Top blogger outs herself: Belle de Jour and medical research

The media both print and on line recently have been full of discussion of one of the most famous of all bloggers, an even bigger star than our own sainted leader Mick: Belle de Jour. She has been the author of a blog about herself, the most popular part of which concerned her time as a high class prostitute in London. Her blog and books have earned her a great deal of money and genuine literary acclaim; to the extent that some suggested she must be a professional writer and a few even rather sexistly suggested that she must be a man writing a fictional autobiographical blog. Ms. De Jour, however, has now “outed” herself in the Sunday Times and turns out to be medical researcher; Dr Brooke Magnanti. She explains her motivations and attacks as simplistic the notion that prostitution is a straightforward issue. However, many have been damning in their criticism of her apparently glamourised view of prostitution; none more so than the Daily Mail (unsurprisingly) who appear to have been preparing to out her themselves via an ex boyfriend before she gave an interview to the Sunday Times. Tanya Gold in the Guardian’s Comment is free has a less judgemental analysis of the dangers associated with prostitution whilst Robert McCrum (also in the Guardian) celebrates her writing style and success. Clive James (another excellent writer) has a nuanced view with an historical perspective.

Meanwhile Dr. Magnanti has apparently also written a novel and intends to continue with the blog though whether it will remain as popular as the life of a medical academic researcher rather than an anonymous sex worker; no matter how good the writing, remains to be seen. I wonder if writing the PhD helped or hindered her literary style?

  • joeCanuck

    Well, at least she has appeared to have earned her income honestly unlike some of our political whores, not to mention our cute hoors.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Like Sex and the city, which I really enjoy, I wonder if the diairies have more of a female than male readership? That is normally a reasonable test of the titillation (that term badly needs updating) factor – but they certainly are very well written.

    But I suppose it’s a bit a like the Soprano’s which has an excellent script and excellent actors but ‘normalises’ organised crime to the extent that it must look like quite a good career option to some and although not having any strong moral views on prostitution myself you can understand the Daily Mail who at least like to take a moral stand seeing it as likely to contribute to the continuing ‘fall’ in moral standards.

  • Jimmy Sands

    You have to feel for the poor woman. How does she break the news to her parents that she was a blogger?

  • joeCanuck

    likely to contribute to the continuing ‘fall’ in moral standards.

    Has the Daily Mail discovered a new profession calling itself “prostitution”?

  • Cabbie

    I had that belle de jour in the back of me cab.

  • OC

    “How does she break the news to her parents that she was a blogger?”

    How can I break the news to my parents that I’m a commenter?

    Or is that commentator?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I can just imagine the Daily Mail headline. “Will house prices fall as a result of glorified prostitution?”.

  • jeffg

    i hope she continues with her career in medical research as it’s far more important than all of the shite in the daily mail