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Tuesday 21 August 2018

Kate's wonderful, not revolting, but I hope she stops sex work

"Revolting". That's the word one of the characters of the new RTE2 series Connected was called by someone.

It was a shock to hear it and even though Kate McGrew tried to turn it around and put a positive spin on it by checking did the person mean 'rebellious', the true meaning was shoved into her face.

She was revolting, disgusting.

You see Kate is a sex worker. What used to be called a prostitute. She was doing a phone interview with a radio station and a listener felt very strongly about her choice of career.

Kate is one of six women who feature on the RTE2 show. These real life characters film their everyday life for us to see. Good old fashioned voyeurism.

teenagers

There are many wonderful things about Connected. The women are articulate and opinionated. The ages range from 20 to 40-something.

Nicole (20) has me entertained with her relationship with Noel.

It's the stuff of teenagers and I actually heard myself saying out loud "dump the b*****d". I'm sure Noel is lovely, but he's the only one who is getting a tough time by the editors.

Then there's Alannah, who is also 20. She revealed last week that her father had committed suicide. It was such emotional television, and I saw for the first time the heartbreak that remains when someone takes their own life.

There's a rapper, an ad agency employee and a woman who lives in possibly the most claustrophobic apartment ever with her family. Then the "revolting" one, Kate, came on to tell us that she is a pole dancer.

And here is the most challenging part of the series for me. Her choice of career is something that I just don't get. I really don't get it.

I don't feel good about women selling their bodies for money. I know women have to do it sometimes. I know we can all make choices. But I do not buy that having sex for money is something that one can feel proud of.

Kate tries to explain that she feels being a sex worker is an intimate experience.

challenged

In one scene, she lets us know that an old client (I don't know if she means an elderly client or someone who has been with her for a long time) is coming over and he likes to bring her scones. (I'm thinking definitely an elderly client now...)

It is very interesting how challenged I am by Kate, by her story and by how much I want her to stop. She is not revolting, she is wonderful. And she makes a strong argument case for sex work, whatever my own opinion on the matter.

I am gripped by this portrait of these women's lives and cannot wait to see how it all pans out.

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