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There's a mention that "in early stories this character was often named Amanda", and yet, not a single example of such a character named Amanda... so is this even true? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:03, 24 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Irma La Douce[edit]

Does Irma La Douce fit in here?

seems to, judging from the imdb entry. feel free to add her if you think it's appropriate. Sarge Baldy 10:18, Mar 30, 2004 (UTC)
She certainly does fit. I was wondering where she was, then I saw her name at the bottom of the list. I'll merge it in. ChrisWinter 17:23, 11 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

what about the character from the film 'Girl next door'?


Should there be a note on this page about stereotyping prostitutes as villainous in the first place? Also: Slack from Land of the Dead is not a good example, she is enslaved and never voluntarily a prostitute. Since slaves are not considered automatically villainous or callous, this fails to represent the idea very well. 06:29, 16 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Inara Serra[edit]

Inara Serra should probably not be in this list. Her character is a companion, which is very carefully positioned as not being a prostitute. Her social standing is one of the upper class due to her profession, not a "fallen woman", so her graces are expected of her. Her educated mind and proper manners are in keeping with her upper class standing as a companion, so her "heart of gold" is in no way a contrast to her position in life. Compare her with the prostitutes in the same series who are on the list and who *are* considered fallen women (in fact, one is a former companion, IIRC, who failed and is now a lowly prostitute, thus being a "Hooker with a heart of gold"). 21:43, 25 June 2006 (UTC)[reply]

If someone had asked me before, I would have said she does belong. But after reading the above, I have my doubts — which probably reflect the American cultural ambivalence about whether a woman who sells her sexual services can be considered respectable. (I think Joss Whedon's point is that she can.) So I have to agree that this list, as defined, should not include Inara Serra. Is there a list where she would belong? ChrisWinter 17:50, 11 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]
A little more research has disclosed the "List of famous courtesans and prostitutes." This would be a better match for the Registered Companion. It already has a section on courtesans in literature, so film and television could be added with no trouble. I'll work on setting that up. In the meantime, the link below may be of interest. ChrisWinter 01:48, 12 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]
My life as a courtesan
Inara Serra most certainly is a hooker with a heart of gold. Just because she's not a street whore doesn't change the fact that she has sex with people for money. There are plenty of real-life high-class hookers who can pick their clients, charge top dollar, and call themselves "escorts." The fact that she has some sort of social status in her universe doesn't matter; in our universe, she's hooking. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Tysto (talkcontribs).
I disagree. This article is about a particular form of archetype, the woman who does what her society considers immoral, while being wholesome internally. By that measure, Inara wouldn't count, since companions are not looked down on in her society (Mal being the exception rather than the rule).--Eyrian 05:23, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I'd argue that what the intended audience finds immoral supersedes what the character's society finds immoral. The archetype is based around a fascination with sexual fantasies, and it's the prostitution element that differentiates this archetype from, for example, a thief with a heart of gold. 05:25, 5 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]
The archetype has nothing to do with sexual fantasies. Once again, it deals with a woman who has retained a kind and wholesome core despite working in a cruel profession that her society deems lowly and immoral. Inara is a "companion" rather than a hooker (a distinction clearly stated in the show), and this puts her high up that universe's socioeconomic ladder. The inherent contrast of "the hooker with a heart of gold" can't exist in her case because she's golden on the outside. AlanJM (talk) 08:16, 26 January 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Wow. I can't believe that this is really a discussion. There are plenty of other examples on the list of characters that are "golden on the outside" and are high on the socioeconomic ladder, and there is nothing in the "hooker with a heart of gold" that precludes those things. The desire to have popular tv character removed seems to be a reflection of the very pejorative attitude Americans have towards prostitution. Since she's a good and likable person who happens to have sex for money, she can't be lumped in with all those bad criminal people who have sex with money. Yes, she's a hooker, but she's different, like she has a heart of some valuable material or something. Now if only there was an archetype for that kind of character and a wiki page describing it. Someidiot (talk) 23:46, 1 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I was just coming here to say the same thing. Inara is, if anything, meant to subvert this character. The hooker with a heart of gold about the clashing ideas of low standing/an immoral lifestyle and virtuous character. Inara is pointedly not in low standing and the majority opinion of characters on the show (also the side the show seems to take, and invite its viewers to take) is that her work isn't immoral. The article says it's important that this character is being forced to do something bad in spite of being good. Inara is not being forced to be a hooker. She has no pimp. She is too well trained and connected to starve if she quit. It's her chosen career, and is presented as being in perfect harmony with her personality, not in contrast to it. She fits this stock character only if you look at the most literal interpretation of its name and ignore its actual purpose or definition. -- (talk) 14:04, 28 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Malcolm clearly disapproves of her professions, and the episode Heart of Gold gives us a view of how prostitutes are treated outside of the Alliance planets. It's clear that based on the "actual purpose or definition" of the stock character and the role Inara plays in the story, she is a canonical example. EeepEeep (talk) 07:46, 17 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Does Jasmine Dubrow belong?[edit]

