Russian Film Crew?

{With apologies to those of you who got the incomplete draft that I accidentally posted and quickly deleted last night.  This is the real post.}

It just sounds exotic, doesn’t it?  A Russian film crew.  Exotic and unlikely.  That’s what I thought anyhow, when we got the email.  And I hit delete.

When we got the second email, I think I deleted that one too.  I mean, we get offers from financial advisors to write guest posts, and offers to pay us if we link to some website and all kinds of random things.  This really sounded a lot like spam.

Then we got another email from them that had been sent to someone else, and we did answer that one, but didn’t get a response back.  In the meantime, one of the Old Timer Escorts had gotten six phone calls, no message.  The seventh phone call from that number left a message saying it was a Russian film crew…

So it’s not like we didn’t have any warning.   But it was the last thing on my mind last week at the clinic.  Servalbear was in Jackson with a couple of other escorts and there were a couple of  new escorts and then there were two men videotaping all over the place.  And I didn’t make the connection at all.  It was not my finest moment.

But they were talking to the protesters, and freaking out some of the clients and I just figured they were some new protester-connected people.   Even when I had to tell one of them to get off clinic property, and realized he wasn’t fluent in English, I still didn’t make the connection.  Finally, I overheard one of them say something about being from Russia and BOOM, it finally clicked,  – and I thought, “Shit, I thought they were spam!!”

But I ended up talking to the one guy for a little bit, and I agreed to go back and talk with them after the escort breakfast.  Several other escorts went too, and we talked on camera about why we escort.  So I guess we’re going to be in a Russian documentary.

They’ve been going to different cities and filming at clinics with protesters.  They say they’re trying to present a neutral view, and I guess we’ll see how that turns out.  The film is supposed to be available on the internet too, and I imagine we’ll link to it when it’s available, if we don’t forget all about it first.

The man who interviewed us wanted to know if we thought the protesters were “a cult.”  I thought that was a great question, and it made me pause and think, but no, I don’t think they’re organized enough for a cult.  And don’t cults have to have a specified leader?

But the escort who sometimes posts as Anonymous thought about it a minute and said yeah, she did think the antis were a cult.  And I wondered what other people thought.

We probably talked to the two men for half an hour.  Listening to other escorts talk about their experiences on the sidewalk is moving and powerful for me, so I enjoyed listening, and I hope the filmmakers left with a more balanced view.

We’d been speculating earlier about laws and attitudes in Russia.  One escort had said that abortion was just accepted as part of heath care there and that they didn’t have any problem with it.  But when we asked the documentary guy, he seemed a bit vague.   He agreed that it was legal and nothing like what we have here, he just didn’t sound like it was 100% accepted.

Interestingly, I was telling a co-worker, Wyndi, about the experience later, and she mentioned that she had actually done reproductive health work in Russia.  Wyndi said that when she was there, abortion was not only accepted, it was common, and that many women had multiple abortions.  She said for some women, it was their preferred method of birth control.

But Wyndi also said there was some push against that now.  The medical community wants women to use more birth control, and some evangelicals there were promoting the whole religious shame game that we have here.

I wanted to ask her a million questions, but it wasn’t the right time.  I’ll interview her sometime and share the story here.

I still feel a little bit bad about not having connected with the film crew ahead of time, mostly because it’s so disruptive when people are filming.  The antis get a bit ratcheted up- well, some people ratchet up, some people tone it down, clients are (naturally) freaked out, and it’s just extra chaos.  Maybe if we’d talked ahead of time it could have been less disruptive.

But there’s no point in fretting about it now.

I’ll leave you with a funny escort story.  One of the escorts, we’ll call him T, was coming up the sidewalk with a client, a companion, and a protester – I think it was Mary – hanging on to them, preaching and fussing about being a mother and not killing your baby.

Then Mary suddenly switches tacks.   She goes from “Please don’t kill your baby,” to “You’re always going to regret this.”

“You’re trading 30 seconds of pleasure,” she says, “For a lifetime of regret,”

T stops dead in his tracks.

Without even thinking , he looks straight at her and says, “30 seconds of pleasure?”  Shaking his head, “No wonder you’re so bitter!”

4 thoughts on “Russian Film Crew?

  1. cult – noun
    1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
    2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers
    3. the object of such devotion.
    4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
    5. Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.

    Anti-choice organizations fall into at least the second definition and some of them fit into all five definitions.

    Definitely cultish, different organizations have different leaders who have very loyal followers that will do anything for them – lie, harass and murder for their leader and cause. For example Operation Rescue / Troy Newman, Live Action / Liar Rose oops Lila Rose and Jill Stanek who doesn’t even have a name for her cult but she’s so narcissistic/lazy? she relies on her own name for her cult. (To name a few.)

    Love the idea to documentary the protestors. Odd that it would be a Russian film crew but that’s cool, do let us know when it’s complete and available to view.

    Someone should have snapped a pic of Mary’s face when T said that, I bet the look on her was priceless!

    • Hmmm, if I’d had time to look cult up i would have been better able to answer that, wouldn’t I? Wish you’d been there!

      And yeah, I would have liked to see the look on her face too!

  2. The last line is priceless. I love volunteering with like minded people that also have mastered the fine art of well timed words.

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