Southern Religion

From Sister Carrie to Belle de Jour


Dr. Magnanti

Persuading to our daughters that heroine Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga: New Moon isn’t someone “any young girl should aspire to be” may be far easier than dealing with Belle de Jour.

Billie Piper as Belle de Jour

Billie Piper as Belle de Jour. She meets Magnanti in 2010 in an ITV2 documentary, “Billie and the Call Girl Bare All.”

Bella’s boyfriend is a pathetic, nonexistent vampire. Bella doesn’t exist either, for that matter, no matter how hard twihards may wish.

Whereas Dr. Brooke Magnanti is “a respected specialist in developmental neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology in a hospital research group in Bristol,” England. She proclaims herself to have worked as a prostitute, to have blogged it anonymously (until she “outed” herself) at Belle de Jour and to be the author of the bestselling books about her now not-so-secret life.

Sister Carrie was a scandal of a Theodore Dreiser novel because the heroine wasn’t punished for her indiscretions. Whereas Magnanti is a towering success. Her employer stands by her (What? You wanted her fired and maybe back on the street?).

She is of course unapologetic, but promises we’ll understand more after the ITV2 documentary. Of it she said:

This show will be the last word on what it was like to be Belle: how my sexuality was formed, how I came to the work, what it’s like to be portrayed on TV.

Viewers will get an exclusive look at the real woman who lived as Belle, actually becoming her one final time.

That’s going to help us with out daughters? We’ll think of something. Nothing simple, though. Life isn’t.

November 15, 2009 Posted by | Book Review, Cultural, WWW | | Comments Off on From Sister Carrie to Belle de Jour

Do we still believe this kind of apology?

Religious sex offenders are the worst, indicates the available data.

Why believe an apology from Phillip Garrido, the man accused of kidnapping and raping Jaycee Dugard in 1991? Is there anything credible about his claim of some resolution via religious experience (or any other claim like that)? The facts reported by John Simerman of the Contra Costa Times speak to this instance:

Promises of a religious transformation date back decades for Garrido, who served 11 years of a 50-year federal sentence for the 1976 kidnapping of a South Lake Tahoe woman he raped. Standing before a Nevada judge during sentencing on the rape charge, he told the judge he was expecting a spiritual rebirth after troubles with LSD and marijuana use.

Certainly we have learned by now that even spiritual vocations are no inoculation against sexually predatory behavior, as the almost 500 complaints of sexual abuse against the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) seems to suggest. As if the ongoing, decades deep, multinational, Catholic and Protestant clergy predation scandal were not already enough.

Have we learned?

Some of us have far to go toward dealing realistically with this issue and its cousins.

November 15, 2009 Posted by | Churches, Crime | , , , | 1 Comment