ll read the question and then we’ll play the audio that Everett sent over because they are just the best <3
Nichole [00:47:27] So the person writes (and wants to be kept anonymous): Briefly, my question is as follows. Should I call in one on one the head of my drag house for mis-gendering me? They are famous and I don’t know them very well yet. To give you more context about my situation, I’m afab, which is ‘assigned female at birth,’ masculine of center non-binary person. People in my drag house usually use he/him pronouns for me. Is that what… That’s what I use when I’m in drag. Some people also use she or they, and I’m okay with that. I dont mind any pronouns used for me. (I’m the same way). It usually doesn’t matter. I also don’t mind my feminine given name and use it in many areas my life. Apart from that, any other feminine words like girlfriend, girl, woman, lady, ma’am makes me very uncomfortable and dysphoric. I don’t like being grouped with her compared to women. Everyone in my drag house knows this, including the head mother of the house who are themselves a gender fluid, amab, which is assigned male at birth, gay. I’m very new to drag and was discovered by my fairly famous drag mother and invited to join their newly formed drag house soon after my debut. I don’t know my drag mother very well yet, but so far they’ve been quite nice to me and others in my drag house; as they are famous and busy, I don’t get to see them often. Yesterday we had a meeting to plan for upcoming house show. After that, two of us were heading home together. As we were walking together, they told me I looked like the character from Stranger Things named Eleven. If you haven’t seen the show, she’s pretty much a 12 year old Carrie with a shaved head.
Nichole [00:49:06] (Callie laughs) It’s a great description.
Nichole [00:49:07] So then they go on to say, you know, that they have dysphoria from this. They also have a shaved head so they can understand the resemblance. But being compared to, you know, a girl has made them really uncomfortable and dysphoric and is really bothering them. And they’re concerned about talking to the drag mother because they’re new and the drag mother has a lot of power and position, you know, and they don’t want to come off.
Nichole [00:49:40] It just… Concerned about how to handle it. You know. So I felt for you and I you know, we definitely love talking about boundaries and sticking up for yourself and, you know, being able to find where your line is of what you need to do to be safe and comfortable.
Nichole [00:49:59] Versus what you and me… And maybe in conjunction with…
Nichole [00:50:02] (Corrects herself) But also versus what you need to do to advocate for yourself. But I wanted Everett to weigh-in since they kind of live in this world a lot more than we do. So we’ll play Everett’s advice now. We think it’s great. We’re just going on to let it stand as is. So thank you, Everett.
Callie [00:50:18] Thank you.
Everett [00:50:19] Hi, it’s me. Everett. You may know me from being a inconsistant mod in the VWPA Society. And now the host of your favorite podcast within a podcast: the Bitchy Bitch Shitty Shitshow advice column with me, Everett, your favorite.
Everett [00:50:42] So this question is very relevant to me because I am also trans and have done drag once, IRL, and frequently, or not as frequently as I should, on the Internet.
Everett [00:51:03] That’s beside the point.
Everett [00:51:05] So I find that there’s still a lot of cissexism with in drag spaces.
Everett [00:51:19] And that’s something that people really need… espeically like cis-gay drag queens, amab, need to get their shit together on.
Everett [00:51:30] And regarding your drag mother, I almost wonder if like they’re a gender variant person that doesn’t get her experience dysphoria. I’ve encountered people like that where they might like fall under the trans umbrella but don’t get dysphoria – as in they don’t have it, but they also don’t consciously like understand it and how it can affect a person. And I think, straight up, you should just talk to your drag mom about this. Really like and I’m trying to like hammer this into several people’s heads in my lives, one of which might be listening to this podcast and should continue hammering it into their head.
Everett [00:52:18] You don’t have to suffer or be miserable or feel bad or feel dysphoric at the hands of someone else because you think it would be an inconvenience to them because! They are being an inconvenience to YOU.
Everett [00:52:40] They’re not respecting your gender. They’re making you feel like shit and they have room for growth. Think about it that way.
Everett [00:52:50] You know, part of being trans is, and transitioning, if you will, is not just, you know, physicality stuff, but it’s the way… It’s changing the ways you communicate with people and the ways others communicate with you. And sometimes like, say, like with like binary trans people, it can be easier for them – not to like play oppression Olympics – but it can be easier for them because like they’re they’re situating themselves in a role that is already like mutually understood between two people.
Everett [00:53:28] But with like non-binary people, I don’t know if you ID as that or if you’re just strictly trans, but not binary, if that makes sense.
Everett [00:53:38] There’s a little more legwork in there and it sucks, but it’s just part of it. And. Yeah, I like I said, I think you should try to communicate that with your drag mother. And it’s awkward. It’s uncomfortable. I hate doing it too. But you… This is one of those things where, like, you are an oppressed person who needs to put yourself first and take care of yourself and you’re gonna have to deal with a lot of cis people bullshit.
Everett [00:54:09] Like I went to my university’s annual drag show last April. UConn Huskies whoop whoop.
Everett [00:54:24] Went to the university drag show and this was the year after I’d done drag for the first time and a performer there who’s lovely. I don’t like hang out with her or anything, but like I volunteer backstage. Many, many, many times. So like I’ve gone to like, help her out and get to know the performer… The yearly performer and stuff like that. Anyways, walked in and she said, “oh, she’s serving boy looks this year.”
Everett [00:54:52] And I, as you said, spiraled into dysphoria and it took until like after the show to like, say something.
Everett [00:55:06] And I got like a whole spiel of, you know, she’s Hispanic and she was like, you know, in the hood where I grew up, Hartford, there’s males and there’s females. And I was just kind of like grinned and bared it for that moment. But she learned, I suppose. Anyways, point being that like it’s gonna be uncomfortable, but I think of it like this. I’d rather have an uncomfortable interaction and maintain a little bit of distance with people over feeling dysphoric because of the things that they’re saying and doing.
Everett [00:55:48] So final points. You’re not an inconvenience and you deserve respect. I find myself doing this too.
Everett [00:55:58] It sounds like you’re an anxious, previously traumatized by other people type of person. Same here, I think. And this is like. It sounds so simple, but you just gotta do it. It’s one of those things where you like have to like not think about it as much instead of, like, preparing yourself and rehearsing in your head. And this and that and this and that. You just got to do it and sort of like deal with what happens afterwards, positive or negative. I mean, not to say like like I’m telling you, go and do this right now. You can take time for yourself to prepare yourself for it. But don’t let that hold you back for a long period of time.
Everett [00:56:45] And also, too, regarding joining a trans support group. There are a lot of Facebook groups. And like I’m on a discord of a lot of trans and queer people.
Everett [00:57:01] If you want, I can send you the link to that. You can hit me up either on Facebook. I’m in VWPA Society slash Bitchy Shitshow Society. Or you can hit me up on Instagram at LashCorps: l a s h c o r p s.
Everett [00:57:25] Yeah. So best of luck.
Everett [00:57:28] Love to hear back. And thank you, Callie and Nichole, for having me on.
Everett [00:57:34] This has been your gay correspondent Everett, signing out. This is so awkward. Callie, leave this in. Any ways, OK? Good bye!
Callie [00:57:52] (Callie and Nichole laughing) That was delightful.
Nichole [00:57:55] Everett. I love you so much. You are my favorite. Yes, that was delightful.
Callie [00:58:03] I don’t know that I’ve ever felt more like a journalist than them being like this is your gay correspondent.
Callie [00:58:10] Like, I just got this flash of us, like sitting behind a desk, like World News Tonight.
Nichole [00:58:15] I’ve got my hand on my ear. There’s a report coming in from the field!
Callie [00:58:21] And Everett, I apologize. I don’t know if you meant to say, Callie, take this out, but you said leave it in. And also, it was funny as shit. So I left it all in.
Nichole [00:58:33] So in it stayed. Yeah. Yes. I also like the idea.
Nichole [00:58:38] It would be very meta and wonderful if the middle part of our show was now the Bitchy Bitch Shitty Shitshow, or whatever it was.
Nichole [00:58:46] I think that’s a great idea. Yeah, I like it.
Callie [00:58:51] And then five years that’ll be our show name.
Nichole [00:58:54] Yeah!
Callie [00:58:54] And then our middle segment will be like, it’ll just keep going…
Nichole [00:59:00] Yeah. Devolve into chaos.
Everett [00:59:02] Yeah. Well, so, thank you Everett for that.
Nichole [00:59:04] Yeah. Thank you. Everett. And I just want to say, advice was great. And just to reinforce the point that despite maybe knowing what you “should” do or having a path to follow.
Nichole [00:59:18] I love that everything included like take your time. You know, this isn’t something you have to do this second. So it’s okay to have to think about things and kind of get ready for something. But yeah, also to value yourself and, know that, like your feelings are super valid and that they’re not just a inconvenience for other people. Yes. You know, it’s good to speak up for yourself.
Callie [00:59:42] Yeah. I think one of the lines and I hope I’m actually phrasing this as Everette did, but looking at it as the other person just has room to grow.
Nichole [00:59:54] Yeah.
Callie [00:59:54] You know.
Nichole [00:59:55] Yeah, I think that’s really beautiful.
Callie [00:59:56] Yeah. I think that’s a nice way of looking at it. Yeah. So.
Nichole [01:00:00] Yeah. So thanks, Everett!
Callie [01:00:01] Thank you!
Nichole [01:00:02] And thank you, listener who submitted the question. That was a really vulnerable and really good question. So we appreciate it. If you have a question you’d like to have us respond to on the show, you can submit that to email@example.com.
Callie [01:00:19] Yeah.
Nichole [01:00:20] Yeah. So. Callie?
Callie [01:00:27] Yes. (laughs)
Callie [01:00:29] People are going to so confused (laughs).
Nichole [01:00:34] Alright, I’ll just announce it: is tradition that I tell a bad joke.
Callie [01:00:41] Oh, are you going on!… Can I…
Nichole [01:00:44] I’ve always said that they were bad!. They’re all dad jokes!
Nichole [01:00:46] You know, their dad jokes, which everyone knows means that they’re bad, but so bad that they’re good.
Nichole [01:00:54] OK. (Callie laughing in background)
Nichole [01:00:55] Yes. It is tradition that I tell a dad joke to Callie and that she hates it for our middle segment, which is yet to be named for this show.
Nichole [01:01:09] Nice little Bitchy Shitshow trivia.
Nichole [01:01:12] Ooh (intrigued)
Nichole [01:01:13] For those who are gonna become super fans. And I know it’s 100 percent of the people listening right now. (Callie cracks up laughing)
Nichole [01:01:19] Bitchy show actually used to be the name of our middle segment where I would tell the joke. On our last podcast.
Callie [01:01:25] Yes.
Nichole [01:01:26] And we loved it so much that it became.
Callie [01:01:29] Yeah.
Nichole [01:01:31] Our new show name.
Callie [01:01:32] Yeah.
Callie [01:01:32] Yeah. It was something we we used to joke about. And then…
Nichole [01:01:36] Because the middle is always a mess (laughs).
Callie [01:01:37] Yeah.
Callie [01:01:37] We just never had any sort of structure of any sort.
Nichole [01:01:39] And we are usually ranting something something.
Callie [01:01:42] Something completely random.
Nichole [01:01:43] Yeah.
Callie [01:01:43] Yep.
Nichole [01:01:44] All right. So Callie, I went to the theatrical performance of puns last night.
Nichole [01:01:54] (Dramatic pause) It was a play on words. Get it!?
Callie [01:01:58] Oh, my God.
Callie [01:02:01] You know…
Nichole [01:02:01] It was a PLAY on WORDS.
Callie [01:02:04] Usually I’m mad at the end of the joke.
Nichole [01:02:09] You were PISSED.
Callie [01:02:09] But I was already mad halfway through that.
Nichole [01:02:09] I don’t know if I’ve ever seen you so mad pre punch line.
Nichole [01:02:13] Yeah, that was rough.
Callie [01:02:14] Yeah.
Callie [01:02:14] Well, you know…
Nichole [01:02:15] Hehe, tough room!
Callie [01:02:16] We gotta start off strong with the new show.
Nichole [01:02:19] Yes.
Callie [01:02:19] Also, don’t e-mail us. We are very good friends.
Callie [01:02:23] And it’s all part of the joke that she tells bad jokes. And I give her shit about it.
Nichole [01:02:28] It’s fully consensual. Callie hates it. But she also is like, of course we’re gonna do it.
Callie [01:02:33] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I hate it. I love that I hate it.
Nichole [01:02:38] Yeah. That’s the gag.
Callie [01:02:38] And I love that you still do it anyway.
Nichole [01:02:41] You know, I mean, gag in like the original term. I’m not appropriating.
Callie [01:02:47] How is gag an appropriation?
Nichole [01:02:50] It’s the gag, girl? The gag is?
