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Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk

af Melinda Chateauvert

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737371,464 (4.3)1
Documenting five decades of sex-worker activism, Sex Workers Unite is a fresh history that places prostitutes, hustlers, escorts, call girls, strippers, and porn stars in the center of America's major civil rights struggles. Although their presence has largely been ignored and obscured, in this provocative history Melinda Chateauvert recasts sex workers as savvy political organizers - not as helpless victims in need of rescue.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A very well-researched and detailed history of the campaign many have engaged in over the years to decriminalize, destigmatize and legitimize the sex industry. Great strides have been made, but the battle has been uphill all the way and is not over yet. Most poignant were stories about how those who should be allies, such as feminists, engaged in denigration and shaming towards their sisters.
Several facets of the movement are explored, from the protests of the 70's to confrontations with law enforcement, to AIDS research and response, to today's efforts to bring escorting and adult films into the mainstream. Each is treated with a full complement of research with quotes from various sources as well as first-person research.
The book does an excellent job of codifying and chronologizing this important social cause. ( )
  EmScape | Jun 30, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
'Sex Workers Unite' is a compelling and thought provoking history of sex worker activism beginning in the '60s. Chateauvert does an excellent job of describing the complexities of the movement, including both the progress and the setbacks, as well as the conflicts and collaboration that occurred as sex worker activism aligned and differed with other movements including feminism, gay rights, and civil rights. She highlights the continuum of choice-circumstance-coersion that brings individuals to sex work, and provides an eye opening view of intersectionality, and the often devastating impact and dehumanization faced by individuals belonging to multiple stigmatized groups.
  arcadia123 | May 8, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As soon as you mention the word – SEX - judgments, biases, predispositions, close mindedness, aversion and even total disgust still rear their ugly head. Take all of that and then write a book about SEX WORKERS and you add a whole new dimension – regardless of the fact that it is an accurate, superbly researched academic history of the treatment, challenges, discrimination and total lack of disrespect. These HUMAN BEINGS have had to deal with all of this since time immemorial and probably will continue to do so unless humans begin to totally accept the right to be individuals, have different desires and live life styles that may be by choice or just thrust upon them in order to survive.

I learned so much in reading this book: from the antagonism from feminists (from the '60s through the '90s) against female sex workers to the complete dismissal of human and constitutional rights when dealing with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. I was actually very impressed with the progress that was made since the 1960's to the present day thanks to activist like Margo St. James, Carol Leigh and the myriad of others who created the movements that led to significant changes.

The biggest issue is still at large and quite honestly I am not sure if it will ever be resolved until we - (and I quote Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director , American Civil Liberties Union) “guarantee everyone's fundamental rights to sexual privacy and self-determination.”

If you want to understand the callousness of how sex workers have been (and still are) treated and the movements that have made the improvements to date, I encourage you to read this excellent academic treatise. ( )
1 stem pjasion | Apr 15, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book provides an insightful view of the impact of the most recent efforts done by many organizations across North America to promote better civil and social care of workers and (sometimes wrongfully) associated groups. Chock-full of sources, this book would be wonderful for anyone studying that wants an overview of what has been done in the past few decades. At first, I found it was a little hard to digest some of the terms, however, that was quickly remedied after the first chapter. The introduction read like a paper submitted for school, but the rest of the book was easy to follow, chronologically going through different events. I believe this book made for a valuable introduction into the subject and I would recommend it for anyone interested. ( )
  dkcampbell | Apr 5, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Sex Workers Unite is a well-researched history of sex worker activism from the mid-1960s through 2011; it documents sex workers' attempts at improving their working conditions and their image with the public and their successes and failures at both. Some readers may be surprised at the extent of activity that falls under the term "sex workers": not just prostitutes but also "escorts, brothel workers, professional dominants, telephone sex operators, strippers, exotic dancers, sensual massage workers, webcam entertainers, porn models, adult film performers, and specialists of all types, genders, colors, shapes, sexualities, and fetishes." If prostitutes get the bulk of Chateauvert's focus, it's because they have been organized and vocal the longest. Chapters deal with the founding of COYOTE (Call Off Your Tired Old Ethics), the prostitutes' rights organization; the rise of AIDS and its impact on sex workers; attempts to unionize sex workers; and changing relations between law enforcement and sex workers. Chateauvert does not minimize fissures within the feminist movement between "straight" feminists (her quotation marks), who tend to be anti-pornography and standoffish in their attitudes toward sex workers, and a newer generation of sex- and porn-positive feminists. Recommended for general readers interested in the topic and for library collections in history, sociology, and women's and gender studies.
  boodgieman | Mar 29, 2015 |
Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
"Although Sex Workers Unite’s language is dispassionate and academic, the story that it tells can be heartbreaking."
 
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Documenting five decades of sex-worker activism, Sex Workers Unite is a fresh history that places prostitutes, hustlers, escorts, call girls, strippers, and porn stars in the center of America's major civil rights struggles. Although their presence has largely been ignored and obscured, in this provocative history Melinda Chateauvert recasts sex workers as savvy political organizers - not as helpless victims in need of rescue.

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