Dear Amy: I’m asking for advice for my younger sister, “Stella.”
Like a lot of people right now, Stella is using a social media account delivering “X-rated entertainment” to make extra income.
Our older cousin “Candace” is married to “Ted.” They have three kids. Ted is about 17 years older than Stella.
Stella found out that Ted has subscribed to her account. She learned this because he sent her a bunch of messages saying he is always checking her out at family functions. He called her his “dirty little secret.”
We are both very disturbed by his behavior and aren’t sure what she should do next.
Should Stella tell Candace? Stella told our mom in hopes that she would have some advice and to potentially ward off any uncomfortable future family gatherings.
Our mom thinks it’s possible that Candace will take Ted’s side and it could make things worse.
Stella and I both agreed that we would want to know if our significant other was doing this.
I encouraged Stella to take screenshots of his messages in case she needs any proof in the future (which she did).
Stella blocked his account and let her friends on the website know so they can block him, too. One friend did notice that he was paying for some of her content, but only the content that included Stella.
Should my sister keep this secret, or let our cousin know what her husband is doing?
— Concerned Big Sis
Concerned Big Sis: “Ted” is a creep. More on that later. But your question partly concerns whether “Stella” should notify your cousin “Candace” because her husband Ted subscribes to Stella’s “X-rated entertainment” account.
If Stella is providing pornography behind a paywall, I would assume that many, if not most, of her customers are somebody’s husband/significant other.
I’ll draw an equivalence to a medium like Penthouse magazine. If Stella is hired to pose for Penthouse, then should your cousin’s husband be “outed” because he bought it at a newsstand? No.
Your mom knows about Stella’s groove, and so I would imagine that this acceptance would override any extreme family awkwardness.
Ted’s choice to harass Stella should not remain anyone’s “dirty little secret,” however.
Even though Ted might have thought he was engaging in some creative and sexy role play, having a relative inform her of her role in his fantasy life is … creepy! Stella should respond directly to Ted, shutting him down. And, depending on how he responds, to deny him the pleasure of having her as his “dirty little secret,” she should feel free to out him.
You should assume that Ted’s wife will side with him. But, since his harassment is indefensible, I don’t think the rest of the family should worry too much about him or his feelings. (c) Ask Amy
Oh my gosh. Really?
Like a lot of people right now, Stella is […] delivering “X-rated entertainment” to make extra income.
So, a lot of people are (allegedly) doing this, and that makes it okay? Wow! Way to slide down the slippery slope of justification. That escalated quickly!
The issue seems to be whether or not to tell Ted’s wife. Now, the point of telling her would be to enlighten her about Ted’s extramarital creepiness, right? We can’t guess as to whether his wife Candace already knows about his shady goings-on, so I think she should be told. She deserves to know what Ted’s up to.
Should Stella tell Candace? […] Our mom thinks it’s possible that Candace will take Ted’s side and it could make things worse.
I must be missing something here. The point of telling Candace is to alert her to her husband’s lack of morality, so who cares which “side” she chooses? The info about her husband is hers to do with as she pleases.
Speaking of sides, I’m not on Stella’s side here. She’s showing evidence of having no morals and no self-respect. I find this baffling. It’s so alien to anything I’d ever do that I can’t intuit the appeal. Money? Obviously, but… still. I… yeah, no. Just no.
Further, Stella needs to understand in no uncertain terms that being a professional [bleep] comes with several risks and unpleasant interactions. What did she expect? There’s a direct cause and effect here.
And why couldn’t Ask Amy recommend that they get Stella to do something more virtuous with her time? Right, coronavirus. Still. No. If Stella has a caring sister and a caring mother, she could (in theory) live with them and save on rent. But she’d rather [bleep] it up for money. And this is acceptable?
It seems as if Stella is setting herself up to be harassed and then playing the victim when it inevitably happens. “Poor me. I’m trying to earn money to support my family [or myself] and these horrible men are coming onto me.” No, no, no. There’s no virtue or sainthood in being a sex worker. It’s immoral.
I would like to add, though, that I don’t judge any sex workers who were sexually abused as children/teens. I think they’re more likely to become sex workers due to what they went through, and it’s part of the process of trying to come to terms with the sexual abuse. I do, however, judge sex workers who are just looking to make an easy buck. Just because you can make money a certain way doesn’t mean you should.
Let’s check in with Annie Lane! She’s always tackling the big issues. (Forgive my sarcasm.)
Dear Annie: I, as well as many others, do not understand why television shows have to play music when the people on the show are talking. I may not have the best hearing, but it is very difficult to understand what the actors are saying. Sometimes, the music covers up their voices completely. If I want to listen to music, I’ll turn on the radio, not the TV. If there is something you can do to convince them to stop playing the music, that would be awesome. — What Did You Say
Dear WDYS: I wish I had that kind of power! As it is, I’m happy to print your letter to raise what awareness I can, because you’re not the first person to write to me about this problem. For what it’s worth, some hard-of-hearing readers have reported that closed captioning makes watching TV far less frustrating. Also, some televisions come with a “Clear Voice” audio setting that might help. (c) Annie Lane @ Creators.com
Wow, that’s… not controversial at all. [Eyeroll.] How anticlimactic! Well, we all know that if Annie Lane tackled the sex worker question, it would be disastrous.
I can’t muster any enthusiasm for this issue despite my best efforts. Annie Lane’s other questions from today’s column were along the lines of, “Should I go to the party?” and “How can I quit watching the news obsessively?” I chose the above question to highlight because… I’m not sure why. It was a tossup all around. Nothing rose to the top. (For the record, Annie Lane advised against going to the party. Take from that what you will.)
Closed captions are my salvation for television viewing, but it’s worth noting that there’s been a huge change in television audio since the 1980s. Watch anything that’s on today, and you’ll notice how hard it is to make out the dialogue. Then, go watch an episode of The Facts of Life, and you’ll be floored by how carefully and clearly those actresses enunciate. It’s mindblowing. Despite my hearing loss, I never need captions to watch The Facts of Life. It’s similar with Murder, She Wrote: good diction and stellar enunciation. Today’s actors and actresses don’t even try. Good pronunciation is no longer valued in Hollywood.