Broadly, what unites us as a class is opposition to compulsory virtue, to whore stigma. I think it’s fallen out of vogue now that “slut shaming” has been taken on as a term. But the theoretical precursor to that was “whore stigma,” which was proposed in the early nineties by Gail Pheterson. I don’t think she was a sex worker, but she’s an academic who wrote a lot about sex work. And Jill Nagle ran with it in her book, Whores And Other Feminists, and she took it back to Adrienne Rich, to “Compulsory Heterosexuality and the Lesbian Existence.” So if there is whore stigma–just like there’s compulsory heterosexuality–then there is compulsory virtue. And all women are injured by compulsory virtue. That’s a point of opportunity, to say, so long as the worst thing you can call any woman is a whore, are we going to stand up to that?
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