Practice in Context

Tutorial (3)

What is the impact of current media representations on prostitution?

  • media theory on stereotyping
  • expectations vs. reality
  • appendix for quotes for primary research (after text and before bibliography)
  • speculative conclusions
  • gather together historical and contemporary imagery for comparison together
  • discussing the result of strong media representation of prostitution and stigma:

media representation and preconditioned thoughts override primary knowledge and are seemingly more valid to a subject.. consider how expectation can alter someones willingness to be truthful

 

 

Practice in Context

Presentation

Title Page – Stigma & Sex Work

Introduction – discussion on the power of language and how there is evidence to show this can effect preconception and stereotype. Also include suggestion of this language warping the class system.

Resources – The Red Umbrella, Judith Butler, Gayatri Spivak, Luce Iragaray, primary research

Main body [different slides including different information] –

  • the history of sex work and how this has effected stigma
  • imagery relating to prostitution and how visual language is strong – discuss primary research (include discussion on the class of the media and how this with effect who sees it and therefore differ class perceptions)
  • small clips that relate to discussion & quotes
    -“Turning a human into a thing is almost always the first step towards justifying violence against that person” -Jean Kilbourne
    – 
    “The unrecognized contradiction within a position that valorizes the concrete experience of the oppressed, while being so uncritical about the historical role of the intellectual, is maintained by a verbal slippage.” In critical theory and postcolonialism, the term subaltern designates the populations which are socially, politically and geographically outside of the hegemonic power structure of the colony and of the colonial homeland.

    -“a woman’s self is divided between her use and exchange values and she is only desired for the exchange value. This system creates three types of women: The Mother, who is all use value; the Virgin, who is all exchange value, and the Prostitute, who embodies both use and exchange value.”
    -“The society we know, our own culture, is based upon the exchange of women. Without the exchange of women, we are told, we would fall back into the anarchy (?) of the natural world, the randomness (?) of the animal kingdom. The passage into the social order, into the symbolic order, into order as such, is assured by the fact that men, or groups of men, circulate women among themselves, according to a rule known as the incest taboo.”“Are men all equally desirable? Do women have no tendency toward polygamy? The good anthropologist does not raise such questions. A fortiori: why are men not objects of exchange among women? It is because women’s bodies-through their use, consumption, and circulation-provide for the condition making social life and culture possible, although they remain an unknown “infrastructure” of the elaboration of that social life and culture. The exploitation of the matter that has been sexualized female is so integral a part of our sociocultural horizon that there is no way to interpret it except within this horizon.”

    (tbc)

Practice in Context

Theoretical Contexts

Notes

Presentation

Title page – question/title, name, course

Introduction – overview of your topic and your chosen lines of enquiry

Main body – in order of how you will write which demonstrates your arguement

Conclusion

Bibliography & illustration list (Harvard Referencing Method)

 

 

Things to consider:

How does my question relate to my practice?

Main body of the presentation should clearly demonstrate your argument and leave the audience with no further questions because they are unclear

When using a quote, you must explain how that quote strengthens your point and not just use it to make your point

 

Main Body:

cultural/political/social contexts – how these would effect and condition the response and quotes to the topic

Critical and theoretical perspectives relating to your topic – evidence this with quotes

Key examples using illustrations and film clips

Discuss relationships between topics and myself as a practitioner in my current study

Find the Cultural Contexts 1 handbook for topics to reference

Primary research exercise

I am asking people, young and old, to sketch for me. This is to gain an idea of people’s perceptions, based on age, gender, and environment. I am asking them to sketch for me the first thought that is triggered when I say ‘Prostitute’ and again when I say ‘Escort’.

Language is a very important part of this exercise, and the preconditioned thoughts that are paired with words and phrases. Stigma can make certain words heavier than others, and so its interesting to observe what people’s first thoughts are, as well as the words and phrases that are paired with it.

 

Female, 21

[insert pictures]

 

When discussing the escort –

“I wish I could be this fancy”
“The prostitute has a handbag full of condoms and the escort has a clutch bag full of condoms because she’s classy”

 

Female, 21

[insert pictures]

 

Female, 20

[insert pictures]

when discussing the prostitute –

“pants on the floor, chilling on New Road” (around the local area, New Road is notorious for sex work)

 

Female, 21

[insert pictures]

 

when discussing the prostitute –

“I’ve put her in a top that says ‘Love’ on it, which is pretty ironic”

 

Male, 51

[insert pictures]

Male – “Suspenders, fur coat; anything provocative”

Me – “What about for the escort? Whats the first image that comes into your head when I say that word?”

