There’s a new adult massage parlour coming to town, and they’re hiring. According to CBC’s Here & Now, Sherry’s Sugar Shack has been circulating an ad around the campus of Memorial University which states they’re looking for “motivated young women” to “provide company & a relaxing massage if required” to their clientele of “business people”.
Ok, so what? That doesn’t sound like much of a news story to me. There’s nothing illegal about what this ad is proposing. And circulating it around MUN seems perfectly acceptable. Outside of a few rare circumstances, everyone attending Memorial is going to be 18 years of age or older – especially now that we’re in the winter semester – making them adults according to federal law.
And yet the report seeks the opinion of a youth worker on the matter (who incidentally is not on the massage parlour’s side). But we’re talking about adults here, right?
Here & Now set up a fake e-mail account and contacted the recruiter for the massage parlour seeking information, of which they got plenty. A “shocking” amount of information, according to reporter Jen White.
Shocking you say? That sounds, well, shocking, doesn’t it? But there’s nothing shocking about the information itself given that it describes what you would expect would be the duties of an adult massage parlour worker. So why use such a strong adjective (in a pejorative tone, no less) to describe it?
Sprinkle in a few easy-to-get sound bites from young women saying the ad looks “sketchy” and “not something I’d go for” and it really starts to feel like this whole adult massage parlour thing might be a bad idea.
But we’re still not told, in any way by anyone, why it might be a bad idea.
I’d like to make something perfectly clear here: an adult massage parlour is not a brothel. Massaging people or being massaged, clothed or naked, within an establishment which offers such services is perfectly legal. And the recruiter that responded to Here & Now’s undercover e-mail made it clear in their reply that Sherry’s Sugar Shack is not a brothel, and described potential duties for a worker there in line with what an adult massage parlour would legally offer.
White closes the report by saying, “And with no real regulatory agencies in place, these young women may not be aware of what they’re getting themselves into.”
Which is, what, exactly?
Not only is what White has to say here condescending towards the viewer, who hasn’t been given a single shred of real information to indicate that there’s anything potentially unethical, illegal or dangerous about working for Sherry’s Sugar Shack, it’s also condescending towards the young woman who might be applying for a position there. As adults, these women are capable of making their own decisions and assessing their own safety; if there’s anything these women should be concerned about, this report by Here & Now certainly hasn’t informed them of it.