Benedict Garrett was on the news because the school where he works as a teacher found out that he is moonlighting as a stripper. According to them, he was guilty of “unacceptable professional conduct”. Rightly, Mr Garrett answered that his other jobs in the adult industry are perfectly legal.
His only crime was to tell the truth. Mr Garrett is not ashamed of being a stripper and a porn actor and why should he be? Would you sack an employee because he tells the truth about his homosexuality? Would you sack an employee because he admits having a second job which is perfectly legal? So why would you sack an employee who is working in the adult industry?
Some would argue that children are not supposed to know about their teachers’ sex lives. Precisely, in that case, Mr Garrett didn’t inform the pupils. Some of his pupils discovered his second occupations by researching his Facebook page and the Internet. Mr Garrett didn’t commit any sex act in front of the children and didn’t comment about his own sexuality.
There is a difference between knowing someone’s sexual identity, someone’s job in the sex industry and to be informed about the details of his sexual activities. People can imagine what they want about other people’s sex lives, try to spy them and find out about the details, but those who are subject to such curiosity shouldn’t be their victims.
If someone was outed as a homosexual, or caught having sex where children shouldn’t be, we would no longer accuse him of unacceptable professional conduct, or this would be described as a case of discrimination and hopefully the worker would be compensated for such unfair treatment. Yet, what would be normally considered a discrimination against one is now a perfectly legitimate procedure against the other. Like homophobia, whorephobia should be illegal.
Many companies practice discrimination against people who don’t fit with their conservative moralistic values. They say that sex workers and adult entertainment workers put the reputation of their business into disrepute. As a GMB trade unionist, I have heard many cases among the members of my union of people who have been made redundant for that reason.
However, consenting sex between adults is a perfectly legitimate human activity and never misconduct. Taking your clothes off doesn’t harm anyone and is legal.
As I often say, why a military who killed innocent people at war would be a hero who should be celebrated, could teach children, and would become a role model for future generations, while people who sell sex or perform an erotic dance are discriminated against in such a way?
What is so wrong with sex?
What is so wrong that we need to hide it to children and pretend it doesn’t exist? It is not about making children involved. It is just about admitting that it is part of human life and that we can talk about it normally, without fear or shame.
Children need to be educated about sex. The UK has among the highest levels of unwanted pregnancy as well as one of the highest levels of STD’s infections among teenagers in Europe. It is time we stop shaming people about sex and teach our children to be safe and responsible. People should no longer be afraid and left ignorant. Children will find out anyway, like they did for Mr Garrett, because they’re curious.
Finally, I demand that the law protects strippers, porn actors, and all workers of the adult entertainment industry against abusive procedures and dismiss employers’ attempts to sack us. These practices are pure discrimination and shouldn’t exist.