The government only allocates funds to researchers that mistakenly conflate sex work with sex trafficking. As an academic and a sex worker, Juniper Fitzgerald knows just how warped this thinking is.
For the past decade, and in numerous capacities, I’ve toiled as a sex worker. I’ve peddled my trade in bars and hotel rooms, on the sets of feminist pornos, and in shady peep shows. I also work in academia—arguably, an equally shady enterprise. If there’s one notable, cultural shift that has impacted both my occupations over the past 10 years, it’s the increased focus on—indeed, an obsession with—sex trafficking. And this isn’t the first time in recent history that cultural “do-gooders” have turned their attentions to the wiliest and most unsavory among us—The Whore.