As far as I remember, the character Jasmine DuBrow in Independence Day is an exotic dancer, not a prostitute. If that's right, she does not belong on the list. ChrisWinter 17:50, 11 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Puttin' in, takin' out[edit]

Seeing no protest, I took Jasmine Dubrow off the list. I alphabetized the list, split the two names from Hot L Baltimore into separate entries, and edited the entry for Ilya (from Never on Sunday.) I also added two names: Mona Stangley and Suzie Wong; I think their hearts are sufficiently golden. I thought about adding Carmen, the gypsy of Bizet's opera, and her modern emulations (e.g. Carmen Jones.) But while she might be termed a hooker, I don't see her as having a heart of gold. ChrisWinter 22:40, 12 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

One day isn't really long enough of a wait to assume consensus. The description states the archetype can be generalized to other types of sex workers (e.g., strippers and porn stars). But I don't think Jasmine Dubrow is particularly notable nor adds much to the list, which is intended to be representative, not exhaustive. Someidiot (talk) 01:26, 2 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Some musings[edit]

1. Was Satine in "Moulin Rouge" a prostitute? Was she not actually a courtesan?

Is there a difference?

2. Did Iris in "Taxi Driver" have a heart of gold? I don't really remember her making any choices, she seemed passive, but I haven't seen the movie in awhile.

3. If Iris belongs, doesn't Violet from "Pretty Baby" belong as well?

Example list[edit]

The list is getting a bit long. I'd like to move it to another article or category. What do people think? --Eyrian 01:59, 2 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Well, where'd ya put it???

Blanche DuBois? Surely not[edit]

I don't think Blanche DuBois from A Streetcar Named Desire belongs on this list. For one, she wasn't a prostitute -- she had just slept with a number of her students. Secondly, I wouldn't say she had "a heart of gold". I would say she had "issues".

The whole deal with Blanche is that she seems nice on the outside, but we later find out that she's a lot more troubled on the inside. That's the reverse of the hooker with a heart of gold, who seems troubled on the outside, but is nice on the inside.

Also, the hooker with a heart of gold tends to be a peripheral character -- not the main character like Blanche.

--I entirely agree; I hate her character primarily due to what she believes, on the inside. Also, she slept with people for reasons besides food or being forced into it. I could go on, but it would turn into a rant. Sliverqueen (talk) 10:23, 12 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Moulin Rouge[edit]

Nicole Kidman's character is a hooker as well as a dancer, so I don't see why she's mentioned in the "not necessarily a hooker" section. 05:10, 24 May 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Gutting the article[edit]

I have commented out most of the article. I think it might serve as a useful reference for constructing something new, but it just reads like a long list of unverified original research. I'd love to see some citations, but I'm insufficiently familiar with this sort of literature. Perhaps someone could take it upon themselves? --Eyrian 18:08, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Either have the article or remove it[edit]

