David Kirkpatrick

December 20, 2008

Sugar daddies, feminism and outrage

I read the original at the Daily Beast and came to the same conclusion asRobert Stacy McCain writing here at Taki’s Magazine — it’s a work of fiction. I’ve known some local talent — ahem, dancers — who enjoyed the largess of sugar daddies, but the bit from “Melissa Beech” rang a little too much of fantasyland.

Who knows I’ve  run into some weird arrangements out there so anything is possible, but the whole tale does sound a lot like a hackneyed post-Sex in the City chick-lit plotline.

On top of that I thought it might just be James Frey at it again, writing in drag this time. The personal memoir is a totally discredited literary vehicle for the time being. 

Do hit the link up there and read McCain’s take on this. He fires a series of very well aimed volleys, not across the bow, but right into the heart of feminism. Well earned shots, too.

From the link:



She calls herself “Melissa Beech,” and if we take her thumbnail biography at face value, she’s a college senior, living in Philadelphia—and living in lavish style, thanks to her wealthy boyfriend. A successful media professional, he pays her rent, showers her with gifts, and takes her on expensive vacations. This “mutually beneficial arrangement” costs her beau something like $5,000 a month and was arranged by him, she says, “because his past girlfriends hadn’t understood that his work would always come first.”

Her story may be as phony as her pseudonym, but when Miss Beech told it via Tina Brown’s new outfit, The Daily Beast, the outrage she provoked was real. Her confessional elicited more than 100 comments—many calling her a prostitute—and prompted responses at Slate and Salon. Such was the outpouring of judgmentalism that Miss Beech produced a follow-up, interviewing her “benefactor” (as she calls him) who defended the legitimacy of their arrangement.

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