Channel Seven journalist Ryan Phelan has a new girlfriend: Amanda Goff. But there’s apparently chatter in the media that this relationship could be disastrous for his career.
Why? Simply because Goff, aka Samantha X, used to be a sex worker.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Phelan’s announcement that he’s dating Goff has “raised more than a few eyebrows” and jeopardised his “wholesome image”.
“Conservative brands should be hyper sensitive about their alignment and no reputable advertiser would not be reviewing their practices,” media analyst Steven Allen told News Corp.
Uh, hello? What’s with the raised eyebrows and words like “wholesome” and “reputable”? What decade are we living in again?
Sex work was legalised in New South Wales in 1979. That’s nearly 40 years ago. People who work in the industry are called sex workers because it’s work. A job.
So Phelan’s career is supposedly in jeopardy because he’s dating someone who used to work in a legitimate profession?
Phelan and Goff have opened up about their relationship in stories over the past week. Phelan told Fairfax Media that they met when Goff was promoting her book Back On Top and he asked her out on a lunch date.
“I fell in love with Amanda, no one else, and that is who she is to me: Amanda, an outstanding mother and an outstanding woman,” he said.
“If anything, she has achieved a lot in her career and given an industry a voice it didn’t have before.”
Listen: Samantha X explains to Mia Freedman what her ‘sexless’ dates are like. (Post continues after audio.)
Goff told Daily Mail Australia that they were “very much in love”.
“I’ve never felt I had to justify or defend my choices in life,” she said. “If anything, Ryan has allowed me to feel proud of my journey and many of the things I’ve accomplished on the way.”
It’s 2017. We need to show a bit of respect for women who choose to be sex workers. It’s an occupation that suits certain women for various reasons that they don’t need to justify to anyone. We need to stop with the sniggering and the shaming.
If anyone’s media career is going to suffer, shouldn’t it be the men who are known to be sexual harassers? There’s talk that a number of powerful men in the Australian media are serial predators and are about to be exposed. Shouldn’t we save our condemnation for those men, not someone who is in a relationship with someone who used to be a sex worker, who was involved in consensual, legal sex acts?
Phelan and Goff have some supporters.
“Happy for you both,” the Nine Network’s Ben Fordham wrote. “Good luck and good on youz.”
Yeah, good on ‘em.
Listen to our full interview with Samanta X, right here.