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Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  22 reviews
A provocative history that reveals how sex workers have been at the vanguard of social justice movements for the past fifty years while building a movement of their own that challenges our ideas about labor, sexuality, feminism, and freedom
Documenting five decades of sex-worker activism, Sex Workers Unite is a fresh history that places prostitutes, hustlers, escorts, cal
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Beacon Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Morgan M. Page
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I, for one, was not expecting that I would be quoted in the book's final paragraph, but it was a delightful surprise! Enough about me - Chateauvert charts the course of the American sex workers' rights movement. Along the way, Chateauvert helpfully provides not only historical context but details how activists worked, how they won, and what can be learned from their failures. The book ends in 2012, right before the rise of digital censorship-based attacks on sex workers' lives and incomes which ...more
I gave this book my very best, I went into it with the most open of open minds, and I just didn’t like it at all. Now, let me explain a little about myself here. I believe that prostitution and sex trade work will exist no matter how illegal we try and make it. It always has existed and it always will as long as there are people willing to pay for sex. I believe that a lot would be accomplished by legalizing prostitution.

For the rest of this review please visit my blog, Written Among The Stars

Michelle Hoogterp
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm surprised by other reviewers comments.

Firstly, the subtitle is from stonewall to slutwalk: one reviewer seems to have forgotten that and focused on the so called lack of discussion of Stonewall; which is incorrect since the first essay discusses stonewall and the beginnings of sex worker activism per se.

Secondly, another reviewer claims a lot of acronyms are used that likely will confuse a reader. That's not true. Acronyms are used but each are discussed and they didn't stroke me as carele
Beth Winn
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
can be dense read for some but lots of history and commentary on modern sexworker rights movement
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
I wanted to give this book a good review because it is my first gotten through Goodreads Giveaways. However, while the book is well-researched and meticulously foornoted, it is much too clinical for the casual reader. Was this Chateauvert's dissertation? The author is at her best when discussing personalities rather than movements. The chapter headings were cool. Otherwise, I did not find this book at all entertaining. And the only reference to Stonewall is that the riot started when a transgend ...more
Chateauvert tells the overlooked history of US sex workers’ fight for sexual freedom and the end of moralistic discrimination against them. She tracks the movement parallel to the women’s and gay right’s movements from the 1970s onward, highlighting the uneasy relationship between and among these groups. She also seeks to highlight the numerous local movements started across the nation to fight back against everything from police brutality, to abusive working conditions in strip clubs, to being ...more
Katie Barefoot
Feb 03, 2022 rated it it was amazing

Sex Workers Unite is a academic history that documents sex worker and the social issues surrounding it from 1969 to the present day.

I initially found this work a little hard to get into because the writing is very dense, but the subject matter and presentation made it impossible to stop! If you’re looking for an important read to add to your TBR pile, I suggest this one!

Favorite quote: “The sex industry is big and weird and varied, and there are a lot of different issues that face
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Didn’t finish. I picked it up because this is a topic I’d like to learn more about. While very well-researched, I found the lack of personal narratives and detached, objective tone hard to get engaged in. So perhaps this is more of an “intermediate” level reading on the subject. The history and details, while interesting, weren’t able to “latch” onto an already existing internal framework for me to truly get the learning and insights I was hoping for. Maybe I can come back to it some day.

(If an
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I like the idea of this book and the purpose for which it is written, but the chapters were slow and a lot of the key people hard to keep track of and follow.

The intent of this book is fantastic, and it was interesting to learn some of the more recent history of the sex worker movements in the US, but the execution made it really hard to stay focused on what was going on in this book.
Feb 02, 2021 added it
Not entirely sure how to rate this. Read it for class, and I'm still unsure as to the target audience. It made good points, but was very "preaching to the choir." Add in a couple of bizarre references to the Regency and I'm scratching my head. ...more
Tatao Burduli
Nice to review facts, but the author is definitely not a writer.
Hannah Roen
Oct 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very enlightening, attention-grabbing, and a great read for anyone who wants to learn the history of the sex work movement and learn better ways to support sex workers.
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received Sex Workers Unite for free in a Goodreads giveaway. and I’m really grateful that I did. Despite the provocative title, it was well researched, useful for both casual readers like myself and more serious academics. Gloria Steinem once wrote that we should listen to people, not paper, and Chateauvert does just that. Instead of talking about sex workers, she talks to them, delivering their words right to the readers. She discusses the absence of sex workers in the civil rights movements, ...more
I won a copy of Sex Workers Unite from a firstreads giveaway. It is clear from this book that Melinda Chateauvert is entrenched in the struggles of sex workers (be they strippers, escorts, porn stars, or rent boys), and well-versed in the history of their political organization.

The empowering title, a call to action in itself, alludes to the proactive nature of the activities profiled in the text. Chateauvert is interested in the sex workers that don't just lay back and take it (forgive me, coul
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
*I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway.*
It takes a lot for a book to make me want to stop. Chateauvert (who has a lovely French last name) is angry. Her passion for sex worker equality is admirable. I love long non-fiction books, but the tone here was too blatantly angry for me to enjoy the book. The subject is fascinating, and the writing is well done, but Chateauvert clearly does not hold men in high esteem, to put it nicely. As a man, I was offended slightly by both her attacks an
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to enjoy this book. The author and I share every viewpoint, and I was very excited to read about the history of sex workers' rights and their continuing evolution.

But I deeply resent whichever person told the author that she ought to resort to dramatic narrative language to get her points across. The language and structure are immature, and leave a lot of facts to be desired - in the sense that, while based on facts, and relaying facts, the whole book sounds like a Lifetime Movi
Emmy Gregory
May 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Great topic. Tedious rant of a book. The language is too dry and complicated to follow easily, and the grasp of the issues at stake is not complex enough. I get that she wants to be supportive of sex workers - I do too. But it feels rather as though the sex workers themselves are simply being used by the author to make whatever points she personally believes.
Tony Parsons
a book I would luv 2 win/read
Vanessa Lu
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really informative albeit a bit dense at first with tons of facts thrown at you
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Ben Miller
rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2016
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Michael Jepson
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Jun 18, 2020
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Sep 08, 2019
Jaime Stern
rated it it was ok
May 30, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Apr 30, 2018
Kim Kelly
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Dec 26, 2021
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