Comics

Paying for it – Chester Brown – Review

Paying for it image

Chester Brown was born in 1960 in Canada and grew up in a strict Christian Baptist household and considered himself catholic until his early 20’s. He has worked on a variety of graphic novels today, such as Yummy Fur and even a biography of Canadian politician Louis Riel.

His 2011 graphic novel ‘Paying for it’ has to be finest work to date, as it explores the authors own experience with prostitutes. After breaking up with his girlfriend, he spends three years celibate, considering the negative aspects of romantic love, and how the need to be in a monogamous long term relationship is considered the norm by society. His decision to start using escorts is well thought out, and from his early experiences he moves on to being a regular user.

Each chapter is named after the girl he is visiting at the time, and explores the relationship that develops between them. Some abruptly end when a phone line is disconnected, some develop into something approaching a real relationship, but he never fools himself into believing that it is anything more than a financial arrangement.

He also chronicles his conversations with his friends on the topic, and it is his honestly that really does startle. While many may use escorts, few would discuss it with their friends and argue the pros of the situation with such intelligence.

It is a powerful discussion on the topic, and deals with many of the issues with thought and clarity. Many would disagree with his points of views but it is clearly a well thought out piece, with a 50 page appendix going through issues such as exploitation of women, sex trafficking, drug addiction etc.

His main argument on the topic of prostitution is that it should be decriminalized, to help the girls and to allow them to seek help from the police if anything happens to them. As a polemic on prostitution, I doubt you’d find something better written on the topic, and certainly is well worth reading.

Paying for it

Categories: Comics

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