Very nice and very good initiative by Camille Melissa, a sex worker herself. Respect!
A prostitute, a whore, a slut (I love the explanation on Urban Dictionary: "A woman that sleeps with everyone but YOU!!!!!"). None of these words have a positive connotation. Spending my childhood in Amsterdam and visiting an uncle who had a bicycle shop near the red light district for me being a prostitute is a profession. The oldest profession. Same with a call girl. Sometimes it's a choice, sometimes it's not. Talking about this people explain to me that these are often foreign girls, human traficking, abuse ... but that is a total different problem. Like kids forced to work in underdeveloped countries. I guess it also has to do with a taboo on sex, so if you have a job in the sex industry, whatever job, it's bad.
“Whoever controls the image controls the message. We must celebrate the fact that sex workers are now image makers; we must challenge the exclusion of sex workers from online visual spaces” – Camille Melissa
Whoretography is the intersection of imagery, technologies, society & the sex worker rights movement.
You can support her here.
And this made me furious, shame on them:
No thanks! WHORES ARE DIRTY!
Here you will find details of the places, platforms and institutions that Whoretography has been rejected from in an effort to take my photographic reseach work main stream, I am posting these to highlight the stigma associated with being a sex work researcher and getting my artistic work in front of a greater audience.
My account on Linkedin was rejected after I updated my qualifications. In listing my Master's Degree, I wrote a paragraph about my research question, which was 'Is it possible to reclaim the word whore through creative practice as research?' and then discussed my desire to pursue a Ph.D.
My account was immediately suspended. Apparently, the puritanical peeps at Linkedin take offense to an artist in their corporate mix.
I was rejected for a Ph.D. application at a leading university in Melbourne (one at which I have studied before) I pitched for a photography Ph.D. exploring issues related to sexuality, surveillance, and identity that are part of contemporary photography and sex work. Whilst they acknowledged that my research sounded fascinating and unique I was rejected on the basis the doctoral level research in photography should be conceptual and formal not social and political and if I was serious about pursuing a Ph.D. I would need to change my research.
Airbnb suspended my account after I booked accommodation to attend a photography conference and I was discussing my research with (not the name of my research, I omitted that) my Airbnb host. Apparently Airbnb is a community for all, except sex work researchers.
iBooks rejected the initial version of the Whoretography Magazine citing objectionable content - I thought perhaps I had made an error with the format of the book but was told some of the visual content was deemed to be offensive.
You can buy the book over here.