Back in May someone had objections to the list and removed it - this doesn't appear to have been discussed on the talk page, so I've reverted back to the May version. The existing version had been hacked down to a single worthless paragraph. I understand that people might have objections to such an article, but it's no good just reducing it to nothing - if the article's worth having, then the list has to be there, if it's not, then the article has to be removed. Palefire 23:41, 1 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

I believe an article like this is more appropriate for a place such as tvtropes.org, which is a great wiki for all the stereotypes you find in entertainment media. It is less suitable for Wikipedia due to lack of verifiability (own interpretations of original material don't count) jasticE (talk) 08:16, 4 February 2008 (UTC)[reply]


"usually a prostitute who sells sex for cash or drugs, is in fact a kindly and internally wholesome person" in the first para suggests that it is unusual for a prostitute to be kind and wholesome. i find this derogitory towards them. someone address this please —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:57, 8 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Bianca from Othello[edit]

Does Bianca belong here? I don't recall Bianca being a prostitute or having a heart of gold... then again, I haven't read the complete play of Othello, just summaries. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:34, 9 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

History and context needed[edit]

What's the origin of this expression? In what contexts is it used? Is it an academic term or a popular culture term? Is it only used in the english language? If so, in which countries? Has Please add information. - nekrorider189.146.11.52 (talk) 19:54, 8 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]

  • The term and its variants can be found in popular culture as well as in academic writing (we have a couple of academic citations in the article already, although most of the citations are from popular writing). Versions of the term also exist in French (see this Google search) and Spanish (see this Google search), and possibly other languages as well. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 09:26, 26 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]

The expression may be linked to the fact that until relatively recently, and in the western world, prostitutes were the only source of sexual experience for males before (and sometimes even after) marriage. The prostitute could be considered as a "bad girl" girlfriend by men who wanted some type of emotional connection to the woman they were having sex with on a per pay basis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Opusv5 (talkcontribs) 16:55, 2 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Unintentionally hilarious[edit]

Hi there. This article was the first hit from my Google search with the terms "Unintentionally hilarious wikipedia articles". Just thought you'd like to know! Keep up the good work, guys. Colonel Mustard (talk) 09:20, 12 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Sugar from the Crimson Petal and the White?[edit]

I believe she belongs her, she was a prostitute but her feelings and emotions (tender, hurt etc.) were often portrayed both in book and in the BBC series. (talk) 23:21, 22 April 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Sofya Semyonovna -- 'Sonya'[edit]

Sofya Semyonovna -- 'Sonya' -- in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment not only exemplifies but, in a sense, *transcends* this character stock type. She is a devout Christian who was took up the oldest profession because of privation, desperation and . . . *compassion* for the sake and survival of her step-family. I say 'transcends' because she is akin to Christian martyrs who would sacrifice self for a Greater Cause. Violetta -- either in Dumas fils's novel or in Verdi's opera -- is not a 'hooker'. She is a courtesan which, for contemporary readers and modern society, can be translated into 'professional mistress'. (talk) 21:17, 20 July 2013 (UTC)Kersie[reply]

Annie Savoy of Bull Durham[edit]

While not strictly a hooker, Savoy is a baseball groupie (named after the nickname given to such) who, along with "Crash" Davis, help shape Ebby LaLoosh into a Major League-level pitcher.

DaDoc540 (talk) 21:28, 10 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]


This seems to be a wonderfully written section, but there are no citations. PurpleChez (talk) 18:02, 10 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]

What do we think of these sources?[edit]

The writer Bret Harte is credited w/ introducing this trope to American literature. I found a couple of sources, but not sure about reliability. Anyone wish to comment on them? The first is from a Library of Congress project, which sounds reliable enough, but there's no writer credited, so no way to analyze authority. The second appears to be from an online course of some sort. Just Another Cringy Username (talk) 20:39, 18 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]



Not a direct comment on this, but WP:RS explicitly does *not* say that dissertations are not reliable sources, which led to a major deletion from this article. It says you cannot cite an *in progress* dissertation. matt91486 (talk) 06:41, 19 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]