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April 01, 2014
The Myths Around Selling Sex
University of Edinburgh
April 01, 2014
7.00pm - 9.00pm
University of Edinburgh
Lecture Theatre 4, Appleton Tower
George Sq, United Kingdom
Join Melissa Gira Grant and Edinburgh University Feminists
Melissa Gira Grant, author of forthcoming sex-work book Playing the Whore, will be hosted by Edinburgh University Feminists for this one off event.

The sex industry is an endless source of prurient drama for the mainstream media. Reporting tends to focus on the most extreme cases of trafficking and abuse. Outside of that, the current trend for writing about and describing actual experiences of sex work fuels a culture obsessed with the behaviour of sex workers. Rarely do these fearful dispatches come from sex workers themselves, and they never seem to deviate from the position that sex workers must be rescued from their condition, and the industry simply abolished.

In her new book Playing the Whore:the Work of Sex Work Melissa Gira Grant argues that current debate around sex work, including most feminist discussion, is pointless and unhelpful. She believes that we need to shift the focus onto the producers of anti-sex work discourse: police, feminists, politicians and anti-prostitution campaigners. Sex workers' demands, too long relegated to the margins, take center stage in this book: sex work is work, and sex workers' rights are human rights.

Based on ten years of writing and reporting on the sex trade, and grounded in her experience as an organiser, advocate, and former sex worker, Playing the Whore dismantles pervasive myths about sex work, criticises conditions within the sex industry and its criminalisation, and argues that separating sex work from the “legitimate” economy only harms those who perform sexual labour. 

This event will take place in Lecture Theatre 4, Appleton Tower on April 1st, 7-9 PM. It is in the central George Sq area of campus. This is a free event.

Read more about Edinburgh University Feminists here.

Melissa Gira Grant a writer and freelance journalist covering sex, tech, and politics, in the streets and everywhere else. She's a contributing editor at Jacobin, and her reporting and commentary appears in The Guardian, The Nation, Glamour, The Washington Post and Jezebel among other publications. Join her as she debates the need for a complete overhaul in they way we think about sex workers and the industry more widely.