Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work (Jacobin)

Melissa Gira Grant

Published by Verso, 2014
ISBN 10: 1781683239 / ISBN 13: 9781781683231
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Synopsis: Sex work and conditions within the sex industry are frequent topics of discussion in mainstream culture and media, but rarely do these discussions include sex workers themselves, and rarely do they deviate from the position that sex workers must be saved from their evil industry - a position that New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof repeatedly advocates. Playing the Whore turns this position on its head, arguing that sex work is fundamentally a form of work, and as in other industries, it is not the labor of sex work that is illegitimate, but rather the working conditions within the sex sector that are abominable. Based on ten years of writing and reporting on the sex trade, and grounded in the author's personal experience as a sex worker, community organizer and health educator, Playing the Whore dismantles pervasive myths of prostitution, criticizes conditions within the sex industry, and argues that separating sex work from the 'legitimate' economy only harms those who perform sexual labor.

Review: Collectively as a society we've got a whole bunch of tangled, warped intuitions and policies towards the exchange of money for sex. Melissa Gira Grant does a remarkable job of rigorously teasing these apart and righteously scrapping those she finds wanting. Her work has been hugely influential in how I think about sex work and outright changed my mind on a number of points. She's a must read. --Chris Hayes

An important contribution to debates around sex and work, and deserves to be read by anyone who wants to get beyond tired and damaging understandings of both. --Nina Power, author of One Dimensional Woman

An informative and extremely worthwhile addition to the existing body of literature on sex work. --Stoya, adult performer and Vice columnist

A persuasive manifesto... Underneath Grant’s strategically inclusive argument lurks a harder political critique of the transformation of politics and economics since the 1970s.
– London Review of Books

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Title: Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work (...
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: 2014
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: New

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