Job-title inflation (was: linguisticians)

Baker, John JBaker at STRADLEY.COM
Wed Mar 7 14:48:57 UTC 2001

        I believe that the term "sex worker" was invented or co-opted by
Margo St. James and is a broader term than "prostitute."  From

        >>COYOTE ("Call Off Your Tired Ethics") was founded by Margo St.
James in 1973. COYOTE works for the rights of all sex workers: strippers,
phone operators, prostitutes, porn actresses etc. of all genders and
persuasions. COYOTE supports programs to assist sex workers in their choice
to change their occupation, works to prevent the scapegoating of sex workers
for AIDS and other STDs, and to educate sex workers, their clients and the
general public about safe sex. <<

        I suspect, however, that many strippers and phone sex operators
would argue that their work is fundamentally different from prostitution.

John Baker

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lynne Murphy [SMTP:lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2001 7:05 AM
> Subject:      Re: Job-title inflation (was: linguisticians)
> --On Tuesday, March 6, 2001 5:10 pm -0800 "Peter A. McGraw"
> <pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU> wrote:
> > If we're on job-title inflation more generally now, how about that
> curious
> > example of recent years, "sex worker" for "prostitute"?  I don't
> > understand the impulse behind linguistically elevating the status of
> this
> > particular profession.  I assume it must be related to some aspect of
> the
> > feminist agenda, but the connection is unclear to me.
> >
> > Since "worker" isn't a very glamorous title, though, it's probably only
> a
> > matter of time before we read of police sting operations aimed at
> nabbing
> > "love technicians."
> I don't think 'sex worker' is intended to glamorize the title--it's
> intended to underscore that this is a prostitute's job.  Thus, it seems
> intended to turn away from the issue of whether prostitutes are
> 'slutty'--having loose (or no) morals, and instead focus on the economic
> aspects of prostitution, which is why most people get into it--for the
> money, not the sex.
> Lynne
> M Lynne Murphy
> Lecturer in Linguistics
> School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
> University of Sussex
> Brighton BN1 9QH
> UK
> phone +44-(0)1273-678844
> fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

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