Nichole [01:02:57] I know Beau and I’ve said this to you many times.
Callie [01:02:59] I’m sure you have.
Nichole [01:03:00] Anyway.
Nichole [01:03:01] Oh, I just admitted to appropriating behind the scenes with our queer friends. (Callie laughs)
Nichole [01:03:12] So ‘Pretty Woman.’
Callie [01:03:13] Yeah.
Nichole [01:03:15] It’s a movie. From the nineties. So…
Callie [01:03:19] Nineteen ninety to be specific.
Nichole [01:03:22] Yeah, so it’s still very 80s, very 80s vibes like our logo and branding.
Nichole [01:03:28] But it’s not like synth wave 80s, it’s just like eighties. Eighties, like So-Cal 80s.
Nichole [01:03:37] So I was inspired to revisit this movie because I had seen a video. I watch a lot of media analysis on YouTube and I had seen The Take’s take on Pretty Woman in cap.. Like anticapitalist messaging.
Nichole [01:03:55] I watched it and I was intrigued because I hadn’t seen Pretty Woman for… Ever. I can’t remember the last time I actually watched it.
Nichole [01:04:04] So it’s like, oh, this be kind of fun.
Nichole [01:04:05] And as I mentioned before, you know, we’d had listeners for a long time be like, hey, I want you to do like an official sex work worker episode.
Nichole [01:04:13] So I was like…
Callie [01:04:15] It’s very funny to me that people were like, I mean, you’ve never specifically said it’s like…
Nichole [01:04:19] Well we did actually specifically say it many times…
Callie [01:04:21] Well we did.
Nichole [01:04:23] We just never had a topic that was oriented around it.
Callie [01:04:24] Also, we’re like anti-capitalist anarchists.
Callie [01:04:26] Like, you really think we’re going to be like criminalized sex workers! Send the police after them!
Nichole [01:04:32] Those dirty birds, lock em up!
Nichole [01:04:35] But this is a clean Christian show.
Callie [01:04:39] How dare you?
Nichole [01:04:40] How… Dare I. Yeah, no.
Nichole [01:04:44] So anyway, it just it felt like, oh, this would be like a fun movie to revisit and kind of see if it holds up or I don’t even know if it held up in the first place, but see how we felt about it.
Nichole [01:04:56] And then it just kind of was…
Nichole [01:04:57] We’re not actually really going to talk about Pretty Woman very much. But it was interesting to see what themes came out of it. And just just there’s some stuff that we thought would be really interesting to talk about.
Nichole [01:05:09] So I actually don’t have a ton to say about sex work or sex workers.
Nichole [01:05:14] So what I wanted to do is just kind of go on record giving a definition of a few things and then just being very clear that we’re…
Callie [01:05:23] I love how journalistic you’re being right now (laughing).
Nichole [01:05:25] I’m fucking… I am such a goddamn professional.
Callie [01:05:29] Our VWPA listeners are like, where am I? (both burst out laughing)
Nichole [01:05:33] Listen, we told you bitches that it was going to be next level. OK?
Callie [01:05:39] Also I feel like we started the show calmer than we normally do, like by accident. And I feel like people are going to be like…
Nichole [01:05:44] Oh, yeah, I was like very…
Callie [01:05:45] We are very much in our radio voices.
Nichole [01:05:47] I was very radio voice in the beginning.
Callie [01:05:50] Don’t worry. You came to the right place, you didn’t stumble into the wrong room on accident.
Nichole [01:05:54] We’ll be our messy selves in a couple episodes.
Nichole [01:05:58] It’s kind of like when you have a friend that you know, but then you like decide to go on a date and you’re both being fucking weird.
Nichole [01:06:07] Like you’ve known each other forever and you’re like, why am I now not? Or maybe some other scenario. But like, yeah, the show kind of feels like, you know, like we’ve done this for literally every week for five years. But this just feels special and new.
Callie [01:06:19] Yeah. Well and something that was hitting me, too, is that I realized like we don’t have this whole backlog now of people. Hearing. So I imagine like…
Nichole [01:06:28] It’s like a first date!
Callie [01:06:29] Yeah. Well and it’s like we there’s not that context of things that we’ve already said that we can reference back to them like oh we kind of have to like build that all up…
Nichole [01:06:38] I know.
Callie [01:06:38] Again of people like knowing what we mean because they’ve heard us say it enough but.
Nichole [01:06:42] Or you fuckers just gotta go listen to our backlog. Anyway!
Callie 01:06:49 There’s plenty of hours to keep you entertained. Also don’t come for us if you’re a new listener. Hi, we welcome you. We’re glad you’re here. But also, yes, we changed a lot over the five years.
Nichole [01:07:00] Oh, yeah.
Callie [01:07:01] We were not as like leftist in the beginning. We said some shit, but like we acknowledge it and we move on to become the radical babes that we are now. So like, I don’t want to hear it.
Nichole [01:07:11] Yeah. We were still funny as fuck though.
Callie [01:07:13] No, we were funny, but we just also we’re like, vote with your dollar! (embarassed laugh)
Callie [01:07:20] Which will weigh on my soul for the rest of eternity.
Callie [01:07:23] So anyway, stuff like that that obviously we know we no longer believe.
Nichole [01:07:27] Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Nothing like too bad. Not just, you know, just embarrassing now. Yeah. So again, you interrupted my very professional reporting over here. There’s a really good article in The Independent that talks about capitalism, feminism and sex work.
Nichole [01:07:49] And I’m just gonna read a little bit at the top because the author does a really good job of breaking down just some definitions of things, just to be clear of what we’re talking about.
Nichole [01:07:57] So when we talk about sex work or sex workers, sex work includes all levels of consensual sex work, such as workers in porn, escorting, sugar babies, professional BDSM, strippers, adult massage, phone sex operators. I would add in even like webcam girls. I don’t know if I can think of anything else…
Callie [01:08:20] Online dominate… that’s a big thing now.
Nichole [01:08:23] FinDoms is that what they’re called? I fucking still don’t know why I’m not one of those. I’m so good at yelling at people. Talking over each other I think money is digusting.
Callie [01:08:33] Yeah, there’s this one FinDom I follow on to talk and I’m like, (sighs) ahh, she’s so good.
Nichole [01:08:38] She is good. I think you’ve set me. Videos of her.
Callie [01:08:41] She’s always like giving tips and stuff. Damn it. Yes. Like get that fuckin coin.
Nichole [01:08:47] Yes girl!
Callie [01:08:49] Anyway.
Nichole [01:08:50] This includes workers who are doing it because they love their job as well as those who choose to do it as it’s their best option for survival.
Nichole [01:08:58] That’s very important.
Nichole [01:08:59] Human trafficking is not considered to be sex work. I’m glad that this is in this article because nothing like sets me off my ear more than when I hear someone’s like, oh, we broke up like like a sex trafficking ring…
Nichole [01:09:16] And the prostitutes were… And I’m like, NO. They were not. Or they called sex workers or whatever. It it’s like they weren’t. That was not consensual. That was not voluntary. You can’t call that sex work. It’s not.
Callie [01:09:30] And if they’re under age then they can’t consent.
Nichole [01:09:33] I know, I was trying to avoid going to the dark place. The darker place.
Nichole [01:09:37] But yeah. No I yeah I watch some sorry content warning here but I’m not going to get graphic but just child sex slavery. I watch something where they were talking about and it was fucking rich pervert politicians too, they broke up… It was a famous case too now I can’t remember, but they broke up this child sex ring and they were calling. I mean these kids were as young as like 8 years old and they were calling them prostitutes. Oh, my fucking God. So, yeah, very, very important to understand: human trafficking and sex slavery is not sex work! Don’t call them by sex worker names. They are slaves. They are victims.
Nichole [01:10:19] Whatever you want to say. But they are not sex workers because that’s not sex work. Yeah. So the definition goes on. Human trafficking is slavery plus movement and is presented globaly. Even… Oh, here in Canada where this person lives… It’s not necessarily sexual by nature, forced labor. So human trafficking in general, forced labor is much more predominant in other parts of the labor force, such as farming, mining, factory work in domestic service.
Nichole [01:10:47] So there’s that. So anyway, the other thing. So I just kind of wanted to define that because I think that’s an important part of having a dialog about sex work is being clear about what you’re talking about. Because a lot of people who are anti-sex work conflate a lot of shit and they think it’s all connected. And I would argue that it it’s all connected under capitalism. But I don’t think that in and of itself it’s connected. I don’t think someone being like a dominatrix is connected to like child sex trafficking.
Callie [01:11:20] No.
Nichole [01:11:21] In terms of like profession or that porn is necessarily like inherently connected to these other things. Right. It’s connected by capitalism because like someone’s doing a job to make a living.
Nichole [01:11:34] And then there’s other things happening because like everything’s commodified under capitalism and people are greedy and want money, but it’s not.
Nichole [01:11:42] I just really hate when you try to talk about porn or you try to talk about sex work and then like the fucking feminists come out who are like “ahhh! (screechy voice) it’s the Patriarchy! And its inherently evil! And like you can’t have sex work that’s not tied to the patriarchy.” And it’s like, I don’t know. I don’t know if you can have sex work that’s not tied to capitalism. Yeah, but like, who fucking cares? It’s a line of work. Gives a shit like we all have to do stuff. We all choose what to do.
Callie [01:12:13] To the extent that we even can choose in a system that’s compulsory.
Nichole [01:12:17] Well that’s what I mean is like we choose how to survive. Or we we do what we have to do to survive. Put it that way. Some of us have the privilege of some kind of a choice. But we’re still. It’s, um.
Nichole [01:12:28] It’s like a false choice in the sense of the overall like. No one without money can decide to just not participate. And even that money had to come from someone participating in some kind of way and probably exploiting the shit out of a lot of people. So anyway, it’s just. Yeah. I think the important thing is to see sex work as a line of work. And the way it ties in for us with Pretty Woman is that like I do think it could have done a much better job. But I do think that there should be some credit given to the movie, given that it was taken over by Disney and ended up not as dark as it was supposed to be, that there still isn’t…
Callie [01:13:12] Fucking Disney. Will they stop ruining shit?
Nichole [01:13:17] They there still is a decent connection between the fact that there is no difference between sex work and having, say, like an office job.
Nichole [01:13:29] There is no difference between sex work and any other kind of work that you do under capitalism, where you don’t have full control of your body or you’re selling your time, you’re selling your body, you’re agreeing to perform in certain ways in order to get paid.
Nichole [01:13:43] There’s no difference! It’s only because we’re in a country…or in a world…
Callie [01:13:48] Or they’re like arbitrary differences.
Nichole [01:13:49] Like, yeah. I just mean, like. Yeah. Overall, there’s no there’s no real difference.
Nichole [01:13:57] And this is where people like lose their shit and again, bring up the patriarchy and it’s like, yeah. But like also how many people have office jobs where like their boss gropes them or rapes them or whatever. Like Harvey Weinstein.
Nichole [01:14:11] Like they’re like they try to say that because there’s a sexual component there, it’s inherently different. And it’s like it’s not actually, though. We’re all here in a system where we don’t have power and we don’t have autonomy and we’re all choosing what to do. And some of us get lucky and get to do something that we enjoy and that we’re good at and we get to do in a safe way. And then some of us aren’t. A looot of us aren’t.
Nichole [01:14:36] Like most of us aren’t. Right. That’s the problem. The wealth gap.
Nichole [01:14:43] But yeah, just to say that there’s this like extremely distinct line between this type of work and this other type of work is really about, first of all, puritanical values that we have because this fucking country is just based on and steeped in Christian values, even though we have “separation of church and state.” Not even a little bit.
Callie [01:15:07] Well and we never have.
Nichole [01:15:08] No. No. So in its own way, obviously. Yes.
Nichole [01:15:13] To be misogynistic, but also to be “ist” against all marginalized people. Because if you look, it’s not just women.
Nichole [01:15:23] It’s LGBTQ folks. It’s POC. It’s black folks who have to go in, um… Who have less options about how they survive and how they operate under capitalism. So you look at like sex work. And that’s something that a lot of people, as the article said, feel that, you know, they may consensually go into it in terms of like this is the job that I’m taking, if you will, just like you would at a fast food restaurant or cleaning toilets somewhere or working at a slaughterhouse or any other job that like most people would probably think is.
Nichole [01:16:01] Not a job that you would aspire to and would judge you for it.
Nichole [01:16:07] Because we need these services to be cheap in order for capitalism to work.
Nichole [01:16:12] Right. We need all these people being forced into limited options that are down you know, we’re saying, are “down” on this level.
