Rachel Moran in Psyche:
While it is fashionable for some female academics, journalists and social commentators to declare the validity of prostitution as employment and to endorse and support this fiction in their books, articles and opinion columns, I note that they resolutely will not practise what they preach. They are not usually willing to have their own bodies used to prove their point. What’s always been particularly galling to me about socially privileged upper middle-class women who popularise these views is that, just like Marie Antoinette before them, they are so far removed from the experience that they cannot relate to it even at a conceptual level. That they are handsomely remunerated to opine on what’s good enough for desperate women is just the spit and polish on the insult.
The philosopher Amia Srinivasan in The Right to Sex (2021) writes: ‘Third-wave feminists are right to say, for example, that sex work is work, and can be better work than the menial work undertaken by most women.’ I wonder if she has reflected on what that really means: that the female cleaning staff who mop floors and scrub toilets in the University of Oxford, her place of employment, could be better off with their mouths and vaginas full of strangers’ penises. If she stopped to offer this advice to one of the cleaning staff passing in the hallway, she’d be hauled up for inappropriate conduct.