Posted by Amanda Chapel
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African dominatrix has given up her battle to live in a vicarage, telling the church's congregation they can "shove" the disputed residence, a local newspaper reported Wednesday.
The Pretoria News said Marianne Ellis had been renting the manse, or vicarage, at the Doornkloof Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk near Pretoria for some time when church elders discovered her sideline as a local dominatrix and asked her to move.
"It is a long story, but basically I am tired of fighting, really tired. They can take their manse back, in fact they can shove it," she told the newspaper.
Ellis, who said she was promised a long lease and option to buy the vicarage, had earlier showed reporters her "torture chamber" at the house but said she never had sex with her clients and was not running a brothel.
"But I will crack the whip again after we have moved. Then I will be back with a vengeance," the newspaper quoted her as saying.
# # #
That's timely. The gossip buzzing around the parlor today is that Strumpette also is being shunned... by the good sisters of the Church of St. Salieri.
For those who may have never heard of this church, it's the holy glass cathedral of all things mediocre. It is the world shrine of PR blogging. And its members? According to the Worldview Factbook (Harvard University Press, 2005), "It is a small puritan sect known for their sonorous mantras about all things inane. They believe strongly that by ridding their minds of anything creative and by sticking to a strict fast of 'professional' expectation, God will keep them safe. Ironically, they have one of the highest rates of suicide among any pseudo-professional demographic."
Well, after an on-line meeting of the church elders, the sisters concluded that Strumpette is sinful. Shades of Salem, I've been branded with a scarlet "A".
Here are a few notes from their meeting. Just listen to their telltale holier-then-thou harrumphs.
See, fact is, they don't really have any power, or talent of any real significance for that matter. That's why they're so insecure. What little they have is so wrapped in a Shroud of Turin as to be held sacrosanct. It's been raised up high so that all the crippled, blind and humbled mass can see it clearly as they kneel in adoration. I pray that little Timmy's puppy can have its operation.
Hello! Anyone! It's not real!! And they accuse me of being a shallow character!
But sadly they're covered. They're like the baby that covers their eyes and thinks you've disappeared. Their public face is supposedly "open minded" while in private it's hermetically sealed. Just listen to Sister Kami's contradiction: "Earning respect in your profession is so important, especially for women. On the other hand, laughing at yourself is the key to keeping an even-headed approach. But laughing at a disgusting stereotype that is being forwarded as the embodiment of the profession? It's not funny, and it's surely not a refreshing take on things. In fact, it is as old as the oldest profession. It sets us all back. Let's laugh about something else."
Translation: I am open to discuss all things... except me and all those things that might provide me some shred of privilege. Right. You go girl and good on you for the self confidence and the courage of your convictions. Damn liberated of ya. You throw that bra away!
Sean Garret stood up and asked the sisters, "[But] would you be having these healthy self-examinations and discussions with others about your profession and personal world views if you had simply gone about your typical routine of reading the same ol' blogs when you got to work on Monday morning? If sexism and discrimination are still an issue in the PR industry (and they clearly are), what did it take to have a wide-open, participatory and edifying debate on these issues?"
Exactly Sean. But the truth is they can't.
Here, as I in pumps and red mini am being escorted to the door, I again remind them: Communications is just common sense. That's all. And all your posturing is nothing more than me saying "I working the pole." You're hypocrites, the lot of you. For shame.
And their high priest(s) will blithely turn to resume the sermon, look down from the pulpit, open his arms as if the embrace the mass, and pray in the words of Salieri, "Mediocrities everywhere -- now and to come -- I absolve you all. Amen!"
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While I understand how some women may have misread or misunderstood what a blogger meant to "read" as a satirical post -- I disagree that sexism and discrimination are only issues for the PR industry. These issues and challenges apply in PR to the same degree that they do in ANY industry.
Furthermore, I'm a woman, but I didn't take the [perhaps unseemly] categorization of "whoring" to apply strictly to women PR pros. I took the sarcastic comment to apply to the males in this industry too. I think all professional flack'ers are regarded in the same light -- male or female. I think we have a collective industry image problem, and if we look at recent ethical lapses (i.e., Fleishman in LA, Ketchum in DC w/Armstrong), there is no shortage of men behaving badly.
