[LMB] "The oldest profession" was: Cliches, and their antitheses OT:

Damien Sullivan phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu
Thu, 19 Aug 2004 16:11:01 -0700


On Thu, Aug 19, 2004 at 06:32:41PM -0400, Paula Lieberman wrote:

> > The human race is capable of many great things.  I can see a future in
> > space.  I can see a future without modern disease.  I can even see a
> future
> > without modern prejudice.
> 
> Then why is the cast character always a female s at x worker?

Don't the female workers heavily outnumber the male ones?  They sure do in the
back of alternative newspapers: there'll be a few guys for guys, and one guy
trying to advertize to women, for dozens if not a hundred women catering to
men (and the occasional woman.)

Not so much a cliche as the way things are; if you're just going to have one
sex worker, or a few, they probably will be female.  As for the occasional
exception, there's the squeamishness of the studio execs.

> they're service industry employees.  Why a sex worker and not a rare books
> and manuscripts professional, or a planetologist, or a gem merchant, or

Note the lower demand for rare books and manuscripts on the Firefly frontier.
Or, I'd imagine, out West.

> As someone noted, there -were- the "oh, look, [males]!" in that Firefly
> episode, I admit, I'd forgotten about it, but it was a momentary comment,

So, having criticized everyone else for not having any male workers, you'll
turn around and castigate Firefly for not doing enough with them?

> none of them really got speaking time on air, they were basically a
> throwaway tokenist line and nothing more done with them really.  The focus

Throwaway tokens are better than nothing at all, aren't that?  And, well, they
wouldn't have been the point of the episode.

> was on the Madame, and her relationship with the Companion, on her and Mal's
> interactions, on the woman pregnant with the child desired by the Bad Guy...
> no real attention to the male sex workers or significant attention or focus
> time to any of them.

Not much attention to any of the female sex workers, beyond the pregnant one
who was the whole point of the plot, or the one hanging on Jayne.  And Zoe,
River, and Inara wouldn't have been foci for male workers the way Jayne was.
I suppose Kaylee could have been -- except weren't she and Simon finally
getting together by that time?  Assuming those "boy whores" were there for
women, and not for men; gay whores would have had even less of a hook into the
crew.

And I hardly see criticizing Joss for telling the stories natural to his
setting and crew, and focusing on his crew[1], and not trying to do some
after-school-special tour of whatever aspect of society you think has been
ignored by Hollywood.

-xx- Damien X-) 

[1] All friggin *nine* of them, it's worse than later Buffy, we hardly need
distractions of one-shot characters, there's enough to be done just being fair
to the main cast, unlike the way the doctor and telepath tended to be minor on
Babylon-5.