Sex workers are often the “objects” of study for academics and policy makers. Theories about their lives and the policies that affect their work are usually developed without input from the sex workers themselves, as they are rarely seen as capable of analyzing the social and political world in which they work.
In this book, however, sex workers set the tone. Leslie Ann Jeffrey and Gayle MacDonald interview sex workers in three Maritime cities and those who work around them: police, health-care providers, community workers/advocates, members of neighbourhood associations, and politicians. The sex workers discuss such issues as violence and safety, health and risk, politics and policy, media influence, and public perception of the trade, portraying the best and the worst facets of their working lives and expressing sentiments refreshingly at odds with commonly held opinions.
Given recent Parliamentary recommendations to decriminalize prostitution, Sex Workers in the Maritimes Talk Back represents a timely shift to public discussions about sex work. Engaging and accessible, this book will be of interest to public policy practitioners, students of social and political science, community advocates, police, and sex workers and their families.
Hard-hitting in its analysis, ethical and nuanced in its use of interview material, Sex Workers in the Maritimes Talk Back is an excellent book. Finally, there’s a study of prostitution in the Maritimes, which also contributes to and extends the global dialogue. A truly engaging read.
This sensitive and perceptive book provides a much needed antidote to the many myths and misconceptions around the sex industry and its workers. The workers emerge as neither victims nor heroes, but as engaged and insightful social actors. Sex Workers in the Maritimes Talk Back is not only highly original, but a timely and important contribution to the literature. The authors have listened to what workers in the sex industry have to say, and bring their vital voices into the discourse.
1 It’s the Money, Honey
2 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
3 Social Control, Policing, and Sex Work
4 The Whore Stigma and the Media
5 hose Health? Whose Safety?
6 Sex and Politics: Responding to Sex Workers
Experience, Advocacy, and Research on Sex Work in Canada
Rethinking the Job, Respecting the Workers
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