Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Thought for the day

in memoriam: Gemma Adams, Tania Nichol, Anette Nichols, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell

'"My dear, I had to laugh," she said. "D'you know what a man said to me the other day? It's funny, he said, have you ever thought that a girl's clothes cost more than the girl inside them?' 'What a swine of a man, ' I said. 'Yes, that's what I told him,' Maudie said. That isn't the way to talk,' I said. And he said, "Well, it's true, isn't it? You can get a very nice girl for five pounds. a very nice girl indeed; you can even get a very nice girl for nothing if you know how to go about it. But you can't get a very nice costume for five pounds. To say nothing of underclothes, shoes etcetera, and so on." And then I had to laugh, because after all it's true, isn't it? People are much cheaper than things.' Jean Rhys


60 Going On 16 said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I haven't seen any of the newspaper coverage of the verdict yet but, if yesterday's TV coverage was anything to go by, I did detect some compassion for these young women. And that represents something of a sea change in the way that the murders of women, who just happen to work in the sex industry, are reported and, indeed, investigated. Twenty years ago or more (especially pre-the Yorkshire Ripper), it was a very different story. Think public disapproval and low police priority.

Linda Grant said...

I think the reason why this case was solved so quickly was partly DNA evidence, but partly because of a greater police understanding of the dangers faced by prostitutes, and the role of drug dependency in their lives, forcing them to go out to work. I was sickened by how little these girls got from each punter, and how much they had to earn to feed their addiction. And how they got addicted in the first place, and who addicted them.

60 Going On 16 said...

Agree totally Linda.

I suspect, however, that none of those involved in the drugs side of the story will ever be brought to justice. And I'd like to think that the punters who used and abused these young women are hanging their heads in shame. Although I doubt it.

There are still pockets of the population where, it seems, nothing has changed. We have a local lowlife who is involved in drugs and child porn. For years - even when the constabulary was headed by a woman - local police have turned a blind eye to his activities. Their usual response when his name crops up, as it does frequently, is: 'Oh, he's harmless really.' Still, this is deep, dark countryside, where attitudes are still stuck in the dark ages and wads of cash often exchanged in returning for keeping quiet.