Nichole [01:16:19] And so the tricky thing was sex work is because it’s one of the few things that you can get pressured into doing because you don’t have upward mobility or you don’t have resources or you don’t have options, similar to like dealing drugs, which is another reason… So we feel that sex work should be decriminalized and also drugs should be decriminalized. But oddly, it’s also something that if you are lucky and, you know, work it the right way and have the right opportunities and certain amounts of privilege, it actually can be something that’s very lucrative and enjoyable. Like there’s a lot of people out there doing sex work who make great money, very comfortable, you know how very low risk in the way things are setup and really enjoy what they do feel.
Callie [01:17:05] Very empowered even.
Nichole [01:17:06] So I think part of it is that it’s this… What I’m trying to say is there’s kind of like the two levels. So one part of it is that we have to generally always think poor people are gross and stupid and are there because it’s their own fault, right? Because capitalism can’t survive if we don’t believe that.
Callie [01:17:22] They must have failed in some way.
Nichole [01:17:24] Yeah, it’s a core it’s a core primary need of capitalism that we judge people who are down here doing those “dirty, nasty” things that we’ve we are judging… And I’m not saying I actually think this of any of those jobs I listed, but I’m saying as a society, right. We say like, “”oh, that’s the low brow work. That’s the work you do when you fucked up your life or your family is you come from a quote unquote, bad family. And like that’s you know, what you had to do.
Nichole [01:17:52] Sex work is kind of interesting because not always the case.
Nichole [01:17:57] So then we have to add that layer of misogyny and just the shame of it to be like, oh, well, this person might be happy and good at it and making a good living, but like it’s (sneering voice) sex work. Right? It’s demeaning and it’s gross. And there has to be something like you have to be broken in some way to do it. There has to be something wrong with you. There has to be that judgment on it, because otherwise, if people knew that you could do stuff with your body and earn money in the way that you want to.
Nichole [01:18:27] It’s kind of liberating. Right? And we don’t want people being liberated.
Callie [01:18:32] Oh, no.
Nichole [01:18:33] We hate that. Yeah.
Nichole [01:18:36] So with us, I mentioned I think it’s important to say decriminalization is favored by sex workers and harm reduction activists. The difference between decriminalization and legalization is that decriminalization allows for all activities surrounding sex work to be handled without any regulations or laws about where they can operate or how. Legalization as seen in Nevada, in the United States, the state of Nevada, increases the amount of regulations and hoops that a sex worker has to jump through to be able to operate. This includes registering with the government, which open sex workers up to the potential of being outed to friends, family, future employers, landlords, banks, etc.
Callie [01:19:21] Well it also risks that it’s at every point if the state changes its mind and then criminalizes it again, that they are now like they’ve outed themselves, like they’re now on the radar of government officials.
Callie [01:19:34] And and obviously as anarchists, we do not want that state involved in something like that. We don’t trust it to treat people like justly, fairly or anything like that.
Callie [01:19:47] So, yeah. Decriminalization like in our book definitely may. And I’m glad that that’s what to hear, that that’s what sex workers actually prefer to. Like it’s much safer like I remember. We live we live in California and I remember during our last election, was it the 2018 midterms or was it the 2016 election? I can’t remember. But there was actually something on the ballot. There was like a ballot measure about whether or not to require.
Callie [01:20:18] Like.
Callie [01:20:20] Porn worker, like people who work in porn, too, like submit to like more STD testings, to like have requirements over like condoms and all that kind of stuff. And I remember like, you know, I think reading something like that on just like a kind of first glance, you’re like, oh, well, this actually kind of makes sense. This makes it seem like this is just trying to make it like more safe. But then I remember reading a lot by like people who are sex workers, are advocates for sex workers and saying like they actually do already have a lot of these things in place. And this just like adds in extra regulation that then is going to make it like even more difficult to perform their job. It’s gonna like add in potential penalties that’s going to like make it a lot harder. Like this seems like it’s doing it for their benefit, but it actually is doing it to increase the burden and and potentially make things harder. Right. And worse for sex workers. So that’s kind of a good example. I feel like in my mind of how I was able to see the difference between like legalization, which is like potentially tacking on like extra regulations that make things less safe or more unwieldy, unwieldy to try to deal with to meet all of the legal – because it’s these laws are written by people who like don’t fucking know what they’re fucking talking about!
Nichole [01:21:45] Well, and they don’t want it. They don’t want it to. They want to make it difficult. Right. Exactly. And they also don’t get it.
Callie [01:21:51] You know, like I don’t fucking trust politicians to make laws, do you? I don’t remember what state it was, but there was a politician recently and this is like totally unrelated. But he literally was trying they were trying to pass a bill that said that if someone with a uterus had an ectopic pregnancy, which is where the the cells like implant in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus, that the doctor had to actually try to move that into the uterus.
Nichole [01:22:19] Are you fucking kidding me.
Callie [01:22:19] Because otherwise then it was like an abortion, which was like classified as illegal. And I’m like. And then all these doctors came out and they’re like, that’s actually not possible. And you’re literally risking the life of the person with the ectopic pregnancy and the politician after like so much pushback was like, well, I didn’t know I’m not a doctor.
Callie [01:22:41] And it’s like [in unison] exactly! Like you shouldn’t be making these laws then when you don’t even understand the reproductive system, like, get the fuck out of here!
Nichole [01:22:55] Get the fuck out of here.
Callie [01:22:58] So decriminalization. Yeah. Not legalization.
Nichole [01:23:01] And similarly and. Yeah.
Nichole [01:23:02] They were talking about there’s been half measures where they do stuff like they have it legalized for the sex worker but illegal for the person purchasing services. And that that actually makes things a lot more dangerous because I understand what it stemmed out of, was that… I mean there have been disgusting stories even about like sex slavery rings being broken up and then those. People who have been like sold into sex slavery, being prosecuted for sex work because again [sings] we’re living in a dumpster fire!
Nichole [01:23:43] But and just and just in general, like understanding that there’s obviously like a lot of people go into this not having many options. Maybe you have like a pimp. Maybe you got like hooked on drugs and, you know, don’t really have a lot of autonomy in the situation.
Nichole [01:23:58] There’s just so many ways that you can get…and again, I wouldn’t call that sex work because these aren’t really consensual. But I know that it was an effort to protect potential victims to make it legal for them to be sex workers. But the problem is, when you make it illegal to…what’s the word I’m looking for…patronize? A sex worker? What ends up happening is that a lot of the ways that a sex worker might protect themselves and make things more safe for themselves are taken away because now you have to hide things right? Like it can’t be out in the open. And you run the risk of like it’s people who are… you would have people who are happy to do it because it’s legal.
Callie [01:24:49] Right.
Nichole [01:24:50] And have everything be above board. Now you’re getting to people who are like the ones that are okay with it being illegal. Right? So it’s like a different like client base and all this stuff. And I know I’m forgetting a bunch of things. But but anyway, just it ends up making things a lot less safe for the sex worker. So these half measures where we still try to, like clutch our pearls and be like, okay, well, we’ll take care of, you know, the person, but we’re still gonna make it like shameful to do this and try to make it illegal. Just doesn’t work. Legalizing it doesn’t really work because then you have the government up your ass, hehe. So decriminalization. And again, for drugs as well for similar reasons. You know, transferred over to to that.
Nichole [01:25:37] It just yeah, it all needs to be decriminalized.
Callie [01:25:40] Yeah.
Callie [01:25:41] Yeah, I mean, we’re kind of even seeing that now. Right. With the fact that marijuana ends in certain states has become legalized.
Callie [01:25:51] Which obviously we support it not being illegal. But it is interesting places that are doing it without really taking into consideration like the entire history of the racist war on drugs and the fact that if you’re legalizing it, if you’re adding bureaucracy on top of it, then like who is now.
Nichole [01:26:12] It’s a barrier to who can do it.
Callie [01:26:13] Yeah! And who’s profiting off of it? Now, you know, you have all these big corporations that for a long time were like fighting legalization because they in either are pharmaceutical companies or invest in them. And they didn’t want to like allow an option that was going to be an alternative to their medication that are now wanting to like get in on it. And it’s skipping over like people that have been in the marijuana business.
Callie [01:26:40] And not… And having their communities destroyed by the criminalization and the inherent like white supremacy and racism of policing.
Callie [01:26:51] And how to go, you go in like even in San Diego, like you go into these like fancy ass like dispensaries now that look like these futuristic shops. And I’m like, I don’t… (laughs) Like who is really profiting off of this?
Nichole [01:27:05] White people.
Callie [01:27:06] Yeah, exactly.
Nichole [01:27:10] Yeah, I think to turn to look it up now, but I think there’s a difference, possibly two of if it’s decriminalized, I think it’s either easier, maybe even mandated for people to get out of prison sentences for that crime versus like legalization where you can have it be legalized.
Nichole [01:27:33] But people are still it’s…I remember reading about that when the…
Nichole [01:27:38] And I don’t think either one’s like guarenteed very I think it might be like an easier…especially at the federal level. Yeah, I think that’s a big one.
Callie [01:27:46] Well, that’s kind of a problem right now. Yeah.
Nichole [01:27:48] They’re saying like there’s all these like rich white bros or like, you know, whatever, like privileged dudes who are like opening up dispensaries and getting business licenses. And then you have like black people sitting in jail for literally, the, essentially the same thing. Yeah. And now, yeah, there’s this gatekeeping where now it’s it’s a you have to have a business loan to sell weed and it’s like, what.
Nichole [01:28:11] Yeah. Like the whole point is it was the thing that you could do right. Mm hmm. And not have that barrier. And now it’s basically been gentrified.
Callie [01:28:21] Yeah. I mean we essentially we did. We gentrified marijuana. It’s really fucked up. Yeah. But yeah. Yeah. The whole legalization vs..
Nichole [01:28:31] Yeah. I don’t know. I was trying to see if it would pop up pretty easily but I think I think it helps.
Nichole [01:28:36] I have to imagine it helps if it’s just completely decriminalized and it’s easier to get people out.
Callie [01:28:41] Yeah.
Nichole [01:28:41] To be like this isn’t even a crime at all anymore. So and it never should have been.
Callie [01:28:46] Well I know some places actually try to put that like I think California actually did where they tried to put that in the the proposition that legalized it, that there was gonna be a certain amount of like expunging the records and releasing people. But I don’t know how much that’s like actually been done.
Nichole [01:29:05] Yeah. I don’t know either.
Callie [01:29:08] Yeah. And even some cities I heard were trying to make some sort of programs to make to ease entry way into like getting the business licenses and all that stuff for for people who had been like targeted and victimized by overpolicing due to like, you know, selling marijuana that they were trying to give them a hand to like make it easier.
Callie [01:29:27] But anyway, it is just kind of all a mess.
Nichole [01:29:31] Yeah.
Nichole [01:29:32] So, you know, thinking about Pretty Woman, one of the complaints I had of the movie was that it made sex work seem like really tragic, which is such a fucking trope.
Callie [01:29:44] Yeah. And I think what’s missing there.
Nichole [01:29:46] And again, I think sex work is really difficult to talk about in a short or non-nuanced way, un-nuanced way? Because on one hand, like there should be media where it’s like, again, hey, it’s a completely valid line of work. Some people really love doing it. That’s all great. So that should be represented in some, you know, in some way as an option. But like the other side of it is that, yeah, it is kind of pretty tragic the way a lot of things are really tragic under capitalism.
Nichole [01:30:22] You know, like there’s a lot of people out there who are working jobs and especially working like hours that are just eating up their lives, doing work that they don’t like doing, doing work that might be dangerous. Or, you know, whatever… Demeaning in some way, or just taking up time that they would rather spend with their families. And the problem I have with media that shows sex workers is tragic is because it’s never critiquing capitalism.
Nichole [01:30:53] Right. It’s critiquing these like fallen. And it’s always like women, these like fallen women who, like, lost their way and made a bad choice and now they’re drug addicts. And it’s like so sad. And it’s like again, it’s like individualizing an issue that is a systemic issue and also making a whole line of work seem like one thing when it’s actually like a bunch of things.
Nichole [01:31:17] Yeah, I think I mean, being like a web cam girl sounds really fuckin fun. I always like thought about that. And honestly, if there hadn’t been social stigma that I was terrified of, I would have done that. I like being watched.
Nichole [01:31:29] Honestly, I’ll just say I once got paid a thousand dollars to masturbate on camera and it like was amazing. And it was like, if I could do this all time, I would totally do this.
