Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work

Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work

by Melissa Gira Grant

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Overview

Recent years have seen a panic over “online red-light districts,” which supposedly seduce vulnerable young women into a life of degradation, and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s live tweeting of a Cambodian brothel raid. 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.

In Playing the Whore, journalist Melissa Gira Grant turns these pieties on their head, arguing for an overhaul in the way we think about sex work. 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, Playing the Whore dismantles pervasive myths about sex work, criticizes both conditions within the sex industry and its criminalization, and argues that separating sex work from the “legitimate” economy only harms those who perform sexual labor. In Playing the Whore, sex workers’ demands, too long relegated to the margins, take center stage: sex work iswork, and sex workers’ rights are human rights.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781683231
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 03/11/2014
Series: Jacobin
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 542,067
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Melissa Gira Grant is a writer and freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Glamour, the Guardian, the Nation, Wired, and the Atlantic. She is also a Contributing Editor to Jacobin.
Her website is melissagiragrant.com.

Table of Contents

1 The Police 1

2 The Prostitute 13

3 The Work 27

4 The Debate 35

5 The Industry 49

6 The Peephole 59

7 The Stigma 75

8 The Other Women 83

9 The Saviors 101

10 The Movement 111

Acknowledgements 133

Further Reading 135

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