Toronto Star Columnist Rosie Dimanno Outs Sex Worker for No Apparent Reason


In a recent Toronto Star column about a good-character hearing for a would-be defense attorney, columnist Rosie Dimanno outed a recent law school grad as a sex worker, graphically and condescendingly describing the content of her social media.

After explaining that sex worker Dawn Lee once posted a photo of herself performing fellatio while naked in the table top yoga position before getting to the actual point of the article—an unrelated good character hearing—Dimanno herself bizarrely admitted: “None of the aforementioned conduct has a damn thing to do with it.”

Instead Lee, whose given name is Nadia Jia Guo and who in an email asked Jezebel to refer to her as such, had a hearing before the Canadian Law Society about conduct complaints from 2015, including flipping off staff at a civil court’s office, leaking confidential information on Twitter, starting a “name and shame” Tumblr of judges and police officers, and Tweeting about a “girl crush” on a judge.

The Law Society doesn’t actually care about the sex work because it’s not a crime, which seems to irk Dimanno:

As, indeed, the bang-for-bucks wasn’t even addressed by the three-headed Law Society tribunal hearing, although the raunchy details are flat-out boasted on Guo’s social media platforms.

In Canada, a controversial law called Bill C-36 criminalizes paying for sex but does not make it illegal to be a sex worker, a catch-22 that permits “people to sell something no one can buy,” according to Canadian MP Francoise Boivin. It’s also illegal to advertise someone else’s sexual services or to profit from someone else’s sexual services, neither of which Lee has been accused of doing.

What Lee has done, apparently, is offend Dimanno’s sensibilities enough to warrant an entire finger-wagging, fellatio-describing diatribe after which she also finds it necessary to note that Lee is the “Canadian-born daughter of Chinese parents.”

Lee acknowledges the validity of some of the conduct complaints against her and took a break from law but has recently finished her articling, a training year for Canadian law school graduates. Lee told the tribunal she’s also working on a more professional approach to the justice system:

“Obviously, I understand better now how the justice system works. I’ve come to expect that things will take time. I’m working on become [sic] a more patient person … less antagonism doing things.”

On Twitter, Lee disputes many of Dimanno’s statements about the hearing:

The outcome of this hearing will determine whether or not Lee becomes a lawyer, according to the Toronto Sun:

If the panel approves Guo’s good character application, she will become a lawyer instantly as she has completed her articling last year and passed her exams already.

The tribunal has yet to announce a decision.

On Sunday, Dimanno issued a begrudging rejoinder to her initial column, which offered an equally moralistic and condescending “correction” regarding the tabletop position as being acrobatic. In her follow-up, she wrote:

A handful of readers were incensed about my purportedly “doxxing” Guo, though she doesn’t seem to mind that publicity and it was in the public realm already. To be clear: I have no issue with sex-trade workers and have advocated for them on multiple occasions. But as a prostitute, Guo gives a bad name to lawyers. And as a pending lawyer, Guo gives a bad name to sex-trade workers.

Dimanno also addressed points Guo made in an email responding to her initial column; Dimanno’s sex-work-shaming in her “correction” column directly and repeatedly contradicts her assertion that she has “no issue with sex-trade workers,” including a snarky comment about Louboutins and the amount of money made by “a hooker.”

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