Nichole [01:31:38] But I was like, I remember being terrified that this guy was going to like, send the video to my company. Like find out where you like. I just like I had years where I would have anxiety that this person was going to, like, ruin my life with this tape, you know? Yeah. And so that and that’s by design, right. Because how liberating would it be if I was like, oh, I can make money on my own with my own hours? And this article goes into and it’s it’s in really good detail about how there’s things like disabilities like. And I am someone who struggles with chronic illness. You know, I am an invisible, disabled person. And they’re talking about like, say, you have twenty six days in a month where you just like can’t function, you’re tired, you hurt, whatever it is, and you have like two or two to four days, good days a month where you could go and make money and you have control over that. Like, that’s fucking empowering. You know, and again, it’s only so empowering under fucking capitalism that’s forcing you to do that in the first place. But like, it’s giving you options that the system doesn’t want you to have because they said your only other option is to go get a job. Say like a 9 to 5 job, which is considered the pinnacle of respectability. And you have to call out sick if you’re sick. You have to drag yourself into work and eventually get worse. Yeah, right. Yeah. And like all these things. Whereas, you know, if you had access to maybe making videos, you could do that on the days that you feel good and then you could spend the rest of your time just like taking care of yourself. So yeah, it’s this you know, we always want to control people’s sexuality.
Nichole [01:33:19] We want to control what we view as a feminine or a woman thing, even if it’s not always actually. And we we need people fighting for the same resources. So if we let it be known that there’s actually more resources out there or more ways to access the resources out there, that’s a big uh-oh for the powers that be. Right.
Callie [01:33:45] Yeah.
Callie [01:33:47] Yeah, well, and the fact that we’re so stuck usually and only hearing one type of story, you know, like that, I and I think that’s partially why, like Pretty Woman kind of rub me the wrong way in certain aspects, because it is that like, oh, like sex work is bad.
Callie [01:34:08] It’s tragic. And but, you know, if you’re just like pretty enough and if you seem smart enough, then like it makes sense that you’d be like lifted out of that, like even the differences between like Kit and Vivian.
Callie [01:34:24] You know, there was kind of this like, oh, yeah, like towards the end she was talking about like maybe going to school. But there was definitely a sense that, like, she didn’t deserve to, like, get out like as much as like Vivian did, because like, somehow she.
Nichole [01:34:38] Because we all know it’s Julia Roberts in a wig and Julia Roberts is classy. Yeah, great.
Callie [01:34:42] And ’cause she’s special. Yeah. And it was like, you know…
Nichole [01:34:46] We talked about how she has that like classical Greek kind of beauty, like a Greek statue.
Nichole [01:34:51] Yeah. Where you just look at her and it’s like you see like, “oh, she’s not supposed to be a sex worker, she should have options because she’s taal and beautiful.”
Callie [01:35:00] Right. Which is very much like a capitalistic view on things that like certain people deserve to be lifted out or that certain people don’t deserve to be at the status they are. But also not really analyzing then what it means for the fact that like so many more people like are needed to fill those roles. Yeah. And sex work like I…
Nichole [01:35:21] Just not the pretty ones.
Callie [01:35:22] Right. (Both laugh)
Nichole [01:35:24] They have to prostitute themselves but in a respectable way by being wives and girlfriends.
Callie [01:35:30] Yes, girl.
Callie [01:35:31] And I was going to say this is kind of a problem I have with a lot of feminist discourse on sex work is it seems like you only ever hear like one story at a time. It’s either like sex work is totally bad because it’s like only around because of the patriarchy. And it’s like always tragic. Even if someone really loves it, then they’ve just like allowed themselves to be fooled by the patriarchy into like selling their bodies or it’s like, oh yeah, it needs to be like completely, completely legalized. And we should celebrate all sex workers and we should never tell any negative. Like it would be bad to think that like there are any sex workers who actually did fall into it through somewhat like tragic means and that like we shouldn’t talk about that because that makes it seem like sex work in general is all that way.
Callie [01:36:21] And it’s like, again, this is where nuance is missing because both can be true. Like there are people who genuinely love sex work and it is great and empowering. And there are other people who like were kind of forced into it. And like, both can be true. And that’s kind of the you know, a problem with Pretty Woman is that it it didn’t cover that very well.
Nichole [01:36:45] Yeah. And it’s very strange because they did do some good work around equating her to Richard Gere’s character.
Callie [01:36:51] Right! I was going to say, yeah!
Nichole [01:36:52] Where he was like, oh, we’re basically the same like we both screw people for money. I’m making that connection that like under capitalism, we’re all out here hustling and just trying to like get one over on someone else and like, make our bag and like, you know, just like serve, not just serve because he was trying to survive. And that was the difference between them. Right. It’s like she’s trying to survive and like has these dreams but can’t access them. And then he’s over here just taking and destroying. And the movie did do a good job, too, of showing that that was gross. You know, like his whole arc was to be like, I want to build something, not tear it down. Unfortunately, what he wanted to build was military ships.
Callie 01:37:32 I know! That killled me!
Nichole [01:37:33] So that’s one of those things that’s like ooooh like when you’re not a kid anymore and you’re like, that’s gross! There’s this whole storyline where he’s trying to um…
Callie [01:37:43] Just like he was like this cute old man (laughing).
Callie [01:37:45] And it’s like, oh, what do you build? [in unison] Warships! It’s like, wait, what?
Nichole [01:37:50] He’s like, [old man voice] I just want my comp…my legacy to live on with this company.
Nichole [01:37:55] You know, I do. I really… I Built it from the ground up. And I’m proud of it. I love it. And I just want to like to continue. And then it’s like: warships.
Nichole [01:38:03] And you’re like, oh, yeah, ok.
Callie [01:38:06] I died. I like looked at Nichole and I was like, what a heartwarming story about a like rich capitalist who’s now like profiting off of the military industrial complex. And I’m like, what a sweet story. Yeah. Yeah.
Nichole [01:38:20] You have Richard Gere, who’s the corporate raider. Hmm.
Nichole [01:38:23] And then you have Julia Roberts, who’s like, you know, just down on their luck, moved out here was made it. I love how they worked in too that, she made a series of bad choices with her like, people she dated. So she dated a bunch of bums and ended up falling into sex work to desperately make ends meet.
Nichole [01:38:44] And because she didn’t, she was too embarrassed to go back home and admit that, like she couldn’t make it in the big city, which I thought was especially offensive. And she cried the whole first time she had her first trick. (scoffs) Whatever.
Nichole [01:38:59] Yeah, so yeah.
Nichole [01:39:00] So it was mixed messaging for sure, you could definitely see that it was a script that could have and maybe had wanted to go a different like a better way. But then Disney came in and ruined everything, as they always do.
Callie [01:39:13] Well, and again, I think it’s very valid for people to tell their stories. And if this was someone’s story of being a sex worker and it being like dark and them being unhappy, then like, fine, that’s valid.
Callie [01:39:29] But when you kind of like blow that out in the overall storytelling of like sex work is so sad and it’s all just like tragic and gross and like you deserve better. And it’s like that’s when it like falls into like the sex shaming category and and just really missing a lot of like also sex work, as you said, is like so much more than just like our view of like “street walkers.”
Callie [01:39:54] And I’m putting that in… like that’s all peoples tend to think of when they think of like sex workers as like hookers walking down Hollywood Boulevard. And it’s like, what the fuck? (laughing)
Callie [01:40:05] I know this movie came out in 1990, so obviously they didn’t have the benefit of like…
Nichole [01:40:11] The interwebs?
Callie [01:40:12] Yeah. And how much more sex work has been like made available. How many more avenues there are because of that. But yeah, I was like, all right, jeez.
Nichole [01:40:21] Jeez! (both laugh) Golly, gee guys, get it together.
Callie [01:40:28] Yeah. Yeah. But ad it’s just wild to me. How much? This is something I say to my friends all the time. But how much as U.S. people we tend to think of our country like, oh, we have so much freedom and we’re just so like out there in our music and our movies. But we are actually like so puritanical and like prudish by nature and we just don’t see it.
Callie [01:40:53] It’s almost like I tend to think of our our country vibe a lot as like almost teenagers who are like having their first beer where they think they’re bad asses. But then adults are like, all right.
Nichole [01:41:07] But it’s actually O’doul’s (non-alcoholic beer).
Callie [01:41:10] Or like Bud Light or some bullshit, you know. And we’re like, all right, kids.
Nichole [01:41:14] With lime? Because then I’m in.
Callie 01:41:17 But we just like joke about like, oh, we’re just… oh, our media! And it’s like, have you seen media from other countries!?
Nichole [01:41:23] Oh yeah, other people have their dongs out all over the place. Like it’s not even a thing.
Callie [01:41:27] Like we’re just so weirdly prudish about shit.
Callie [01:41:30] It’s like unbelievable to me. But yeah. No, I did. I think in some ways, especially in the early parts of Pretty Woman, I do think it made some like really important connections between like capitalism and just the fact that we all have to sell ourselves. Like that’s part of it for me with sex work is like we all sell ourselves. We all putting ourselves in positions where we are doing things that we would not otherwise choose to do if money or survival was like not a…something to be considered, you know. Like you really think I like just sit at a desk and do like boring office work?
Callie [01:42:15] No! My whole industry probably doesn’t need to exist. To be honest.
Nichole [01:42:23] Umm. The one I just came from too.
Callie [01:42:24] I mean it does right now. But like, yeah, in a diff-, a slightly different world. It’s like there are so, so much work to be done that like really is kind of unnecessary. Like so many jobs and roles and all of this like pointless hours. And I think a lot of industries are like that, you know, and I look at like professional athletes and stuff and the things that they are expected to like do for like a lot of professional athletes don’t even last can’t last beyond a few years.
Callie [01:42:56] It if they even make it there in the first place, like it is so hard to break into those arenas and yet they usually only last five years because it’s so fucking hard on their bodies and yet there’s so much prestige and money thrown it like a football player who’s probably going to be like retired by the age of 30. And most likely gonna have like disability or long-term health effects. Because of, you know, like they’re showing like how the rates of like trauma, especially like head injury and busted knees or all kinds of things, you know, having like arthritis when you’re in your thirties because of stuff.
Callie [01:43:37] And and yet we’re like, oh, my God, look at them. They’re like heroes.
Callie [01:43:41] And it’s like they just sacrificed their body for like money. And yet we have such disdain for sex workers.
Callie [01:43:50] No. I know that’s not like a perfect comparison. But like, you know what I mean.
Nichole [01:43:55] Well, no, I mean, yeah, cause I know the first time it occurred to me I don’t remember the exact scenario, but I just remember being at my desk and like something happened and I had to, you know, control my face and act a certain way. And it just hit me that I’m like, I’m doing things with my body for money right now.
Callie [01:44:15] Yeah.
Callie [01:44:15] That you would not otherwise choose.
Nichole [01:44:17] Yeah.
Callie [01:44:18] I mean, dress codes. We love to rant about a dress code at work. But like all the things that you have to say and do and the ways you have to like present yourself and walk and talk and your facial expressions, yeah, is a huge one.
Nichole [01:44:32] I just remember thinking like I’m having to.
Nichole [01:44:36] Do what someone else once and pretend that I’m into it. Yeah. Yeah. And I was like, oh, that’s like sex work. Right. Am I saying, like, that’s all sex work all the time. But I just. You know, at a high level like conceptual level, I was like, why is why do we think there is a difference? Like, I’m whoring myself out right now, so to speak. To make this paycheck and to get these benefits. And at least sex work is more honest. In its own way.
Callie [01:45:04] Yeah. And I didn’t mean to imply that sex workers are like sacrificing their body. He’s like in the same way that professional athletes do.
Nichole [01:45:11] No, but it’s like, messy.
Callie [01:45:11] But it is. And it because I don’t want it to obviously like add into these like, oh, it’s all tragic. It all looks a certain way, but it is just like, oh, like, OK, this is a great example. Like office workers are we’re seeing the rise of like injuries and long term damages from like arthritis of people sitting at a desk which is not in a natural position for our bodies and like typing all day on keyboards. And it’s like that’s like we all are like selling our bodies out. We’re farming our bodies out and we’re selling our time and we’re doing emotional labor. Yeah, under a capitalist system. So we just have to get away from this view of what’s like appropriate or not. You know, like we’ve internalized so much bullshit around respectability. Like in my last office job, I couldn’t dye my hair like like colors that weren’t natural, like I couldn’t wear nail polish that was like no other faddish color.
Callie [01:46:15] I will never forget that they literally referred to it as a faddish color.
Callie [01:46:20] And like there were so many rules. And I’m like, this affects not only how I show up here, but you’re also then deciding who I get to be outside of work because I can’t have pink hair on the weekends and like.
Callie [01:46:34] You know, change it. Monday through Friday, eight to five, like you are literally determining who I am.
Callie [01:46:41] For two thirds of my life outside of this place, just for a fucking paycheck, for a job that really doesn’t even need to exist. It’s all bullshit.
Nichole [01:46:51] Yeah. Yeah. No, and it reminds me of that scene in Pose where I can’t remember her name right now, but the amazing house mother.
