JENNI MURRAY: There's a high price to pay if you strip off for cash

JENNI MURRAY: There’s a high price to pay if you strip off for cash

  • Emily Ratajkowski has expressed regret about dancing in a flesh-coloured thong
  • Jayne Dunn has been sacked from a role in Hollyoaks for joining OnlyFans
  • Jenni Murray says selling sex harms and isn’t good for how women are perceived

Today, I can still remember how angry I became in 2013 when a song called Blurred Lines by Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke (highly appropriate surname) became one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Those of us who were battling with the question of consent in sex couldn’t deny it was a great tune that made you want to get up and dance, but the message? How could two young men in the 21st-century believe that ‘no’ didn’t really mean no? For this duo, the lines around consent were ‘blurred’ and, hating those blurred lines, they sang, ‘I know you want it’.

Playing along with this dangerous ideology was a beautiful young woman, model Emily Ratajkowski, who aged just 21 danced around in the video wearing nothing but a flesh-coloured thong and trainers.

After model Emily Ratajkowski (pictured) expressed regret about dancing in a flesh-coloured thong and trainers at age 21, Jenni Murray explains the price of striping off for cash 

The video made her name and, in interviews about the controversy, she was determined that her seductive nudity was her choice and she was empowered by it.

It launched her into the stratosphere but, eight years on, pushing 30 and now married with a baby, she’s expressing deep regrets about her past.

In her new book, My Body, she relates how it wasn’t so empowering to find Robin Thicke allegedly groping her breasts from behind during filming. And no, she hadn’t wanted it. She writes that she was embarrassed and shocked, but said nothing.

‘We were working for him, after all,’ she says. Ah, so she accepts the power lay with the men who photographed or employed her.

‘In my early 20s,’ she writes, ‘it had never occurred to me that the women who gained their power from beauty were indebted to the men whose desire granted them that power in the first place.’

Jenni (pictured) says selling sex will harm you and it does no good for the way all women are perceived either

She no longer subscribes to what was dubbed ‘choice feminism’, where she believed that doing what she wanted — getting naked or wearing something sexy — was a feminist act because she’d made that choice. She understands that we must acknowledge the real power structures at play.

She now spends much of her time trying to buy back pictures of herself and wrestling with the laws around the ownership of photographs. I guess no one wants their son to look them up and think, ‘There’s my mum, she’s just a body.’

Her story reminded me of Katie Price, who, in her days as Jordan also believed her body gave her power and riches but, as she’s got older, has struggled and become a desperately sad character. It’s a lesson girls need to learn and it seems it may be getting through.

Sarah Jayne Dunn has been sacked from a role in Hollyoaks which she’s played on and off since 1996. She had joined the X-rated subscription site, OnlyFans, as a raunchy sideline, making allegedly £7,200 in a week, in addition to the £120,000 salary she received from the popular teen soap.

Tempting I’m sure, but the site, although it declares itself as 18-plus, seems to have shown videos sent in by much younger girls.

If Sarah Jayne’s plan was to take control, she’s made a big mistake. She’s lost a steady, regular salary. Without Hollyoaks, she’s just another girl flaunting her body in black PVC and bunny ears. Where’s the power in that?

Channel 4 has got it right. No blurred lines. Maybe Noel Coward’s mantra is the best way to go, ‘Don’t put your daughter on the stage’. Selling sex will harm you, as Emily Ratajkowski discovered, and it does no good for the way all women are perceived either.

No more William Wokesworth

John Constable’s The Cornfield (pictured left) was presented to the National Gallery in 1837 by a group including William Wordsworth (pictured right)

I am just checking back to make sure I’ve never rented a house or a flat from someone who’s been involved in slavery. I haven’t! What a relief.

The National Gallery has been trawling through its masterpieces to see if they may have been tainted by such tenuous associations in the past. John Constable’s The Cornfield was presented to the gallery in 1837 by a group including William Wordsworth. He, we’re told, lived with his sister in a cottage she rented from a plantation owner. For goodness sake, isn’t it time we put a stop to this nonsense?

So Boris, will £30 make me a Lady?

I’ve thought in recent years that I might make a rather good member of the House of Lords. I have lots of experience in many fields, I’m a good debater and I’m fit enough to turn up. It’s sad that I don’t have the £3 million that seems to make you a shoo-in. Would a donation of £30 quid do, Prime Minister?

Ashamed to be a Yorkshire lass

For the first time in my life, I’m ashamed to call myself a Yorkshirewoman.

One of England’s oldest sporting clubs has been accused of being institutionally racist by Azeem Rafiq, one of its former players. The Yorkshire County Cricket Club to my father was the foundation of everything he held dear. It was a ‘game played by gentlemen’. It was the essence of what it meant to be British.

His own ambition to play for his county was never fulfilled. He had to make do with local Sunday matches with a wife preparing the tea in the pavilion and a daughter making daisy chains on the boundary.

So great was his love for the club that on May 11, 1950, he rushed my mother back from friends in Lancashire as she began her labour to ensure his firstborn was delivered in Yorkshire. In that sense, I was a disappointment. I was born in the county, but my sex excluded me. I would not be the next Fred Trueman or Geoffrey Boycott.

I remember my father saying a good few years ago, ‘I don’t know why they don’t take on and promote a few of those Asian lads I’ve seen playing as juniors. A lot of them are brilliant with both bat and ball. And they’re born in Yorkshire.’ Birth in the county was a requirement until 1992.

I fear my dad will be turning in his grave that his beloved Yorkshire cricket club is brought so low by ‘gentlemen’ who don’t deserve the term and should have known better.

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