Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work Melissa Gira Grant

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Recent years have seen a panic over “online red-light districts,” which supposedly seduce vulnerable young women into a life of degradation. But rarely do these fearful, salacious dispatches come from sex workers themselves, and rarely do they deviate from the position that sex workers must be rescued from their condition, and the industry simply abolished — a position common among feminists and conservatives alike.

Based on ten years of writing and reporting on the sex trade, and grounded in her experience as an organizer, advocate, and former sex worker, journalist Melissa Gira Grant turns these pieties on their head in  Playing the Whore.

Instead she: 

  • argues for an overhaul in the way we think about sex work 
  • dismantles pervasive myths about sex work,
  • criticizes both conditions within the sex industry and its criminalization
  • argues that separating sex work from the “legitimate” economy only harms those who perform sexual labor
  • gives center stages to sex workers’ demands, too long relegated to the margins
  • reminds us that sex work is work, and sex workers’ rights are human rights
  • 2014 paperback
  •  includes bibliography
  • 136 pages

hooker, call girl, conciousness

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