What's Up Baby?

Missmogga explains why she objects to the commercial sex industry and modern culture's representation of black women.

Missmogga, 16 October 2002

Am I a prude? No. Do I like sex? Yes. So why do I object so much to MTV, Loaded, Maxim and the commercial sex industry?

What's up baby?

It is teeth bitingly frustrating to see what gets the money

Ok, let me tell you. I?m female, mixed race, dancer. Put these things together and you get, according to MTV, some kind of dumb, tits and ass exotic leg show with little attention paid to musical quality. I?m a musician too, trying to make it, when I say musician I mean someone who has taken the time to study instruments, musical forms, harmonies and sounds. I also present an alternative look. It is intensely, teeth bitingly frustrating to see what crap gets the money, and the way women are presented in these videos. See I don't see Shaggy or Dre?s misogyny as representing my culture or my sexuality. Nor the next pop R'n'B clown. I look in Loaded et al and I feel like I?ve gone back in time to Stringfellow?s mark two. I find the way black women are talked about, seen and represented to be really racist. Example: straightened hair is more acceptable, paler skin is ?better? than darker, its cool to have a ?bitch?, women?s songs are about shedding clothes and getting a man... aaaargh come on!

Perhaps I?m outdated, in that I believe less tits more talent is a good thing. Defiantly less silicon tits anyway.

I?ve also worked as a commercial dancer, model and sex worker. There are, alongside the fun and high times, manipulative, exploitative and dangerous people within this business, mainly men - and when I say men there is a minority that are violent, ugly people, ok. People that rape, slash, beat up and hurt other people. They can find an outlet here amongst the vulnerable. I started sex work at fourteen, alongside others of the same age and younger. I don't include this for the sympathy vote but to make the point; all is not always what it seems. Yes, there is exploitation in any business but when we look at a dancer or model we are talking about a person with all their thoughts, feelings, emotions. When you buy a picture of this person, or time with that person, how do you know the score, how do you know why they do what they do, are they doing nude stuff cos they need the money for a habit, or they are carefree, or cos they have kids? Do they go home to an understanding, loving partner, or a smack bag?

Do you care?

I get angry because I feel some middle class white feminists in the pursuit of a hedonistic good time (which we all want) fail to see the reality for working class , poorer women. And the reality for a lot, (not all) of women is they do what they do cos they have to get cash and/or they are being pimped, this is totally different to the informed sexy choice of a safe adult female wanting to explore her sexuality. Economic slavery is a killer.

Why support further damage to female sexuality?

When working, there's always someone else at the top making more money than you, so you?re getting screwed twice. Whether its music industry bosses, porno editors, club owners; is enough of that money in your pocket I ask? And if not then why not?

Someone made a very good point that you wouldn't support MacDonald?s if you cared about the environment, so why support the commercial sex industry? Why support further damage to female sexuality?

When speaking of her time in films, Linda Lovelace of Deep Throat fame said ?There was no pleasure, ever?. Think about what that really means, could you do that?

That ISn't to say all sexual material is wrong. To that end I?m working on my own cabaret act, that represents an alternative, there's no chance of me being a victim or being exploited without my consent, thanks. I also write and produce my own erotic material.

I?ve got the tits and the talent.

I?m not using anyone, so I don't have a problem with it. If I photographed anyone it would be with his or her full adult consent. I love go-go dancing personally.

I say big up alternative press, media, cooperative non-exploitative work, er- cooperative sex work????!

Put your money where your mouths are, babes.

About the author

Missmogga

Missmogga describes herself as "33, artist, writer, musician, performer, model, computer technician(!)". She is founder of Sensory Overload Press and is currently producing Skirtsteak zine, which is available from missmogga@yahoo.com.

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