Brooke Magnanti needs to ‘check her privilege’

Magnanti was a ‘high class escort’ for 14 months, she now had a post-doc job in “cancer biostatistics, genetic epidemiology and forensic science”. She has an income from her books, is a paid public speaker and has a regular gig writing about sex in the Torygraph.

Her telephone number is taken to the top of any 999 summons list, which is something most stalking victims can only dream about.


So why is she calling herself a ‘hooker’?

This is offensive and damaging on many levels. The term ‘hooker’ itself is offensive, and if radical feminists used that kind of language, we would be attacked for it.

One of the stated aims of the term ‘sex work’ is to remove the stigma from prostitution by making it ‘work’, the term ‘hooker’ is stigmatised, and Magnanti, who has the privilege to ‘play’ with this stigmatisation, makes it harder for the women who are trying to exit the sex industry without her level of privilege.

Mangnanti, who is no longer a prostitute, calling herself a ‘hooker’ implies that if a woman has ever been involved with prostitution, she is marked for life with that ‘identity’; for the vast majority of women, being unable to escape the label ‘hooker’ has a massive negative effect on their lives, they may have criminal records, they may be seen as unsuitable for employment, they may be harassed by their family and community if they can’t keep that ‘identity’ hidden, they may be told that prostitution is all they are good for.

Another of the stated aims of the term ‘sex work’ is to emphasise that it is ‘just work’, not an identity, something you do, not something you are, but Magnanti negates this by continuing to call herself a ‘hooker’, and instead reinforces the idea that ‘prostitute’ is something women are on a deep-seated level.

This is obviously harmful for women generally, as well as women in prostitution, because saying that some women are ‘hookers’ as part of their permanent identities tells the lie that prostitution exists because of the women themselves, not because of men, because of male demand, or women’s social and economic inequality; turning ‘hooker’ into an identity invisibilises male violence against women.

(To pre-empt the same-old pro-sex industry/funfem attacks), the stigma attached to prostitution is caused by patriarchy, not by radical feminism. Radical feminism is not the reason why prostitutes are seen as less human than ‘normal’ women. The abolitionist (Nordic Model) approach to prostitution calls for the decriminalisation of the prostitute herself (including the removal of any previous criminal record related to prostitution), something that sex industry advocates always deliberately and cynically ignore.

7 responses

  1. The Nordic model criminalises any male who attempts and/or does buy prostituted women for the purpose of using them as ‘masturbatory objects.’ This is why pornstitution industry is wholly opposed to Nordic model because it puts accountability where it belongs – with the men and their pseudo male sex right to females.

    Magnanti is ‘tool’ of mens’ pornstitution industry and Magnanti is voicing what men collectively believe which is all women and girls are ‘hookers’ because females supposedly only exist to serve males in whatever capacity males demand. Male created pornstitution industry as usual is hiding behind women because men are too frightened to voice their misogynistic belief ‘women are hookers whereas men are autonomous human beings.’ Don’t be fooled by Magnanti’s parroting of pornstitution lies and whilst she is currently financially profiting by repeating male created lies, men will never accord her any rights or power because she is female not male. Magnanti is as disposable as any woman because once she is no longer useful to pornstitution industry, men will ridicule her and contemptuously call her a ‘worthless hooker!’

    In reality the real ‘hookers’ are the men who profit from their male created pornstitution industry but Male Supremacist/Patriarchal system has always engaged in reversals because shining light on men and their complicity with Pornstitution industry is a huge no no.

    This needs repeating endlessly: ‘women are not men’s slaves, ‘ women do not exist to be mens’ disposable sexual service stations.’ Women’s Liberation is elimination of male created Male Supremacist/Patriarchal System.

  2. Hecuba,

    I have already said that I think it is counter productive to try to ‘reclaim’ words like ‘whore’ and ‘hooker’ to label male sex industry exploiters – any further comments which do this will not get through moderation.

    Thank you for your cooperation,

  3. Too true. Playing around with the term “hooker” is nothing more than an attempt to shock and get attention. Its a complete slap in the face to women who have to 1) keep the fact that they are “hookers” secret so they can keep their housing/day job and 2) to exited women who also have to deal with the same issues. Most people have zero empathy for women in prostitution and think they’re all scientists who just chose to be prostitutes for the kicks.

  4. Yes, Magnanti has done women in general, and women stuck in the sex industry particularly, a huge amount of harm.

  5. […] believe what they see in porn, or the glamourised accounts of already-privileged individuals like Brooke Magnanti (aka ‘Belle du Jour’) than actually listen to women who have been […]

  6. […] poor, indigenous, and non-white women disproportionately (‘empowered sex workers’ are disproportionately middle-class, white, and educated), but sex industry survivors (including poor, indigenous, and non-white women) are now […]

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