Male – “Suspenders, fur coat; anything provocative. (laughing) The same image”

 

Female, 47

[insert pictures]

“fur coat on the street” (Referring to her idea of a prostitute)

Practice in Context

Tutorial (2)

Expanding my research on the basis of:

  • imagery relating to prostitution, all medias to pull together an idea of representation and how stigma has potentially changed historically
  • consider the class that each media sits in and where it is presented – will this have an impact on the image shown or the reaction it gets? (eg. National Art Gallery may have a different audience to The Sun tabloid and therefore may present in different ways)

 

qD6ct0VS15c.pngTitian, Venus of Urbino

 

olympia.jpgManet Olympia

 

  • consider the power of language, and how it plays a crucial role in perception and whether we ourselves create our own stigmas? (eg. prostitute vs high class escort)
  • do our prejudices produce the issues of today?

 

“Turning a human into a thing is almost always the first step towards justifying violence against that person”

-Jean Kilbourne

 

Practice in Context

First notes
Subjects surrounding the stigma of sex work & the assumptions surrounding the people that work as prostitutes
Musical – controversy surrounding subjects
Most of my previous essays have linked to feminism and equality – continue and work on this into my final dissertation work?
Theatre – a voice for political views
Alienation effect (Brecht) – positive if people want to keep it as a performance, and do not want to be reminded that it is real

 

Tutorial (1)

Judith Butler – Frames of War

Gender and class is a basis I would like to build into my dissertation, as a stand alone subject and a link to London Road

Prostitution and its representation historically

Who’s voice gets heard? History/Herstory
Who gets to tell the story of what happened?

  • When researching – you hear little from the perspective of sex workers themselves, but instead from outsiders looking in, clouded by perspective and stereotype.

 


 

Gayatri Spivak

Can the subaltern speak? Is there a feminine history?
Consider Post-colonialism

“The unrecognized contradiction within a position that valorizes the concrete experience of the oppressed, while being so uncritical about the historical role of the intellectual, is maintained by a verbal slippage.”

In critical theory and postcolonialism, the term subaltern designates the populations which are socially, politically and geographically outside of the hegemonic power structure of the colony and of the colonial homeland.

Postcolonialism speaks about the human consequences of external control and economic exploitation of native people and their lands.

  • Talks about whether there is a feminine history discussed – have we only heard one side?

 

 

Luce Iragaray

Women on the Market
(wiki page)
Commodification of women – people trafficking

“a woman’s self is divided between her use and exchange values and she is only desired for the exchange value. This system creates three types of women: The Mother, who is all use value; the Virgin, who is all exchange value, and the Prostitute, who embodies both use and exchange value.”

 

This Sex Which Is Not One – Women on the Market

“The society we know, our own culture, is based upon the exchange of women. Without the exchange of women, we are told, we would fall back into the anarchy (?) of the natural world, the randomness (?) of the animal kingdom. The passage into the social order, into the symbolic order, into order as such, is assured by the fact that men, or groups of men, circulate women among themselves, according to a rule known as the incest taboo.”

“Are men all equally desirable? Do women have no tendency toward polygamy? The good anthropologist does not raise such questions. A fortiori: why are men not objects of exchange among women? It is because women’s bodies-through their use, consumption, and circulation-provide for the condition making social life and culture possible, although they remain an unknown “infrastructure” of the elaboration of that social life and culture. The exploitation of the matter that has been sexualized female is so integral a part of our sociocultural horizon that there is no way to interpret it except within this horizon.”

  • Consider 1978 and the nearly 40 years between now and then – visit stigma and attitude and review changes?

 

Visit the Crossbones Graveyard (Borough High Street) – where prostitutes of previous history are commemorated

Disavowal and spectacle – looking and not looking

normalisation & “the other”

 


 

Prostitution
Its representation in history

16th Century – association between the plague, prostitutes and contagiousness

The ‘worlds oldest profession’

Ancient near East – ‘Houses of Heaven’
Documented by Greek historian Herodotus in book ‘The Histories’
– Sacred prostitution was a common practice

2400BCE – earliest recorded mention of prostitution as an occupation

Temples with 3 Grades of women

  • First grade – only permitted perform acts/rituals in the temple
  • Second grade – had access to the grounds and catered to visitors
  • Third grade (lowest class) – lived on the temple grounds and found customers in the street

Canaan – a significant portion of the temple prostitutes were male

4th Century AD – Constantine (Emperor) destroyed Goddess Temples and replaced these religious practices with Christianity