Toni's Reviews > Rent Girl

Rent Girl by Michelle Tea
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Dec 22, 07

bookshelves: queer
Recommended for: sex workers, anarchist comic enthusiasts, horny pre-teen boys/horny lesbians
Read in December, 2007

Terrible, terrible, terrible. Why did it happen? What makes it possible? This book has no point, it barely tells a story, and it is ridiculously aloof. Like talking to a coked up drag queen, smearing mascara all over your sensible sweater and gushing out their life story, morbidly fascinating, but you just want it to be over. Michelle Tea once again succeeds in convincing the world that yes, she is a vulnerable lesbian badass. And yes, there are people around her that do drugs and don't give a shit about anyone. Blah blah blah. I am so fucking sick of being a part of a group of people that constantly reinforce the stereotypes that plague their group. I hate the casual tone of this book. Like a scared little girl that wants to tell you that she is scared about confused, but instead says "Yeah, I had sex the other night. I didn't even come." Quit being casual, quit being self-involved, write something that has a purpose. So transparent. Not an enjoyable read. Grow up. Grow grow grow grow grow up. This book made me feel strange about the world. So full of pretend glamour, so lacking in the honesty it is praised for being full of. It is a lie, like most art, but this lie does not tell the truth. Terrible read.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Jamie I was so glad to see this as a review. I found myself wondering if I was just missing something. I kept feeling like something was going to happen that would make all the pointless crap she was saying worth it. Nothing ever happened. I found myself halfway through it waiting for it to end (which it feels like it never does). It's just like a journal. This girl bothered having her journal published and illustrated. UGH.


Nadeja Teleute @ Toni: If you are stating that this book made you feel strange about the world, then I think that Tea did an effective job as a writer. This book is a memoir, Tea's "saga of one broke baby dyke trying to make a buck in the surreal world of the sex industry", not a feminist theory text book. If you didn't enjoy Tea's writing style, that's fine, but What are your reasons for calling a memoir a lie?
Much of sex work is lies, and the acting out of fantasies. Sex work is complex; it's boring, gross, acting, navigating intimate interactions with total strangers, and simultaneously empowering and disempowering. Many time sex workers are in victimizing situations. I appreciated that Tea avoided the stereotypes of sex workers as exclusively victim or exclusively superhero, and that through Tea's own life experiences presented a relatable and complex glance at life as a sex worker.


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