- person: well according to your birth certificate you're female
- me: according to my birth certificate i'm also like 7 pounds
Opponents of the sex industry, from the European Women’s Lobby to reactionary feminist bloggers, like to claim that sex workers have the audacity to insist that their work is “a job like any other.” By this, it’s safe to say, anti–sex work activists are not simply agreeing with sex workers that the conditions under which sexual services are offered can be as unstable and undesirable as those cutting cuticles, giving colonics or diapering someone else’s babies. What sex work opponents actually have in mind when they cringe at the idea that sex work could be “a job like any other” is that sex work does not—and cannot—resemble their work. When anti–sex work crusaders think of “jobs,” they’re thinking of their more respected labor administering social projects, conducting research and lobbying. To consider sex work to be on the same level as that work breaks down the divisions that elevate some forms of labor while denigrating others. The real message of anti–sex work feminists is, It’s the women working against sex work who are the real hard workers, shattering glass ceilings and elevating womanhood, while the tramps loll about down below.
I did come out of feminism, to an extent, but still relate in a special way to this quotation from journalist and sex workers rights activist Melissa Gira Grant. Also reminds me of how similar the sex workers rights movement and the legal homebirth midwifery movements seem to be (in states where midwife assisted homebirths are illegal.) Go buy her book!
(fancy whores 4eva dude!)
People had already decided I was a dyke and a whore (and a witch, oh the 90’s), and coming out actually just meant I finally had a posse, all the other disaffected queer kids in my school who coalesced around our little direct actions. I say all this to remind myself that I didn’t come out of feminism, not at first, and that’s not where I got my sexual politics. Which meant I also didn’t really understand right away that feminists weren’t immediate allies with what I was curious about. At the time I felt that everything we were curious about—sex ed, abortion, queer rights—it was all equally controversial.
So I really want to go especially because I think a real ho should be there. In most academic and feminists circles I find sex workers that didn’t go to college get ignored. I didn’t go to college and I still know what Feminism is. So if you want to fight classist and intellectual elitism buy stuff? Lol. So I am raising funds. I have prints for sale, private Skype shows at discount, worn panties all that jazz! email me if you are interested!! email@example.com
send Arabelle to the Feminist Porn Awards because I hope to go some year and I want her already there, warming my seat. (stay tuned for a shoot of us together on queerporn. tv)
What is the greatest danger sex workers face? Or what is the most important thing sex workers need? Or are those the wrong questions?
They’re impossible questions to answer because people’s needs are diverse and people’s experiences are diverse. So I think that’s the first place to start. There is no one solution, there is no one project, there is no one political point of view that can possibly speak to every single person who has experience in the sex trade.
For these women, much of the “work” resided in the preparation, packaging, and grueling nightly display of the body that sells itself (rather than in specifically sexual labor, per se).
Temporarily Yours: Intimacy, Authenticity, and the Commerce of Sex by Elizabeth Bernstein
Scheduling the calls and getting ready for them is indeed much harder than the actual appointments themselves for me, too.
Once upon a time, the Lusty Lady used to pay dancers “prep pay” — a half-hour’s pay each shift to compensate for the time spent getting ready.
That’s a trope you see over and over again in the rare instances when sex workers are acknowledged by policy makers. Like, Since you’re here speaking, you can’t actually be a sex worker — you must be one of those privileged minorities and therefore you can’t actually represent anybody else. That’s something that happens in every movement: The people you see on TV are always the people who can take the risk to get fired for their organizing, and for every one of them there are hundreds of people who couldn’t afford to go on strike that day. I think it provoked the outrage that it did on Twitter because sex workers read it, and were like, You’re basically saying that your views, as someone who has never done sex work, are worth listening to, but not us, who have done sex work, who you’ve decided are “privileged.” It just becomes another reason not to listen to sex workers.
—Q&A: The Woman Debunking Myths About Sex Work - The Cut (my interview ahead of Playing the Whore)