Nichole [01:47:04] You know, she’s trying to find a new daddy like a new sugar daddy. And she meets with this guy and he’s like, I forget what colors she has on her nails, but he’s like, oh, I only like this color, this color on your toes. Like, I expect you to be wearing this when I show up, I’ll show up on these days. And I was like, that’s not a lot different than having a corporate job. Yeah, it really isn’t.
Callie [01:47:27] We all perform.
Nichole [01:47:29] We all perform. We all sell our time and our bodies in some way to make a living. Mm hmm. It’s not different.
Callie [01:47:38] Put on an act. Yeah, we all put on acts.
Nichole [01:47:42] Yes. Yeah. Oh, my God. Yes. Yeah, constantly.
Callie [01:47:45] Yeah. I think the only other thing I had to really say that we haven’t quite gotten to yet and it’s just a quick thought of. I just really kind of chuckled at the whole scene in the beginning of the movie where he pulls over and she like leans in thinking that he’s trying to like, you know, purchase a date. And he actually like needs directions. And she’s like ten bucks. And he’s like, you’re charging me for directions. And I just thought that was so funny, because to me, it’s so points out how much like rich people in particular like are so capitalist and value money that their time is worth something but like nobody else’s is. And I’m not saying that we should all like pitch urging everyone in our life for every little thing. It’s just so funny. Right. This hierarchy between like…like he probably doesn’t do anything that doesn’t revolve around profit creating activities.
Nichole [01:48:44] Yeah.
Callie [01:48:44] And yet, like she’s working, she’s on the clock, so to speak. And it’s like. Yeah, you can pay her.
Nichole [01:48:53] Yeah.
Nichole [01:48:54] Pay her, yeah, motherfucker.
Callie [01:48:56] It’s just so funny, like the entitlement of rich people. Yeah. And and poor people. Like we had a really good conversation, actually, you like watching the movie and you talked about some of your experience when you were a server and like the differences between like people that are rich and actually have money and the way they treat anyone in kind of a service role versus like people who usually don’t have it to give but are then like just so thankful and happy to like have good service or…you know, have the treat of it. And I’m like that’s just so obvious.
Nichole [01:49:30] Yes.
Nichole [01:49:31] Yeah. It was it was a good conversation because it it’s that whole thing where people are like, oh well that’s how you get rich by like trying to get everything for free, trying to cut corners and stingy. But we were talking about how, like I’ve always thought about it and I’m like, it’s not it’s not how you get it. Like you’re not getting rich because you use coupons and you don’t tip.
Callie [01:49:55] Right (laughs).
Nichole [01:49:56] You’re getting rich because you’re someone who feels entitled to free things and to undercut people and to try to get away with stuff, because you have to be that kind of person to acquire wealth like that. Yeah, because there’s no way to acquire and amass wealth without taking from other people. So you have to be a person who’s in the mindset of like I am going to acquire and hoard as much as I can and get away with as much as I can and see that as like…that’s actually the thing that gets them off. It’s not even the money, it’s the winning and getting over on people and having the most. You know? Yeah, it’s not like the money itself. So yeah, it just makes me like, I fucking hate it when people are like, well that’s how you get rich though. And it’s like, no, you’re not getting rich by like being stingy with people. You’re getting rich by feeling entitled to be stingy with people who need the money when you have it to give.
Nichole [01:50:50] And you paid for a service where that’s part of the fucking deal, man. I hate that we outsource wages through tipping.
Callie [01:50:58] Thank you!
Nichole [01:50:59] It like…ugh (growls).
Nichole [01:51:01] As someone who used to live in poverty like it, it’s. Such a barrier tipping in like both directions, right, like I have had times in my life where I live off of tips, so to be that dependent on the public in general, to do the right thing and give you the money you’re supposed to get so you can live is fucked up. And then also as someone who is trying to purchase services, it just was always such a barrier to be like, okay, I could afford a meal but I can’t afford a meal plus 20 percent tip is just too much. Just pay your fucking people the right amount and then they will have to deal with this. I could just figure out if I can get food or not. Anyway. Or a massage like I’ve had people give me…fortunately, it seems like people are more cognizant of it now, but like I remember being like 19 and for my birthday people at work got me.
Nichole [01:51:51] This couple used to be friends with were really sweet and they got me like a free hour massage somewhere, but they didn’t include the tip and I literally like couldn’t use it because I couldn’t afford the tip.
Callie [01:52:02] Yeah.
Nichole [01:52:02] On this service. And I like wasn’t going to you I wasn’t going to go and not tip.
Nichole [01:52:07] And they just kept being like, did you do the massage? Did you? And I was too embarrassed to be like, I literally can’t afford the tip, it’s like $20!
Nichole [01:52:14] Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, that’s my rant about tipping.
Nichole [01:52:21] Yes, something that struck me to kind of somewhat in this vein. Is that how much again, that this is really at the heart of it just a job, because there was there were subtle but like repeated incidents, not even necessarily that subtle, but there is a scene in the close to the beginning where Vivian and her friend Kid are talking.
Nichole [01:52:42] And, you know, they’re complaining because it’s a slow night. And I think Vivian mentions like maybe we should get a pimp, you know? And Viv is like, no, we’re freelancing.
Nichole [01:52:53] And it’s because we say who we say where we say how much. We say what we say how much, something like that. And then there’s a lot of. If you’re watching it from that perspective of like Vivian as an entrepreneur or a freelancer, it’s pretty interesting to watch the movie from that perspective and see like her… We talked a lot about this during the movie, like we even kept pausing it.
Callie 01:53:17 it takes us like twice as long to get through a movie,.
Nichole [01:53:21] Oh my god, yeah. Takes forever.
Nichole [01:53:22] But, you know, like Vivian and Edward, I think with Richard Gere’s name would negotiate and he would undercut her and she would just be so over the top because it was like a rate that she couldn’t even have fathomed. But but she was way underpricing herself. And being taken advantage of. And it just reminded me so much of doing freelance work and being an entrepreneur. And and that fear of asking for like what you actually are worth and not even knowing what you’re actually worth.
Nichole [01:53:54] So a good example is like she, you know, set her rate at 100 per night because he was in a or a hundred per hour excuse me, because he was in a fancy car. And, you know, he’s kind of like bemused by this.
Nichole [01:54:08] Like that that’s her rate. And he’s like, wow, that’s a lot of money like blah blah blah. And so he asked her to stay the night. And so she’s like thinking. And she’s like, well, it’s gonna be a lot. And he’s like, well, how much?
Nichole [01:54:20] And she’s like…three hundred. And I’m like, girl, where is your goddamn calculator?
Nichole [01:54:27] There are at least eight hours in a night. Where is 300 coming from? But it was so relatable.
Callie [01:54:33] Yeahhh.
Nichole [01:54:34] As someone who’s like, oh, you’re giving me a bit more. And I know you’re not going to pay for it. Like it’s almost like she knew that he would want a discount because he was buying a package of hours of her service. Right. And it was like, this is so fucking real. And I just appreciated that so much in the movie. And I do feel like it was intentional to an extent. Well, because she literally ca- literally called them freelancers. And then she was like, make sure to you get 100 an hour. And to me, I do think there is a sense, because they do think it started off as like a movie analyzing capitalism and sex work and how we’re all kind of sex workers. Right. Or like we’re all doing the same thing, essentially.
Callie [01:55:18] Yeah. All selling ourselves.
Nichole [01:55:20] Yeah. We’re all selling ourselves in some way and, uh, yeah. And it just I appreciated it because I just felt…and then when he buys the week and you know, they agree on three thousand which again, I’m like, ya math girl.
Callie [01:55:33] Yeah.
Nichole [01:55:34] Not good. Like you should be charging tens of thousands for a whole week.
Nichole [01:55:39] But anyway.
Callie [01:55:39] And he’s clearly got it. This is after he told you he like buys and sells a billion dollar companies.
Nichole [01:55:46] Right.
Nichole [01:55:47] But you know, this again, is how the rich take advantage of the poor.
Nichole [01:55:51] And it’s also just a sense that, like, you get your first big gig or your first job.
Nichole [01:55:58] You know, that pays and you’re freelancing or your first client could like end up being a bigger client. And you you just concede so much to land the deal. And then we see her doing so much like keep him happy. Like she’s just going over the top to try to, like, keep him like she even says, you know, the first morning that he’s leaving, she’s like, I’m gonna treat you so good that you never wanna let me go. And he’s like, this is a business deal. Chill. But I think what she was doing, I mean, it’s hard to read, but I think maybe in the original intention of the film, what she was doing was like, I need to make you super extra happy and do a whole bunch extra because you did buy me for the week.
Callie [01:56:38] To me, this feels like so over the top.
Nichole [01:56:41] Yeah, and it’s a big gig, right? And that’s what we do with our big clients. Right? We give them more and more and more for free. We do extra, extra, extra. Instead of having an equal exchange of like this is the service and this is the cost.
Nichole [01:56:55] Okay. You’ve bought the service and this is what you get. We fall into this capitalist trap of like having to stay competitive by giving someone more and better for the same price or less. And it just was very clear that like this is what was happening to her is like, oh, this is a big client.
Nichole [01:57:14] You know, this is someone who could, like help change my life. He just bought like a big package deal. And like, I have to go over the top to make him happy instead of just being the services he paid for.
Nichole [01:57:27] So anyway, I just said the whole perspective. It was interesting and just underlines the fact that like at the end of the day, sex work is work and it’s a job and you fall into the exact same things that you do with any other kind of entrepreneurial enterprise.
Callie [01:57:40] Yeah, well, when I would go a step further and say like, that’s also very common for wage workers, too.
Callie [01:57:48] I mean, how often does like a company offer? You offer a position to someone and they’re just so happy to like have the job, especially if they’ve been looking for awhile or they’re trying to like take a step up and then the company fuckin offers you like the starting like end of the like, the pay scale? Like so many times have I just been like, okay, great! You know, and it’s like wait. Why would I?
Callie [01:58:17] And and because it’s and it’s so funny to me because both times that they were negotiating on price, he was like, oh, I would have paid this like he tells her afterwards that he would have paid more. And I’m like, how is that really any different than negotiating with a company and then finding out that the pay scale like is way more than what they brought you into and you’re like, oh, hey. So you were actually willing to pay up to this, which a lot of times is like actually closer to like what the work would be valued at, like if you just looked it up. So we all because we all have this like scarcity mentality of through capitalism, we all have this idea of like, oh, but a guarantee is better than not. So I’m going to like agree to less just because, like, I’m happy to like know that at least I have money coming in.
Nichole [01:59:12] Yeah.
Callie [01:59:13] You know.
Nichole [01:59:14] Yeah.
Nichole [01:59:15] I mean, I feel personally attacked because it’s real close to home was a lot of stuff that I’ve had to do in my past (laughs).
Callie [01:59:22] Yeah! Yeah.
Callie [01:59:24] I mean, God so many times have I just like jumped at the chance of, you know, taking whatever was offered first and not negotiating. I was in a situation with a company where I was doing a full time job, like they were paying me as a full time employee. And then I applied for a different position and they decided they it didn’t really make sense to hire someone for the job I was leaving. So they’re like, oh, we’re just gonna like combine both jobs together. And then they started me at the starting salary of the position I was taking. So they like not only was I not a brand new employee, but someone who had like proven myself before and they were still starting me at the entry level salary and freeing themself from not paying an entire full time wage or benefits. And they do that shit all the time. That’s not even, like, remarkable.
Nichole [02:00:21] No, that’s like common. Yeah. I mean, I can’t remember the last time that wasn’t common practice.
Callie [02:00:26] Yeah. Oh yeah.
Nichole [02:00:27] Because I remember being shocked by it. The first time it happened. And then it just became like how every company operates. Yeah. Everyone’s doing three or four jobs right now. Oh yeah. For you know.
Callie [02:00:37] Yeah. That recession really like fucked us over in that regard because it showed companies that they could like push their people to take on extra…
Nichole [02:00:47] Well and that’s when consulting contracting really took off. Yeah. Because so many people couldn’t find jobs so they just started doing it on their own.
Nichole [02:00:53] And then companies are like, oh wait a minute, we can just…
Callie [02:00:56] You’re desperate?!
Nichole [02:00:57] Hire you for the hours we need and not give you benefits and you’re happy with that?! Okay!
Callie [02:01:01] Yeah.
Nichole [02:01:01] And yeah. And also the competitive marketplace where they’re like we can get over overqualified people to do three, four times as much work for a base salary.
Callie [02:01:10] And we somehow have never like stopped and been like, okay. You know, it’s one thing when things were like real bad, but they’re not real bad anymore so like.
Nichole [02:01:18] But people get like bamboozled by capitalism…
Callie [02:01:20] They get stuck.
Nichole [02:01:21] It’s so weird. They’re so quickly, things become normal and not even just normal.
