Rosie Waterland talks with her mother on her memoir “The Anti-cool Girl.”
Key point 1: Prostitution is a noble trade.
Rosie’s mother sold her body as a means to support her family – life was difficult as her husband was an alcoholic and he was abusive to her, and she had two children to raise. I do believe sex work is an honorable profession, as for one thing there are escorts providing their services exclusively for those with severe disabilities, and otherwise they may never experience what it’s like to be intimate with someone.
Experiences vary, of course. It must be said, there is a big difference to working in a brothel, and being a high class escort – in a brothel there’s a focus and expectation of sex with the men who come to the brothels. As an escort, sex may not be involved at all – you may just arrange an evening out with your companion in question, have dinner etc.
Eventually, Rosie’s mother got tired of working in a brothel and began doing some escort work. She realized what she was doing was beneath her – she was beautiful, intelligent, she could do better for herself than rubbing oil on fat bald men in Wagga Wagga…
Key Point 2: Rosie’s mother was abandoned at birth.
She was then adopted by a foster family, but as Kate (Rosie’s mother) showed increasingly rebellious signs throughout childhood and her teenage years, her foster parents gave up on her too. But perhaps they should’ve been more understanding and given her more support – I’m reading about “Abandoned child syndrome” and clearly from what was said on the Podcast, Kate was psychologically scarred, which can easily explain some of her future actions, such as her alcoholism and drug use.
Key Point 3: Living in the shadow of your sister/brother.
Rosie looked up to her sister Rhiannon a great deal, for her beauty, and for just how cool she was. She wanted to be cool like her sister but always felt inferior in that regard. At another point Rosie entered a beauty contest but Rhiannon ended up winning – without even bothering to enter. So her sense of inferiority lingered. Rosie looked up to her, despite Rhiannon constantly playing pranks on her younger sibling, and making fun of her amongst friends. When Rosie was included in one of their games, she considered it a privilege.
I can relate to these feelings as I look up to my brother a great deal. He is highly intelligent, and I often wish I had the kind of intelligence he possesses. He’s good looking, and has no problem finding friends – and boyfriends. He’s a hard worker, not long ago he suffered from agoraphobia and was seriously obese, like 170kg+ but changed his life around, lost half his body weight, now has a full time job that he enjoys and has made some wonderful friends.
Key Point #4: Growing up on a housing estate as they did, in a rough environment like that, how much does that shape the individual?
Although Rosie and Rhiannon had severely damaged parents in their own ways, and were friends with kids whose parents were heroin addicts, they nevertheless grew up to be perfectly healthy adults – Rosie is a successful writer and is now developing a TV series, while Rhiannon is a mother of three children. This must reflect upon the strength of the individual. If Rosie and Rhiannon had been of weak will, it’s easy to see how their futures could’ve fallen by the wayside.
Key Point #5: Why are women attracted to dodgy guys?
Perhaps it’s just a case of “birds of a feather.” Sometimes though a man seems alright but for instance after man and woman are married, the man suddenly changes and all semblance of his former good behavior vanishes, and the woman tolerates his abuse because she’s hanging in there for the children, for example. Again it can come down to the strength or lack of it of the woman in question – Rosie’s mum finally realized what an awful situation she was in with her husband, and made a clean break away from him. Not everyone has the strength to do this.