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Thanks, Kristen

An open letter to “Kristen”:


Are you happy, dear?  You've achieved your 15 minutes (plus) of fame and had your name bandied about in practically every media outlet in America.  Of course you aren't being painted as a villain at all, which must be a comfort.  But we all now know how much you get paid for your services, that you “look American” are about 5'5” tall and are a brunette.  We've also been treated to transcripts of your conversations with your pimp about your perceptions of Mr. Spitzer and his …. “needs.”


Your escapades with the Governor of New York have also given the media a chance for some voyeuristic visits to the world of “high-priced call girls.”  Good Morning America had a feature with a “high-priced pimp” who was busted a few years ago.  CBS's Early Show examined the world of call girls. Today spotlighted a $3,000/hour college-educated prostitute in Nevada who said she was a “business woman” using her “best asset, me.” The Washington Post had a feature on the front page of the “Style” section about how you all are supposed to keep your lips sealed, as privacy apparently is supposed to come with your services.  The Post also ran a completely tasteless column by Harold Meyerson talking about his underpriced sexual fantasies, but let's not talk about him.  This is about YOU, dear “Kristen.”


So, I'll ask the question again.  Are you happy, dear?  Has your decision to pursue a life as an employee of the Emperor's Club VIP been fulfilling?  Did you ever think when you decided to pursue this career path that you'd have your name mentioned in The New York Times and on every news network in America?


Did you ever think you'd help destroy a man's family, his career, his reputation?  Granted, Mr. Spitzer is absolutely responsible for hiring you and apparently many others in your profession.  But he didn't act alone, did he?  He's gone down in flames and rightly so.  But what about you?  The media have told us that “johns” don't usually get arrested for paying for sex, even if it's illegal.  The pundits speculate that if your “client” is indicted it won't be for solicitation.  Word is, it's usually the pimps and prostitutes, er, madams and call girls, who get arrested.  I wonder if you will be in this case.  I wonder if you're nervous about that.


But mostly I wonder what you and your … umm, colleagues… are thinking?  Do you not realize that while you may be part of the oldest profession you are also part of one of the most destructive forces in our culture? Are you so intoxicated by the power you have over men and the money they are willing to pay for you that you can't see beyond the bed sheets to the bigger costs?


What?  You're just a girl trying to make a living?  Yeah, right.  Tell that to the single working mom holding down two jobs and going to school to make a better life for herself and her kids.


Here's what you're doing, “Kristen” – and here is the angle the media aren't reporting in their profiles of high-priced call girls.


    Prostitution is the engine that drives the sex trafficking trade internationally.  That trade costs women their lives, literally.

    Destruction of families.  This in no way gives a pass to the married men who seek your services, but you are contributing to the destruction of marriages and families.  In your case specifically, have you really thought about the Spitzer daughters?  Will their shattered dreams haunt you?

    Disease.  Yes, I know.  You are a “high-priced call girl” which means you are supposed to be smart and educated and clean.  Great.  You are still part of a profession in which disease is rampant and often fatal.  Did you read the report this week that one in four teenage girls is infected with a sexually transmitted disease?  Have you made the connection that the sexualization of our culture, of which your profession is a primary contributor, has made that statistic a reality?  No, “Kristen” that isn't a stretch.  That's called connecting the dots, dear.

Sadly, in all of the reporting on “high-priced call girls” that I've seen today, no one in the mainstream media is delving into this side of the story.  And they probably won't, which is beyond a real shame.  So that's why I wanted to write you this letter, “Kristen.”  Maybe if you think through these things you'll decide that you are ready to leave this career field and try something else. 


Think about it seriously, won't you?  “Kristen,” you are so much more than a sex object.  You can change your life and make healthier, safer, more noble choices for your future.  Learn from this experience.  Learn to say no to objectification and prostitution.  You are a child of God, after all.  And that is worth far more than any man could ever pay you to have sex with him.  There are people who can help you start over. All you – and your friends – have to do is ask.  I suggest visiting the Victims of Pornography Web site, victimsofpornography.org,  and clicking on the Get Help button.  They link to numerous organizations that help women get out of the sex industry – exotic dancers, porn actresses, and even prostitutes. Victims of Pornography is an excellent resource for women seeking to leave the oldest profession for something new – and better.


Kristen Fyfe is senior writer at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.