What I do find interesting, is that Amanda herself responded as if she meant to imply that women are whores (per her agreement with Sean's comment). I presumed Amanda's implication in her blog is/was that PR pros often "whore" themselves out while allegedly performing their jobs. This is obviously an issue that many can and will discuss and debate. And have differing opinions about.
But Amanda's response to Sean supports earlier hints and innuendo about Amanda's real sex ;-). A woman would never jump to the presumption that PR whores are strictly women. Get real, folks. The problem I presumed was parodied on this site is industry-wide. Men can run, but they can't hide from being painted by the same brush.
So why and whoever turned this into a sexism debate??? And what women made the mistake of pretending that's sex is what this is all about? Am I the only one who read it as being about the shortcomings of our profession? [in which case: it may have created some valuable dialogue] Amanda: were you intending this site to smear PR women alone? and whatever would be the logic behind that???
I agree that we could use some self-reflection in this industry. I don't think it has anything to do with being female. It has to do with integrity. Will the Real Amanda please stand up.
No. I think you may be confusing the point just a little. "They" are representative... of a systemic problem in the PR business. I might suggest "Women in Public Relations: How Gender Influences Practice" for a complete discussion of the issue.
For the record, you'll find that the book is/was written by women. :)
"A woman would never jump to the presumption that PR whores are strictly women. "
Oh, yes she would. Some of the most blatant abuses of "power" that I have seen have been from women in PR, or even in marketing in general.
Amanda: thanks.. appreciate the book reference. It's on my list of reading materials.
Jennifer: but then... doesn't the real issue become women abusing positions of power and privilege, in any industry? what the heck does PR or marketing have to do with anything?
What's at issue is the "character" of the business. In my 15 years in PR, the "Practice" has radically changed from command-and-control consulting to more of consensus facilitation. The latter is by its nature more inherently a female character. Is what it is. But that said, that change, especially when the executive ranks are still by-an-large comprised of men... causes a lot of silly distortion. That's pretty much the gist of it. - Amanda
Somewhere between snark and reason there ARE legitimate differences in gender. There is a flaw in this argument from above thread "I disagree that sexism and discrimination are only issues for the PR industry" in that Mr/s Amanda did not suggest sexism as much as hypocrisy as I read it.
I haven't read LeGuin since college (not into SF), but her study of a genderless society and leadership and decision making methods may relate to this post for the curious.
"One of the interesting pieces of Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Left Hand of Darkness" is the lack of gender in the alien society of Winter. Le Guin holds a thought experiment, to see what happens when society does not have male or a female, where its inhabitants are only interested in sex for a small part of the year."
Actually Scott... the reference was yours. On your site Sunday, March 26, 2006, "Strumpette's First Post: 41 Comments ... and Counting - And we've written nearly 800 posts and have never gotten that many comments on any of them. Looks like we're Salieri'ed again." Also, on March 20 your wrote, "Media Orchard works pretty hard on Media Orchard. But every once in a while, we come across a blog so brilliant that it makes us want to -- we hate to admit it -- simply abandon our feeble efforts. We feel like Salieri in the loony bin: "I speak for all mediocrities. I am their savior. I am their patron saint. Mediocrities, I absolve you! I absolve you!" Thanks for the inspiration. - Amanda
Yeah, I know the reference. As they say, there's a fine line between brilliance and insanity. Don't push it.
DON'T PUSH IT!!? What do you think this exercise is? - Amanda
note to Amanda: I think maybe certain of the male persuasion on this site prefer you to be the saucy, mindless tart here mainly for pure titill..uh, i mean provocation. The rest of us are here hoping to find the brilliance. Even if it's in the attempt.
I am kinda hoping for both. - Amanda
When things start getting really surreal, somehow lyrics by The Fall start popping in your head...
It's a curse
Well thy forsooth
Who is that interesting hack over there?
By Gad, verily
It's a curse
And am not unguilty of using it
";You, your tone is....
You tone of everybody";
Trying to bolt out of
Trying to get over
Operation mind fuck
";I do not like your tone.
It has ephemeral whinging* aspects.";
It's a curse. I am not unguilty of using it....
--From "It's a Curse" on, interestingly, the album "Infotainment Scam"
Its been a while since my last visit, i'd just like to say as a man that saucy mindless tarts are all fine and dandy but that media whoring in this PR field of ours is decidedly gender neutral.
Sometimes I feel like puking when I come to work.