Nichole [02:01:26] But like you’re a whiny little millennial for thinking that they should work differently.
Callie [02:01:30] If I hear one more fucking time that millennials are entitled. I used to hear that shit all the time and I’m like we were…we all entered the workplace during a recession.
Nichole [02:01:42] Yeah. Like, what do you not- With debt!
Callie [02:01:45] They’re like I don’t understand. I don’t understand them. Like all these millennials are still living at home. And I’m like, we don’t have any fucking money!
Callie [02:01:53] Like you are the ones who made it commonplace for us to need bachelors and even masters degrees to get these fucking bass entry level jobs because you all were able to go to college for basically free and now you want to sit here when I have debt that could buy me a fucking home in your lifetime.
Callie [02:02:09] Right.
Nichole [02:02:10] Like what you paid for your house is what I’m starting my fucking life off in debt. Yeah. To do an entry level fucking job for nothing?
Callie [02:02:17] Or even worse start off as an intern.
Nichole [02:02:19] I’m not going to get a fucking pension. I’m not going to be guaranteed promotions. I have no career path here. I’m living every day hoping you don’t lay me the fuck off with no severance package. That’s the world I’m living in.
Callie [02:02:30] Yeah.
Nichole [02:02:31] Don’t. Get me. Started.
Callie [02:02:33] I. The recession was terrible and so many people like lost their shirts. But honestly, a part of me is kind of glad it happened because like millennials and Zoomers, as they’re called, right, that generation?
Nichole [02:02:49] They are Zoomers, that’s so cute.
Callie [02:02:52] Isn’t that cute? They’re like the most pro socialist generation. Because they like grew up and saw like how fucking bullshit capitalism is. And I’m like, well, at least something is like shaking people up to see like how fucked like weak business as usual is.
Callie [02:03:12] Like actually not acceptable. Like it’s not okay. It’s not okay that we get another fuckin neo liberal Obama like president who’s gonna like talk a big game on social issues but then actually be like fiscally conservative, you know, and reactionary and then like fuck us all over.
Nichole [02:03:34] Yeah.
Nichole [02:03:36] Another thing that came through for me in the movie that I think we talked about offlane a bit was the way that we police the ways in which peop- poor people are allowed to improve their standing.
Callie [02:03:48] Yes, we did talk about this.
Nichole [02:03:50] So there’s an interesting I mean, there’s interesting moral judgments to make of someone who’s a corporate raider.
Nichole [02:03:57] Right. Because this isn’t just capitalism. This isn’t just survival of thing capitalism, but this is a fetish fetish. Fetish. Fetishization. Fetishization? (struggles with pronounciation) there’s a “t” in there!
Nichole [02:04:11] Why can’t I get to it? Anyway. Yes, fetishization of…um, capitalist ideals. Yes, this is you know, and it’s funny ’cause he has this lawyer, his partner, business partner, that, you know, towards the end he yells at him and he’s like, you don’t love me, you love the job like you love the kill. I gave you a way to do what you love to do and paid you for it. And it’s interesting because it’s like that’s also him but with like capitalism. Right. Like capitalism facilitated for him to do this thing to enact his daddy issues all over the place. So his arc is just like consenting to a relationship.
Nichole [02:04:59] And like caring about someone else and like helping this warmonger keep his nice little family business of building warships and helping it thrive.
Nichole [02:05:11] Right.
Nichole [02:05:12] So he gets to come down off of that and just show like a touch of humanity. And that’s his redemption arc. But for her, she we see consistently for her to be like a noble poor person, she has to walk away from money that she desperately needs in order to prove like an ethical, moral point.
Callie [02:05:32] Yeah.
Nichole [02:05:32] So there’s a scene where like they go to the horse race thing.
Callie [02:05:37] Polo match.
Nichole [02:05:39] Fuckin Rich Pervert Party and, oh yeah, it was a polo match.
Nichole [02:05:44] And they uh… I just remembered hats and horses.
Callie 02:05:49 Fair.
Nichole [02:05:51] And you know, she ends up like he tells his lawyer that she’s a prostitute and or a sex worker in the guys a fucking douche about it. And so she’s like telling him that like he made her feel like he’s only time.
Nichole [02:06:07] That was the only time she felt cheap. And then he she is like leaving and she wants her money and he gives it to her.
Nichole [02:06:14] But then she ends up leaving it on the bed and he comes like… ends up…he sees it. And then he like comes and runs out after her and is like, stay, whatever.
Nichole [02:06:22] But it’s like so clearly.
Callie [02:06:23] As if It would have made her like less ethical or something to like take the money that she fucking earned.
Nichole [02:06:34] Right. And that she needs.
Callie [02:06:35] Right.
Nichole [02:06:36] Desperately. I mean we start off seeing that her friends spent her rent money on drugs and like it’s been slow and you know, like she like desperately needs this money to literally survive. Not to mention she should just have it because she earned it. Like even if it was to, you know, have fun with or put in a savings account, but like, she literally needs it to survive. But yeah, it’s her taking the moral high ground and showing her strength of character to leave it on the bed. And then at the end, it’s again walking away. He, you know, says he’ll set her up in an apartment and basically give her an allowance and she’ll be able to do whatever the fuck she wants. And he lives in. He lives in New York, they’re in L.A. for the story.
Nichole [02:07:18] So she lives in L.A., he lives in New York and he’s basically basically like when I come through, you know, you’ll be here and you’ll have this apartment, I’ll like fund your whole life. And that is him treating her like a prostitute where he never did before (said dramatically). And so she, like, turns it down and is like all offended and upset about it.
Callie 02:07:35 ’cause she wants that fairy tale (laughs).
Nichole [02:07:37] And it’s like and that’s shown is like her, like this is why we can side with her even though she’s a dirty, dirty whore.
Callie [02:07:47] Right.
Nichole [02:07:47] As Danny DeVito (Frank, actually) would say, because she’s taking this moral high ground and walking away from things that would improve her station in life. Like there is nothing wrong with letting a silver fox throw you that sweet d once in a while and put you up in a fucking apartment and give you- she could have gone to college like the whole thing was. She didn’t finish.
Nichole [02:08:08] You know, I think she only finished 11th grade so she could have gone and gotten her G.E.D. And then like gone college and like figured out what she wanted to do. All funded by this guy who she would just fuck here and there was she would’ve enjoyed doing because she liked him. Right.
Nichole [02:08:24] What a deal! Where do I sign up!? I would be a kept person any fucking day of the week as long as I wasn’t like more like.
Nichole [02:08:34] And the moral bankruptcy doesn’t come from like letting someone pay you to be more comfortable because they like you. It comes from if he was saying like like we were saying before, if he was telling her what to do with her body or to, you know, just putting like these restrictions on her, that would make her feel like she was losing something.
Nichole [02:08:56] And this was in a no case situation.
Nichole [02:08:58] And even like you said before him, even if he was telling her like, oh, you have to keep your hair red and you have to wear this nail polish, it’s like, how is that fucking different from an office job? Right. I wouldn’t blame anyone for being late. No, that’s creepy. But at the same time, it’s no different than when you go to work and they hand you the employee manual and it tells you what you can and can’t wear, what you can and can’t do with your body. I mean, some places, like if you’re female-presenting, you have to wear makeup and then they control what lipstick colors and what eye shadow colors and all that stuff that you can wear. How is that different from a sugar daddy who’s like, hey, do what the fuck you want when I’m not around.
Nichole [02:09:33] But when I’m here every second Thursday, like you need to be wearing this lingerie and have these colored toenails. And like, what the fuck ever. And I want you to keep your hair long.
Nichole [02:09:43] All right.
Callie [02:09:44] Right.
Nichole [02:09:46] Fine.
Nichole [02:09:47] I mean, is it gross? Yeah, in a sense, because that person obviously feels like they’re buying, but it’s no grosser than a corporation who feels like they’re doing the same fucking thing, right?
Callie [02:09:57] No, it’s it’s exactly the same.
Nichole [02:10:00] It’s daddy, or it’s big daddy, right? Right. It’s corporate daddy or sugar daddy. Like who fucking cares.
Callie [02:10:06] It is exactly the same.
Nichole [02:10:08] And just the fact that there’s this moral judgment on like us poor people.
Nichole [02:10:12] Right. We always have to take the high ground and sacrifice our fucking selves to make a point about dirty, dirty money and how we’re gonna, you know, in order to be sympathetic.
Nichole [02:10:23] It is so fucking disgusting. Yeah, they’re somehow not this like tainted ness dirtiness when it comes to like the rich having money, you know.
Callie [02:10:33] But there is.
Nichole [02:10:33] Say it girl.
Callie [02:10:34] But there is when it comes to like poor people, like the only way poor people get to retain a sense of like dignity or prove that they have like some sort of morality, because remember, they have to overcome the assumption that they are like less moral because they’re poor, because there must be some sort of moral failing as to why they’re not middle class, which is so fucked up. So they have to overcome that by then sacrificing their literal survival, in some cases, their food, their shelter, by like walking away from money that in most cases don’t fucking need it.
Callie [02:11:07] Like this amount of money to him was nothing. This bitch literally pulled the money out of his wallet.
Callie [02:11:14] He just had it in his wallet!
Nichole [02:11:18] He had three thousand doll-hairs in CASH.
Callie [02:11:23] Yeah,.
Nichole [02:11:23] In $100 bills in his motherfuckin wallet.
Callie [02:11:27] . And this wasn’t the day she was supposed to be paid.
Callie [02:11:29] So it’s not like he was like, oh, I gotta go to the bank.
Nichole [02:11:31] No! That was his walking around money!
Callie [02:11:34] And make sure I got her payment ready (laughing).
Nichole [02:11:36] This is like in case the icecream truck comes by and I’m in the mood for a rocket pop or whatever they’re called.
Callie [02:11:46] A bomb pie (laughing hysterically).
Nichole [02:11:48] $20 bill in my wallet right now.
Nichole [02:11:50] And I’m like, what the fuck kind of bougie bitch do I think I am? And it’s only because I was gonna pay Hilary back. And then she was like, if you hand me money, I’m gonna break your hand.
Nichole [02:12:03] And every time I see it, I’m like, Oh, my God, I like clutching my pearls like, oh, my goodness.
Callie [02:12:09] No, it’s true.
Nichole [02:12:10] Who the fuck do I think I am.
Callie [02:12:14] Oh, my god, I’m crying.
Nichole [02:12:15] I had a bus fare. I had change for the bus. I didn’t have to buy that fucking day pass.
Nichole [02:12:19] Cause it’s like, I was like, what if I just want to take it one way?
Nichole [02:12:23] And some guy, you know, asked me for money because he was hungry and I just gave it all to him.
Nichole [02:12:28] I’m like, who I to be walking around with cash in my wallet?
Nichole [02:12:30] Was kind of the fucking king of the people, do you know, kind of monarch
Nichole [02:12:39] do I think I am. I was like, here, have it all.
Callie [02:12:42] Yeah. This bitch just had thousands of dollars.
Nichole [02:12:45] Thousands of dollars.
Callie [02:12:48] In his wallet.
Nichole [02:12:49] Multiple Ks of dollars.
Callie [02:12:49] And the only way she shows…so he disrespected her.
Callie [02:12:54] And the only way she has to prove only that she has to prove that she is like not a piece of shit, even though he was the one that was in the wrong, is to walk away from the money that would literally change her entire life. like her entire life.
Nichole [02:13:09] Yeah.
Nichole [02:13:11] Yeah, that would have been months, months of money for her where she could have been safe.
Nichole [02:13:17] And like not had to work and gotten, you know, had choices. If she wanted to work and make more or take some time off, do whatever. That literally would have actually changed.
Callie [02:13:27] Moved into a different apartment.
Nichole [02:13:29] Situation.
Callie [02:13:29] Yeah. I am so tired of this trope of like the poor person having to like… In to their quiet dignity of like walking away from money.
Callie [02:13:39] And I’m like, this is so fucking like, how is it?
Callie [02:13:44] It’s like the how we have socialism for the rich and like rugged individualism for the poor. And it’s like another like iteration of that, right?
Callie [02:13:54] Because again, like the rich people, while there is some sort of like somewhat trope of like, oh, like rich people and whatever, it’s like they’re they’re not tainted in the same way by money as the poor are.
Nichole [02:14:06] No. And no matter what they did to get it where their family did to get it, it never taints them the way that like anything a poor person does. It’s kind of like the um the like perfect immigrant trope or not really a trope.
Nichole [02:14:22] But just these expectations we have of marginalized people who try to like, you know, survive and how, you know, if you dealt drugs, then you’re just tainted forever. Even though it’s completely fucking understandable that anybody in financial straits would like deal drugs if you had access to that and I was like a thing in your your world.
Callie [02:14:48] Yeah. Your community.
