“The Nation” Finds an Industry it Supports: Whores

StreetWalkers_the-nationMelissa Grant excerpted part of her new book, “Playing the Whore” in the recent issue of the Nation.And in it, she defends the sex trade as an industry where people do real work. It’s interesting that the calls on the left for equal pay for equal work don’t seem to apply to hookers or porn stars, where women earn up to 100x more for the same work, and frankly in many cases, for far less effort than men.

By dryly describing the mundane business details, Grant attempts to give a sense of middle-American normalcy to deviancy:

“In a dungeon a client can expect that several workers will be available on each shift, and some of these workers will want to do what he wants to and some won’t. A receptionist will take his call, or answer his e-mail and assign him to a worker based on what he’d like, the worker’s preferences and mutual availability. Some dungeons might post their workers’ specialties on a website. They might also keep them listed in a binder next to the phone, the workers each taking turns playing receptionist, matching clients to workers over their shift. After each appointment the worker would write up a short memo and file it for future reference should the client call again, so that others would know more about him. The dungeon is informal only to the extent that the labor producing value inside its walls isn’t regarded as real work. There are shift meetings, schedules and a commission split based on seniority. Utility bills arrive, and are paid. Property taxes, too. In some cases the manager would give discreet employment references. And sometimes people were fired.”

Any problems from disease or dehumanization is apparently just the evil patriarchy trying to reassert itself to put girls back in their place: 1950s sockhops in nurse’s training. If only Grant was dryly explaining the inner-workings of an oil company would the editors of the Nation suddenly found their moral outrage.

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