PeaceTara and hotmovies4her on Twitter directed me to this video on youtube this morning that I think is deserving of some critical attention. While watching this video, be on the lookout for emotional appeals in the song and in the images themselves:
The biggest and most obvious emotional appeal is, of course, in the song title. “Somebody’s Daughter,” according to this song, apparently leads one to a realm where we deserve special treatment and are seen as someone unable to make our own rational decisions. Though this isn’t directly stated, it is certainly implied. And in this line of thinking, where are all the videos about sewage processing women being someone’s daughter? The clerk at the store? Female bartenders, garbage truck operators, nursing home care providers (who clean the shit off our grandparents) - those are ALL someone’s daughter too, and their jobs suck. Sex work jobs only suck when people are assholes. Most of the time the job is all about pleasure.
Further, there are other lines in this song in need of serious attention. One line of the song states, “Why do I only see flesh and look right past her heart?” Firstly, it isn’t dehumanizing to think of people as being made of flesh. It would more disturbing if you saw her as a peanut butter parfait. We are people and we are made of meat. It is part of our natural instincts and one of our innate drives to respond to each other as most advanced meat-based animals do, sexually. Speaking of which, a hard dick produced by a glimpse at pornography is not much different than that which is produced by looking at a loved one, like a wife, who you also might lust after. Let’s not forget that she is also somebody’s daughter (if that’s important to you).
Oh, I should also mention here that the way the next few lines go with the one just mentioned is somewhat creepy:
Why do I see only flesh and look right past her heart?
I try to tell myself I can’t help what I feel - And then I remember
She’s somebody’s daughter.
When you’re aroused and viewing a girl sexually, you’re thinking about how she is someone’s daughter? I’d say that’s a hell of a lot less normal than most people’s sexual fantasies and it is less likely to be hers than if you just generically view her as sexy. Don’t get me wrong, here, incest amongst consenting adults is their business and not something I think people should punish others over. This part of the song just seems to imply something that, well, wasn’t the emotional appeal that the writer was looking for. It gets disturbing with the next line, though, “she’s somebody’s child.” I don’t care if you dislike that I or one of my peers turns you on with our work, but I do care if you’re thinking of me as a child while you are turned on (not my thing at all).
The next verse highlights a few things that I think are easily addressed. Firstly, it implies that having a child (who eventually became a sex worker) was somehow cherishing creation. No matter if you do believe in a creation story or if you believe in evolutionary theory, if the body is to be cherished, there is no better way to cherish it than to show it OFF and SHARE it! My body is the only body I will ever have. I see it as something granted to me via the happenstance that is evolution, but even if it was some divine gift, I see no better way to be proud and happy that I have it than to use it for the pleasure of others. Getting paid for it just means that I can do it rather than having someone objectify me as a biological burger flipping device at Burger King. The verse further states that the parents of this hypothetical sex worker made her body as a temple for her soul. Quick, name one temple that isn’t dressed up pretty and uncovered - oops, time’s up.
Another big complaint I have with this song is that it implies that a man masturbating to sexual entertainment is a man who is somehow defiling the performers. You know what? We’re only defiled if you cheapen us by pretending that we haven’t made our own decisions, that we haven’t consented and that we are worth less to you when we are doing something to help you. Also, while what an individual does to continue a healthy sex life, including regular masturbation, is not evil - teaching men that they are somehow evil by doing something that is completely natural and healthy (like masturbation) IS EVIL. Whoever wrote this song, seemingly designed to promote guilt for sexual activity, has done something evil just as much as a person who makes starving people feel guilty for eating a salad with a fork is evil. That’s right, pornography is the fork in your salad, Bitches.
My sex work is a part of my identity just as much as who I was born to is part of my identity. Being someone’s daughter is only a fraction of who I am and diminishes the rest of my life to the point that it devalues me as a person. So, it isn’t for the person who is masturbating to me to be shamed. Instead, shame on those of you who would rob me of my identity by pretending some other aspect of my life defines me more.
P. S. I was going to comment on the youtube video in the comments section, but it appears that anyone commenting against it is getting marked as spam and, thus, passively censored since youtube hides marked down comments unless you actively click to unhide them.