Nichole [02:14:51] And it’s the same. It’s just the same thing for generally poor people, like it’s like, first of all, you always have to be smart. I’ve noticed that always comes up.
Callie [02:14:59] Yeah.
Callie [02:15:00] And an intelligence always smarter than the people around you.
Callie [02:15:03] Yeah. There always have to be some foil of how like somehow, even though like you’re in their group that you’re like somehow way better than them.
Nichole [02:15:11] Yeah. And you have to be attractive. And you have to be classy.
Callie [02:15:17] Mm hmm. Right.
Nichole [02:15:19] And this is something that like I still struggle with.
Nichole [02:15:21] Yeah. Is that like my family is kind of white trashy but like walks that line. So like in some ways like my dad is very intelligent. And we grew up reading and I was very, very lucky for that because I, like, you know, grew up being a strong reader and like that gave me a path in education to kind of get out of my situation. But and even then, it took 33 years to able to pay my bills without having a fucking panic attack every month.
Nichole [02:15:53] But yeah, you have to be smart, you have to be attractive and you have to yeah, you have to be.
Nichole [02:15:58] I’ve tried to articulate this because it’s been my lived experience and it’s like how do I convey the experience of this?
Nichole [02:16:05] But it’s like you basically have to never make someone feel your poverty. You can tell them about it. They can be aware of it as a fact of your existence.
Nichole [02:16:18] But the second you say or do something where they’re like, oh, like you’re from that kind of people or you’re not educated or you don’t have good taste. Right. So like we see her her clumsiness in this world as being cute.
Nichole [02:16:37] But there is also this sense that the second she puts on those nice clothes when she walks down the street. Right. Everyone’s looking at her like she’s a rich person. Yeah, because she’s Julia Roberts. She’s statuesque. She has this classic kind of beauty.
Callie [02:16:50] She can pass.
Nichole [02:16:51] She can pass! Yeah. Right. And so there’s always these elements there in that story. And then.
Callie [02:16:58] Yeah.
Nichole [02:16:58] The nobility of being above money. Like you can’t be brought down into that. And yet these rich fucking perverts can just roll around jerking each other off of the gold coins.
Nichole [02:17:10] And the second they’re like oh let me treat someone vaguely as vaguely human, they’re redeemed. And yet the poor person has to like sacrifice themself on the altar of, you know, struggle, in order to prove that the things that we think about poor people aren’t true. Like she had to walk away from that money to prove that how he made her feel wasn’t accurate, that she didn’t deserve it, even though he’s the one who did a shitty thing.
Callie [02:17:38] Right.
Nichole [02:17:43] (angrily whispers) Fuckers.
Nichole [02:17:44] All right. Well, I had one last point to make. It’s kind of…not convoluted…
Callie [02:17:54] (bursts out laughing) Okayyyy…
Nichole [02:17:54] But it’s.
Callie [02:17:55] Great segue.
Nichole [02:17:55] It’s like that’s not really the word I want.
Nichole [02:17:59] Oh, and just before we close out, I do want to say in Pretty Woman, it does kind of hold up in terms of like it was easy to watch. And Richard Gere and Julia Roberts have wonderful chemistry there.
Callie [02:18:10] The only reason why that movie worked.
Nichole [02:18:12] Yeah. To be honest like their characters weren’t necessarily great. But like, they just have like a really good chemistry.
Nichole [02:18:18] And there were a lot of like really good lines in that movie, like a really good lin.
Callie [02:18:23] Especially in the first half.
Callie [02:18:25] The first half was like coming hard against capitalism and just their roles as people.
Nichole [02:18:33] And even the line.
Nichole [02:18:33] And even though it was ridiculous, like out-of-context the line was great where he’s like, well, I’m trying to get you off the streets. And she’s like, that’s just geography.
Callie [02:18:43] Oh, yes. That was such a good…
Nichole [02:18:45] It was so ridiculous that you said that right now but that’s a good line.
Callie [02:18:48] It was.
Nichole [02:18:49] Just in the context of the situation…anyway. So just if anyone was wanting to rewatch, you know, it’s not…definitely not perfect and doesn’t really achieve what I think the original vision was, which is clear because it was taken over by Disney. But yeah, I just. For anyone who’s like, oh, I actually love that movie. Like, I can see why there is a lot of good in there and it’s the kind of piece of art where.
Nichole [02:19:14] And just in terms of like, you know, anything’s art…where like even just the lines from it.
Nichole [02:19:21] As a writer, like there is a lot in there that would be inspiring to me to like write a short story or make a podcast topic or something like that. And I think like…I guess back to what we were saying before I could see someone being like, it’s problematic because of X, Y, Z. You know, and it’s like, yeah, of course, you know, like, I would not argue with that, but it doesn’t mean that there’s not still value to be taken from it or that it’s not okay to just still enjoy it as like a frickin movie from the nineties.
Callie [02:19:50] Let people enjoy things. I’m so over it.
Nichole [02:19:53] So
Nichole [02:19:58] Let me see how I want to approach this- something that occurred to me while watching the movie.
Nichole [02:20:03] That again, as a poor person, formerly poor person.
Nichole [02:20:07] I am sensitive to is and I’ve noticed in different media recently there is this fetish… Why am I so…why do I have a fetish for a word I can’t say?
Nichole [02:20:22] There’s this that word for rich people.
Nichole [02:20:31] Exposing a poor person to something and then getting off on watching them experience that thing. And what I want to draw to, is rich perverts and like white supremacist shamanism, so like, give me a second. This is where I’m like, just hang in there with me for a second. So.
Nichole [02:20:58] In the book, which I highly recommend, Racism as Zoological Witchcraft by Aph Ko, she references and expands upon a concept that’s introduced in the essay Reversing the Gaze: Constructing European Race Discourses Modern Witchcraft Practices by James W. Perkinson. And he also has a book called Shamanism Racism in Hip Hop Culture. So the concept that Perkinson writes about is, I pulled a quote, what Jamaican American philosopher Charles W. Mills calls the racial contract. I’m underscoring out of its historical emergence as a white witch packs. It creates an in-group of flesh consumers who share a secretive power knowledge designated as whiteness. So then Ko expands on it in her book and says, We keep referring to white supremacy as justice system or institution rather than a living incidious, expansive colonial force that works to get inside, consume and destroy. So where I’m going with this is like the concept of a white supremacist shamanism that she introduces in the book and that, you know, she expanded upon from Perkinson’s scholarship basically is like consumed to me since we read that and did an interview with her on the other show. And I’m just kind of seeing it everywhere.
Nichole [02:22:19] So now watching this voyeuristic, perverse, perverse pleasure that Richard Gere was getting out of… Cause if you remember, he doesn’t have sex with her for a while. And he’s even saying stuff like, hey, can we just talk? You know, he buys her services, but he really buys her. He’s charmed by her. And he’s.
Nichole [02:22:44] He does things like he orders the strawberries and champagne, but he doesn’t eat them. He watches her eat them. He watches her drink. He’s telling her it’s like a nice bottle of champagne or that the strawberries bring out the flavor in the champagne and that the champagne is nice. He’s watching her watch TV, watching I Love Lucy and laughing at it. Kind of like a kid just being free. She’s laid out on the ground, laying on her stomach, watching TV. She’s got all these open packets of like trail mix and candy everywhere. Right? And he’s just watching her. And there’s just something about that.
Nichole [02:23:23] It’s oh, I’m like nibbling at the edges of what it is to me. I almost want to call it like a zombification or like a voodooism, but there’s just something there about this, like almost puppetry of it and the perversion of that, that I’m like taking someone who doesn’t have these experiences and that what I’m really taking pleasure in is like almost consuming their experience of this thing because I gave it to them and I can take it away.
Nichole [02:23:54] And like because she looks over at him and he’s just kind of looking at her and he’s been watching her for a while and she had been like very in the moment of laughing at the show. And I remember she kind of like she she keeps looking back at the TV, like she was just having fun watching TV. But she knows it’s time to work.
Nichole [02:24:11] Yeah. And he’s just sitting there.
Callie [02:24:14] God that scene made me so uncomfortable.
Nichole [02:24:15] Well, it was a horrible scene. And I don’t know if the movie knew that it was horrible, but it was horrible in that sense of going back to all of this.
Nichole [02:24:23] It’s like he’s consuming her… Like it’s not enough for him to just have purchased the service of sex. He wanted to… What he was really wanting to eat, if you will, consume or get off on was having this play thing.
Nichole [02:24:41] Right. Was having this person of just this different world of his. And he gets to just come in and be like daddy and like show her things and just know that, like, she can be lost in a TV show and just this experience that she’s having, but that he’s staring at her.
Nichole [02:24:59] She knows she has to pull herself out of it. And like, do work. Like he didn’t really even want to have sex with her, I don’t think. But she knew that like, oh, I’m too lost in this other thing.
Nichole [02:25:10] And now I have to come over and like have sex with him because that’s what he paid for.
Nichole [02:25:14] Yeah, but he paid for it, though. That was even the whole negotiation of her staying for overnight and then for the week is like he’s no longer buying your sexual services. There is no longer an equal exchange. He’s buying your time. But even more so is very evident that he was buying her experience of his world, that he was then going to kick her out of. And a and I know I’m not quite freezing. It’s kind of like an intangible thing for me to define at the moment, but there’s something linked into… I just keep thinking about this concept of like white supremacist patriarchy being consumptive in ways both like literal and also figurative. And just this way that he was like grossly like siphoning her…experience and her time. That had nothing to do with like sex work. You know,.
Callie [02:26:12] Or needing a date for a party.
Nichole [02:26:14] Or needing a date for…yeah exactly.
Callie [02:26:16] Yeah. Yeah. I think this.
Callie [02:26:21] What helped this kind of crystallize for me, too, was we watched a YouTube video, which we can link in the show notes, but it was talking about Pretty Woman, but also the older movie My Fair Lady and how it was a similar premise.
Callie [02:26:38] You know, it was like this guy who comes across this, like, very crass, like poor street woman, you know, and he like, I haven’t seen the movie, so I don’t know what his motivation was, but he, like, takes her in and cleans her up. And he teaches there how to be a lady. He dresses her up and in a lot of the same ways that Pretty Woman does.
Callie [02:26:57] In fact, I even wonder if Pretty Woman is kind of like a it’s not direct.
Callie [02:27:02] I know it came from its own story, but like ties a lot into like, they made some of the choices because they’re very similar. But.
Callie [02:27:11] And then at some point there’s a scene that this YouTube video showed of My Fair Lady where she was like yelling at her benefactor. And she’s like, what’s to become of me now?
Callie [02:27:25] And and he’s just kind of like, I don’t know. Like, I didn’t think about it. And it’s like you.
Callie [02:27:31] You took her out of her environment that she knows, right, for better or for worse.
Callie [02:27:39] And you dressed her up, you taught her all this stuff, and you’ve kind of made her like you’ve consumed her experiences part of it is the the joy and satiation you’ve gotten out of like being the one to give her these experiences and being able to watch her experiencet hese things in both movies. I’m talking about.
Callie [02:28:02] And then like you’ve you’ve kind of made her not be able to go back to either world like Julia Roberts, like at the end of this, assume that it didn’t have – spoiler alert – (laughs).
Callie [02:28:14] She like rides off into the sunset with him.
Callie [02:28:19] But is she?..
Callie [02:28:21] How what is she supposed to do? Like she has a bunch of fancy ass clothes. Now, she probably will feel uncomfortable going back to the world that she lives in, at least for now, while she’s trying to figure out a way into, like maybe going back to school or starting a different life or herself. But she also clearly doesn’t fit in like a rich world because she doesn’t really belong there. She may know more how to, like, talk and act, but it’s really kind of fucked up. When you think about it. Like you. You change this person so that you can, like, feast on their experiences of it, but then you’ve like kind of broken them for anything else.
Callie [02:29:02] Like they don’t really have a place then.
Nichole [02:29:04] Yes. And I think that’s what I’m trying to clumsily get. Not having quite the…
Nichole [02:29:11] I have the language at my disposal that I haven’t internalized yet to make it my own. But.
Nichole [02:29:17] This framework of like looking at this as like shamanism, that is the whole point, like that’s what art talks about, is that like white supremacy create things like double consciousness in like black people, you know, where you have to like hold these two thoughts in your head at the same time because it’s what you’re trying to feel in your experience of the world and also like what white supremacy is telling you.
Nichole [02:29:40] And and she describes that as like it’s not enough for them to you know, it’s not enough for white supremacy to own bodies or to even eat like literally eat bodies. But they have to get inside our heads and they have to get into these spaces that are just ours, like my fucking thoughts, like you’re in my head, you’re literally taking over me and my soul. You’re making me this this… That’s all I was saying, like zombie zombification. Or necromancy or something, because it’s like like he’s trying to do what you said, like he’s just playing. And it’s almost too like when people give. When it’s cute, it’s like when a baby or an animal.
