Ask Mia: “Is it true you don’t like sex workers?”

I’m going to keep this brief. Wish me luck with that.

I’ve started a new video series called Ask Mia which is kind of self-explanatory.

Regularly (hopefully each week), I’ll be answering questions about anything. Personal, work-related, about space (the answer to any space-related question will be “……..”, you’ve been warned). I want you to be able to hear directly from me in a raw, unfiltered way.

When I asked for questions, one topic drowned out the others and I’m pleased because it’s something I’ve wanted to address for a long time. After two years of conjecture, I finally answer a question about my ‘problem’ with sex workers and why I’m ‘whorephobic’ [spoiler: I’m not].

But there are two parts to this post and to this question: the talking and the listening.

In the video below, I say my bit and hopefully put this issue to bed (pun intended).

You can watch it, here:

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But more than talking about this topic, I realised I needed to do more listening. And so I invited sex worker, porn star and sex therapist Madison Missina to sit with me in the new Mamamia podcast studio to record an episode of No Filter.

Here’s me listening to Madison:

madison pod 2

And here’s me listening some more:

madisonpod

 

It was one of the more enlightening hours I’ve spent in a long time. I learned about the whore-archy, why some words provoke hostility in the sex work community, how she did actually dream of being a sex worker as a little girl and how she made those ambitions come true. I learned how she moved from sex work to porn, the most hot-button issue for sex workers and why so many of us make ignorant statements about it. I learned about the politics of anal sex in porn and why nobody has pubic hair and I learned about the single investment in her appearance that increases her income more than anything else.

And that was pretty much the first 10 minutes.

You can listen to the full interview with Madison Missina on the podcast here:

 

I still have a lot to learn about sex workers and particularly about decriminalisation and the battles currently being fought over that. I am enormously grateful to Madison for reaching out and becoming a human bridge between me and a community, which I have been so very mortified to have pissed off so right royally two years ago with my misconstrued and poorly worded comments on Q&A.

Madison writes for Mamamia: “As a sex worker, being told that I’m a victim is offensive”

There will be some people who will say this isn’t enough. That it’s too late. There are some who will accuse me of being tokenistic or insincere. There will be some people who will try to twist my words to further their argument that I am against them. This is frustrating but I can’t buy into it or change their beliefs.

I have learned enough to know that it doesn’t matter what I say or how many times I apologise for the inadvertent but very real hurt that I caused a particular group of people. For some of those people, it will never be enough. I understand.

But I disagree about it ever being too late to learn more about something, to listen to people who want to tell you how they feel and to try and empathise with where they’re coming from.

With this video and the podcast, I have made a determined step to do just that.

Mia xxxxx

Do you have a question Mia should answer in her next video? Leave it in the comments.

Subscribe to No Filter and hear Mia’s interviews with Lisa Wilkinson, Robyn Bailey and Kochie.

Want to keep reading? Here are some recent posts by Mia:

Adam Goodes isn’t “playing the victim”. He’s being silenced by thugs.

How about men stop telling women how and where to breastfeed?

What really happens when women are asked to be on magazine covers.

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