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Playing the Whore : Jacobin - Melissa Gira Grant

Playing the Whore

Jacobin

Paperback Published: 1st April 2014
ISBN: 9781781683231
Number Of Pages: 144

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Prominent journalist and former sex worker Melissa Gira Grant argues for a complete overhaul in the way we think about sex workers and the industry more widely.

From claims that the porn industry now dwarfs Hollywood, to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's live-tweeting of a Cambodian brothel raid, the sex industry is a frequent topic of discussion in mainstream media. But rarely do these discussions include 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 Kristof advocates.

In Playing the Whore, journalist and former sex worker Melissa Gira Grant turns this position on its head, arguing for an overhaul in the way we think about the sex industry. 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.

About the Author

Melissa Gira Grant is an independent journalist whose work has appeared in Glamour, the Guardian, the Atlantic, Wired and Jezebel. She is also a contributing editor to Jacobin.

Industry Reviews

"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 "Gira Grant is one of the most interesting policy thinkers in the country when it comes to sex work, and this short book introduces and outlines her thinking on the matter." - Mike Konczal, Washington Post "An informative and extremely worthwhile addition to the existing body of literature on sex work." - Stoya, adult performer and Vice columnist "Makes precisely clear that a culture that polices, silences and marginalizes women who sell sex is a culture that cares nothing about women. Period." - Janet Mock, author of Redefining Realness "A model of excellent nonfiction prose." - David Burr Gerrard, The Awl "Learn, listen, take heart - this is the real deal." - Susie Bright, sex and culture critic, and found of On Our Backs "Well-researched and provocative - A vital text on an incendiary topic."" - Lily Burana, author of I Love a Man in Uniform and Strip City "Gira Grant weaves her way through sanctimony and hypocrisy with wit, eloquence, insight, and a dose of necessary outrage." - Laura Kipnis, author of How to Become a Scandal "As self-appointed saviors like Nicolas Kristof command mainstream media attention for their crusade on behalf of trafficked women, Melissa Gira Grant provides a sharp and powerful counternarrative, a layered, justice-minded critique of such interventions as well as a much needed skewering of 'carceral feminism.' An important, illuminating and engaging read." - Liliana Segura, Senior Editor, The Intercept (First Look Media) "Gira Grant teases out the truth from the reality in this complicated and emotive topic - [and] takes some of the campaigns being promoted by feminists about sex work head-on. She argues for a value-neutral and rights-centred reading of sex work, rather than pinning attitudes (and laws) on whether we feel it to be "good" or "bad". The core point that she makes - [is] the necessity of sex workers' voices in policy about them, and the benefit of decriminalisation" - Brooke Magnanti, The Telegraph "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

ISBN: 9781781683231
ISBN-10: 1781683239
Series: Jacobin
Audience: BAG
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 144
Published: 1st April 2014
Publisher: Verso Books
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.6 x 13.1  x 1.1
Weight (kg): 0.17
Edition Number: 1

Earn 34 Qantas Points
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