Nichole [02:30:26] Like when an animal wears clothes or something or when an animal like or that you have a baby who’s like typing on a laptop, pretending to work? Do you know what I’m saying ?it’s like this this.
Nichole [02:30:38] It’s almost like that’s what he was doing with her…
Nichole [02:30:41] Oh, I’m gonna give her like strawberries and fancy champagne and just like giggle like just be bemused about how this low person is, you know, experiencing this thing. And yeah, that all everything she experienced is fundamentally changing her in a way where she’s becoming even more keenly aware.
Nichole [02:31:01] She’s having confirmation that she does not belong in this world. Was she already knew, but she wasn’t trying to be part of it. And now he’s tried to make her you know, he’s forced her into having to, like navigate it and be part of it. But now I go back to my old space and that’s done, too.
Nichole [02:31:17] And so you’ve basically like. Made me into.
Nichole [02:31:21] What did they come with like.. Vampires? Like, not fallen, but do you know what I mean when they… You might have someone where you don’t turn him into a vampire, but they’re like an undead and they’re your they’re your…
Callie [02:31:33] Oh, yeah.
Callie [02:31:35] I don’t know. But I know what you mean. I don’t knwo the word for it.
Nichole [02:31:39] Yeah. Either slave or like your.
Nichole [02:31:42] They’re just like attached to you and they’re not dead or alive. They’re not a vampire. And they don’t really have their own autonomy but they do still have a bit of their own mind and it’s like that. That’s what I feel like he was kind of doing to her.
Nichole [02:31:57] And, you know, and we talked about it on our old shows. So forgive me if this sounds kind of like out of left field or if it sounds like I’m appropriating something.
Nichole [02:32:08] But like we talked about how, you know, racialization through these works that we’ve read, like racialization is really your distance from the ideal man and the ideal man being identified as, you know, white.
Nichole [02:32:26] cis het male, religious, Christian, specifically wealthy, etc, etc. So I know it might sound offensive that I’m applying this framework to like a white woman in this movie, but but it is a framework that is really looking at how this kind of… Like she said, it’s not an institution or a system, it’s this like living incidious force functions for everyone who’s not that ideal man.
Callie [02:32:56] Yeah. The further you get away from that in more and more ways like the lower you are and like the worse you can be treated. Yeah. And the Yeah. The more animalized you can become.
Nichole [02:33:07] Exactly. You know. So, so yeah.
Nichole [02:33:10] I’ve just again this this idea of like the cannibalistic nature of the white supremacist patriarchy is just really taken me. You know, I’ve just been very…consumed by it. Haha. I didn’t mean that to happen.
Nichole [02:33:31] But yeah, watching this with that lens, it just really occurred to me like cause we always joke about rich perverts.
Nichole [02:33:37] I think you Thought Slime for making that part of our regular vocabulary!
Nichole [02:33:42] But, you know, I’ve just been really it it just. Really struck me of like how truly perverted it was, what he was doing in the…encapsulated by those or exemplified by those scenes that I mentioned, but also the the overall, like you described, what he was doing to her life, and how he wasn’t really paying for sex.
Nichole [02:34:05] He was paying to get off on the fun of cannibalising and changing her life and then being done with her. Even though he ended up not being done with her. But like initially, he didn’t know that he was seeing this is just a business deal and this is gonna be done when the week is done. But then he was throwing her into this world and changing her in ways that were going to impact her life and just being entertained by it.
Nichole [02:34:30] Yeah. And that it’s that consumption. And from having been someone who, again, grew up in poverty, that is a very real thing when you’re marginalized.
Nichole [02:34:42] And as you know, I just speaking from experience, like when you don’t have class on your side, is that there’s an extreme.
Nichole [02:34:50] I actually even now honestly.
Nichole [02:34:52] So I’m going into business with someone and I just like went the fuck off on him because we’re talking about contracts and I’m not going to get into all the details.
Nichole [02:35:02] But essentially it boils down to, in my view, he was being extremely irresponsible with how… Or or just not even irresponsible, but insensitive to the fact that like I don’t because he has a thriving business now and this is basically like a side thing that he’s starting. And I’m I just left my job a month ago to, like, go out on my own so like Callie and I… I’m kind of doing this not quite full time, but like I’m able to put a lot of effort into this and see what we can do with it.
Nichole [02:35:34] And then, you know, I have business I’m building on the side. And and if those two things don’t take off, then I’m going to do freelance work and consulting.
Nichole [02:35:46] But anyways, so I am having to be aware of like I have enough savings to let me have a month or two where I can just a couple months where I can just try some stuff out, rest. I had literal clinical burnout from last year because my job was so intense. So I’m trying to heal.
Nichole [02:36:04] But, you know, I’m having to think about, okay. Like, where’s the next check going to come from?
Nichole [02:36:08] And you know, he was like, oh, these contracts like this could just go under the business and we’ll just reinvest in the business. And if you wanna come in as an equity partner, then you could like donate the money to that or like the contract.
Nichole [02:36:20] And I’m like, yeah, like I had to, like, be like, you are not understanding my situation. Yeah. And I told him, I’m like, I get this kind of stuff. But like, I’m sick of being…like, I’m basically having to sacrifice everything to be an equal partner to you. And also, you’re just not being sensitive to the fact that, like, I need at some point money to live. Right. Like I don’t have a business with income coming in.
Callie [02:36:49] Yeah. I can’t keep putting all my eggs in this basket when there’s, like, really no way of knowing if it’s actually going to go anywhere.
Nichole [02:36:55] Yeah. So anyway, my point with that is that even as someone who’s not in poverty anymore, I’ve just always been keenly aware of the ways that people who…
Nichole [02:37:06] …Have privilege, and I think specifically class privilege are so fucking careless with those of us who don’t. Yeah.
Nichole [02:37:14] Just utterly careless. With people who don’t and.
Nichole [02:37:21] And then to the point where it can, especially, you know, in this story and when you get to like certain levels of wealth where it becomes a perversion and then a game and then intentional, you know, because a lot of people aren’t intentional about it, they just don’t know. But it’s like in a way where it’s like, wake the fuck up. But yeah. Then you see this level hits and it’s like this perversion and this like. Yeah. Cannibalism of someone’s experience because it’s novel to you. It’s fucking gross. So that to me came out in the movie and it’s just something I wanted to put out there because it’s again a framework. I’m just like. Mulling over a lot so it’ll probably come up a lot in future episodes, and I just.
Nichole [02:38:01] I just found it interesting. I never I didn’t remember from having seen it before how little the sex was really a part of it. The whole deal that they had. I mean, I think I did remember, but I didn’t remember how like weird it was. I remembered it being almost more romantic, like, oh, he kind of wants company here, he wants to talk to her. And it was like he just kind of wants to like. It’s like she’s a plaything he’s her amused by her. Yeah. In this very infantilizing gross sort of way.
Callie [02:38:32] Patronizing.
Nichole [02:38:32] Very patronizing.
Nichole [02:38:33] And just , yeah, irresponsible.
Callie [02:38:36] And I think too you get a little bit older and then you start to understand the cost of like emotional labor versus just like labor. .
Nichole [02:38:46] YES.
Callie [02:38:46] You know, and and and not to be like dismissive of either one, but it’s just interesting watching a story like this where you’re like, oh, okay. Like agreeing to like, okay, like I’m a sex worker. Like you’re paying for this service for this amount of time. But just like be at someone’s back and call for a week and like, listen to them talk about they’re like daddy issues and bathe them and like not have them be like, I would like to have sex right now, like her having to, like, look back at him and then you see her face change and be like, okay.
Callie [02:39:19] Like, I think I have to like work now. Yeah.
Nichole [02:39:22] You know, he’s not being clear, so I’m not sure. And he wasn’t giving her anything. Right. And it was more that he was amused. Yeah. Like I honestly felt like he didn’t even want to have sex with her necessarily.
Callie [02:39:33] I did too. Which made even more uncomfortable.
Nichole [02:39:35] He was like, oh, look at her.
Nichole [02:39:37] She’s “working” now. Yeah. And he just kind of like, let her do it because he was like amused that she was like, performing it just oh my god so fucking gross.
Callie [02:39:46] But it is this like really into like that emotional work.
Callie [02:39:50] It is so difficult and hard and draining in a way that like, you know, sometimes other forms of work aren’t and and then it’s just interesting. Well you know, having that perspective now and watching, you know, this movie and being like, wow, like that’s like the next level shit.
Callie [02:40:07] Like that’s that’s the kind of shit that like fucked up her whole life.
Callie [02:40:11] I mean, you could say potentially for the better now, but it’s like she just like became his plaything and now she’s like like at the end of the movie she gets in his car and I’m like are they just like literally about to fly to New York? Like it’s just like peaced-out from her whole life to be on his arm, you know, like he just, like, completely possessed her.
Nichole [02:40:35] Yeah. Yeah. So, Pretty Woman.
Callie [02:40:38] Yeah.
Nichole [02:40:39] Very 90s.
Callie [02:40:40] Very 90s.
Callie [02:40:42] It’s interesting how many movies from that era like we tend to think that it’s like not nearly as progressive as we are now, but I’m finding like there’s quite a bit of media around that time that actually.
Callie [02:40:54] In certain ways, were quite progressive.
Nichole [02:40:59] Yeah, the 90s actually was more progressive than now.
Nichole [02:41:02] In a lot of ways, not necessarily the like laws and regulations we had in place, but the media for sure. Yeah. Like it’s interesting looking back at some things and being like, oh, well. I don’t know if this would be made nowadays.
Nichole [02:41:17] Yeah.
Callie [02:41:18] So anyway, this is our first episode Bitchy Shit show. We did it. We did it. We got through it.
Nichole [02:41:25] We certainly did.
Callie [02:41:26] If you’re new here. Yes. This episode length is about standard.
Nichole [02:41:30] Yeah. We’re chatty.
Nichole [02:41:34] So it’s actually really difficult to keep up with hosting fees for that as we just found out.
Nichole [02:41:42] Yeah, well I can’t very large file sizes spend. You know, we’re like oh yeah. Yeah they have. That’s what we bring.
Nichole [02:41:53] Again, we’re not about meme meme activism. That’s why I call it workshop activism because it’s like hours and it’s a lot of talking and processing and then we want it to continue.
Callie [02:42:04] So we take you on a whole journey with.
Nichole [02:42:07] So we’re still in the midst of getting some stuff switched over or figuring out how we’re gonna handle certain things.
Nichole [02:42:13] But we do have an Instagram and Twitter both handles or @bitchy_shitshow one word and then we do have a patron. So it’s patreon.com/bitchyshitshow.
Nichole [02:42:27] If you care to support our queer leftist media, we would be much obliged because as we mentioned, there’s a lot there’s actually a lot of expenses that go into publishing a show, especially of this length and also just fucking pay us for our labor. So don’t be a white supremacist shaman eating our thoughts and words.
Callie [02:42:48] Yeah.
Nichole [02:42:49] Pay us.
Callie [02:42:50] Also, how cool that your money would go to support more media like this. Yeah, that doesn’t tell you the same bullshit that everyone else does.
Nichole [02:42:57] Yeah.
Nichole [02:42:58] And if you can’t afford to support us, that’s why we’re asking the rich perverts to donate so that you can have free media. We can keep this going for everyone and…just kidding, rich perverts. That was just a little FinDom, you know.
Callie 02:43:13 Negging?
Nichole [02:43:15] Negging. (Flirtaciously) More of this, if you want to pay for it.
Nichole [02:43:19] But but also, you know, all the other ways you can support the show are equally important. So leaving us a review on iTunes.
Nichole 02:43:26 I can’t believe we’re having to ring this bell again, starting over. This is so weird.
Nichole [02:43:34] If you love the show, leave us a review.
Nichole [02:43:35] If you don’t love the show, fuck off and don’t leave us a review. It’s just super annoying. It really is. I mean, do what you want. Consent, culture and all that.
Callie [02:43:46] No, don’t.
Nichole [02:43:47] But also, like, really?
Nichole [02:43:51] And, you know, share it. Liking and sharing is following us on social media. That actually really does help a lot. We are very much kind of word of mouth sort of organization here.
Nichole [02:44:00] So if you know people who might be into what we’re talking about, sharing us, re-tweeting, you know, letting people know about us is is VERY helpful. Yeah, it actually is very, very helpful.
Nichole [02:44:13] So, you know, do all that. Or, none of it.
Callie [02:44:15] Or none of it.
Nichole [02:44:16] And just, you know, the choices is yours, enjoy…enjoy what you got. So we will talk to you all next week.
Callie [02:44:23] Bye bye.
Nichole [02:44:23] Bye.