Just Call Us "Women Used by the Blogosphere"

Just Call Us "Women Used by the Blogosphere"

Just Call Us "Women Used by the Blogosphere"

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Sept. 1 2009 10:48 AM

Just Call Us "Women Used by the Blogosphere"

The nomenclature surrounding the selling of sex acts is notoriously awkward. Is he/she a prostitute? Hooker? "Sex worker" seems to do the trick, but there is perhaps a whiff of condescension in this kind of politely clinical nonprofit-speak. The always-interesting Melissa Gira Grant here introduces us to new terminology recently encountered at a panel discussion among self-described "male feminists." A panelist told her his organization doesn't like the term "sex worker." They much prefer " women used by prostitution." Because you know what really empowers women? Exclusive use of the passive voice.

"Having men tell me how powerless I am," fumes Grant, "is why I turned to a life of contracting with them the specific terms under which I could give them attention, and also under which I would ask them to treat me. ... How wonderful, a voiceless mass of women to invoke as your beneficiaries. How awful, when any of us do show up."

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Check out the whole post , if only for the innervating powers of a feminist rant on a weekday morning.

Kerry Howley's work has appeared in the Paris Review, Bookforum, and the New York Times Magazine. She is currently finishing a book about consensual violence, ecstatic experience, and the body.