The XX Factor

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.”

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