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Jennifer Worley is a professor of English at City College of San Francisco and president of the faculty union AFT 2121. Her film, Sex on Wheels, documents the history of San Francisco's sex industry and the activism within it.

Værker af Jennifer Worley

Neon Girls: A Stripper's Education in Protest and Power (2020) 50 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser

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The now defunct Lusty Lady was a San Francisco institution in its day—a rather seedy peep show whose poles were worked by a group of women—many of them feminist lesbians—who in the mid '90s decided to band together against exploitative work conditions, unionised, and eventually banded together to run the place as a co-op. Jennifer Worley, who worked at the Lusty Lady in the '90s and early '00s while a financially struggling grad student, has produced a book which is both a highly readable memoir and a reflection on feminism and worker exploitation, one which is candid and sometimes serious but never po-faced or jargony.

True, Worley had the scope to dive more into the history of sex workers' rights—we learn occasional titbits, such as the fact that the famous burlesque artist Gypsy Rose Lee was also a union organizer, but little more than that. Worley doesn't proffer any big takeaway lessons, nor does she seem to have gone back and interviewed any of her former co-workers about their thoughts or memories. This is one woman's take on her experiences, and at times I would have liked a little more of a rounded view. Still, definitely worth reading if you're interested in feminism or labour history.
… (mere)
siriaeve | 1 anden anmeldelse | Mar 4, 2021 |
This book is a good hard look at a specific group of workers the general populace tends to look down upon (to put it mildly). I’ll be honest, the demand for people in these types of positions will more than likely NEVER cease. I honestly cannot applaud Jennifer more for all she accomplished during her nearly ten years as a stripper all the while going to school in hopes to finally achieve her Ph. D. Reading a different angle of the sex industry than my first plunge into it (How to Make Love Like a Pornstar: A Cautionary Tale by Jenna Jameson) was no less enlightening.

"It was wearing, though, having to assert, again and again, my own humanity, to prove myself a person dozens or scores of times each shift. It sometimes seemed as if all the large and small degradations of existing while female in this world had been simmered and reduced to a thick, too strong, too sour elixir that fed us in a steady drip, drip, drip."

How is it so easy for society to deem others beneath them, dismiss them as unintelligent, and exploit them for personal/business gain? The ladies employed by the Lusty in Jennifer’s history are a brilliant reminder as bright as neon itself that society should really know better about stuffing people into conveniently labeled boxes. I found the dynamics of the Lusty versus Chez Paree interesting – I’ll admit that all I’ve ever heard about are businesses like Chez Paree where the women have little to no control.

"I hated the idea that men I didn’t know or trust now had records of the work I did, that they could carry Polly, naked and unawares, from the safe refuge that had birthed and nurtured her, into that other world where I had to live my life. Would others meet her out there? My professors, students, college friends, people back home? Polly was mine, and she belonged in here, not out there."

Neon Girls: A Stripper’s Education in Protest and Power did an amazing job at highlighting the industry for both sides of the coin – exploitation, and empowerment. I highly recommend to readers who find memoirs/autobiographies, sexuality, history of the sex industry, protests, reform, and feminism interesting topics. I would like to thank Harper Perennial and Jennifer Worley for this eye-opening book – the courage and relationships of the women recounted in this book is truly something special.
… (mere)
thereviewbooth | 1 anden anmeldelse | Oct 2, 2020 |




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