OK this is scary wierd, perverse and wrong

// 29 April 2008

(With a hat-tip to Jezebel)

A US chat show (Tyra) had a segment really on an 18 year old adult film actress called Summer. Nothing new in that. Except her manager is her father. And her manager is “responsible” for her grooming including her brazilian wax. The segment is really disturbing (link below but warning may be triggering for some people, disturbing for all).

It starts off with him patronising her about ensuring she’s packed “sexy clothes” and then rounds off by telling her she shouldn’t be in a relationship as “boyfriends are not really conducive to this business”. What business? He’s taking her for her first day at one of Nevada’s brothels. His managerial advice – “Always make sure your make up is right as you have to be every man’s fantasy”. On delivering her to the brothel Summer is in tears and obviously having second thoughts – he response “the decision is made, this is what you want to do, I don’t want to sound unsympathetic but go in there and think happy thoughts”. But, thing is, she obviously doesn’t want to do this. I mean how is this not abusive and coercive? I mean what (sane, rational, empathetic, caring) father would behave in that way? (Debates about the rights and wrongs of prostition aside, that really isn’t the point I’m making here).

Oddly Tyra’s response is to flag up the waxing issue rather than the “my dad drove me to a brothel and told me to get out and work” aspect. The clip is here, on Jezebel.

Comments From You

Jennifer-Ruth // Posted 29 April 2008 at 5:16 pm

Oh my fucking GOD. What is wrong with this world?!

Helen gallagher // Posted 29 April 2008 at 5:16 pm

I really wish there was some scope for rescuing vulnerable adults. Unlike Jezebel i’m not pro sex work because 9 times out of ten it’s vulnerable women like this who are coerced into it. A lot of sex workers have been abused or raped. I watched that ‘bunny ranch’ program. One of the sickest and most upsetting stories was a prostitute who’s daughter decided to go into it. Her mother had a regular client who wanted to fuck her daughter so it was set up and they showed this guy detaillign his fantasy with his arms around the daughter while she laughed nervously and tried to strain away.

Rachael // Posted 29 April 2008 at 5:35 pm

OMG!!!!!!! Not much shocks me wny more – except this!! I think what was worse was that the father was so cool about his role as his daughter’s manager – like it was the most natural thing in the world!! Be your daughter’s tennis coach by all means – but this???? And the waxing scene was just sick!! The whole thing was almost promoting incest and abuse!!

Laura // Posted 29 April 2008 at 5:43 pm

Fucking hell.

Anne Onne // Posted 29 April 2008 at 6:03 pm

That. Is. Awful. I’m speechless with choking frustration, and I can always knock together an essay or two. Blooming hell. Urgh, poor woman. I really hope she gets out of this somehow.

Jeez, I’m not watching that, I don’t have the time for the rant it would require to lose the steam I’m gaining…

Larla // Posted 29 April 2008 at 7:26 pm

Oh my goodness. I’d rather not watch that video. That’s truly disturbing. I can’t believe this father would think it okay to do this to the point to PUT IT ON TV. It’s terrifying!

JENNIFER DREW // Posted 29 April 2008 at 7:40 pm

In a perverse way I can clearly see a connection with this abusive misogynst and the Austrian male who imprisoned his daughter for 24 years and systematically raped her for his sexual pleasure. This is just an extreme part of a continuum wherein society promotes and condones view that women and girls exist solely for the purpose of sexually servicing men.

When society condones and promotes prostitution as ‘just a job’ why then should not this father sell his daughter to the Johns.

Leigh Woosey // Posted 29 April 2008 at 10:03 pm

Can the police arrest him for the equivalent of living off immoral earnings? can he be reported to hasten that process?

Wishing it was some absurd talk show hoax…

Senna // Posted 29 April 2008 at 11:56 pm

I am at a loss to understand why you have callled him her manager. When you mask what’s going on you’re part of the problem.

He’s her pimp. If we don’t get it right who will? All the shocked expressions and circumlocution don’t cut it as well as those four letters:


batty // Posted 30 April 2008 at 8:48 am

There are no words. There is nothing that could be expressed in words that can properly explain how horrific this is. It’s just something you feel down in your gut, and everytime you read something like this a little peice of you dies. I like to think that for every peice of me that dies, | get three times as angry, and mad, and three times more determined to stop it. O rat the very least put a little more wheight on the brakes.

Louise Livesey // Posted 30 April 2008 at 9:16 am

Dear Senna,

You raise an important point here. There are two reasons I didn’t use the word pimp.

1. that’s not the term the original report uses

2. I am aware of arguments from other feminist viewpoints that “pimp” is not an uncontested term. The ECP, amongst others, have quite rightly pointed to how the male relations of women who engage in prostitution are often arrested on charges of living off immoral earnings (pimping in legal speak) simply because they share accommodation and food bought for by the proceeds of prostitution. They raise really important concerns about how this is applied in a racist/white supremacist way to further control/problematise particularly black family relationships.

My concern here wasn’t that he benefitted from her economic activity (my sense is that if she were a professional ballroom dancer or a shelf-stacker, he’d have the same view of his right to control her) but that he was obviously *not* putting her feelings, concerns or responses at the forefront of his decision making. For me that enters far more, as other readers have pointed out, discourses around abuse and protection of vulnerable adults (it’s unlikely that he changed his behaviour on her 18th birthday and, I would argue, has been grooming her for his controlling behaviours if not her sexual role since a very young age).

So basically pimping is a contested term which doesn’t have universal agreement about it’s implications and which is used in particular cultural, white supremacist and gendered ways and I wanted to acknowledge that in writing the blog entry. I knew in writing it some people would feel I was avoiding the issue – but given this is a US story and in the US there is no law against pimping (although recently a canny judge in Georgia used legislation to prevent Racketeering to incarcinate two pimps) then the term “pimp” in it’s original cultural context also has little or no currency. In fact in the US “pimping” refers to what we would call internal trafficking and is only illegal if it is carried out by means of fraud, force or co-ercion or is the trafficked person is under the age of 18 (Trafficking Victims Protection Act 2000). If pimping were illegal in the US then the abhorrent “Pimp of the Year” show and awards wouldn’t get national coverage.

Sorry, long answer to a short comment but one that I do think raises important issues that we have to consider.

Fanny Blood // Posted 30 April 2008 at 6:37 pm

WHY IS THIS NOT CONSIDERED CHILD ABUSE?!?!? Where are the authorities?!!? Lock this evil man up.

He has probably been sexually abusing her since she was a child anyway. This will be the next chapter in this hienous story.

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