Melissa Gira Grant

Melissa Gira Grant is a writer and freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Glamour, the Guardian, the Nation, Wired, and the Atlantic. She is also a contributing editor to Jacobin. Her website is


  • Verso at the 2014 Left Forum: Panels and a Launch Party!

    Verso Books is proud to represent once again at this year's Left Forum. The conference, which will take place May 30-June 1, will bring together some of the most important contemporary leftist activists and scholars. 

    To ring in the weekend, catch two Verso authors at the Friday evening plenaryMarina Sitrin, author of They Can't Represent Us!: Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy, and Stanley Aronowitz, author of the forthcoming Death and Life of American Labor: Toward a New Workers' Movement, who will join Cornel West and Immortal Technique to consider "Why Revolution Now? What Revolution Now?" The discussion will be moderated by Amy Goodman. 

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  • Melissa Gira Grant debates sex work with Mary Honeyball on Channel 4 News

    In a report published in March in the UK, MPs and peers argued that women working as prostitutes should no longer be criminalized, while their clients and pimps should be. In other words, buying sex would become illegal, but selling sex would no longer be a criminal offence. Mary Honeyball MEP is one of the primary advocates for this move. She joined Melissa Gira Grant, author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work, on Channel 4 News for a heated debate over the merits of what is commonly referred to as the 'Nordic model'. 

    Grant is in firm opposition to this approach of criminalizing sex work, arguing that in Sweden, where it has been in law since 1999:

    "There are reports of sex workers facing increased violence on the streets... [and] it still puts sex workers in an adversarial relationship with the police. As long as their work is considered criminal, it can't actually be considered real work. I think the bottom line for me is: sex workers aren't 
    supporting these proposals that are currently in front of the UK, or those in front of the European Parliament – in fact they stand quite opposed to these measures."

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  • Either sex workers are in the debate, or they are not

    Journalist Melissa Gira Grant wants to change the way we think about sex work.  Sex workers are not victims who need rescuing, but workers who need access to healthcare, a safe work environment and protection from abuse and exploitation. In her new book Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work, she argues that sex work is work, and sex workers' rights are human rights.

    With prostitution is at the forefront of the news with the proposed introduction to the UK of the Nordic model of criminalising clients and pimps instead of prostitutes, Grant was interviewed by the Observer:

    The sex industry is an endless source of fascination for the mainstream media. But rarely do dispatches come from sex workers themselves. What do you believe your new book adds to the debate?

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