Despite [all], some men stubbornly fight for our rights anyway; I don’t mind saying that I find that sort of obstinacy rather sexy. – Maggie McNeill
It’s already getting close to a year since I’ve compiled a list of men who have spoken out for sex worker rights, in defiance of the popular Swedish-flavored narrative which casts sex work as tantamount to rape and a form of male “oppression” of women. In such a climate, speaking out for sex workers is liable to get one labeled a client or even a “pimp”, so “these days it takes some serious balls for a man to stand up, demand rights for sex workers, and actually sign his real name to the thing.” Here, then, is another list of male allies; remember, this doesn’t include men who are directly involved in our industry, since it’s as personal for them as it is for us. It does, however, include clients who have chosen to “out” themselves for the cause. As before, this is by no means complete; please make any new suggestions in the comments below, so I can include them in a follow-up next year.
Noah Berlatsky is a freelance journalist who writes often about feminism, comic books and “geek” culture; he’s been published in Slate, the Atlantic, Wired and many others, and he has a book on the Golden Age Wonder Woman comics out early next year. Follow him on Twitter at @hoodedu.
Magnus Betnér is a Swedish comedian who has dared to mock the Swedish model in front of Swedish audiences in Sweden; that automatically qualifies him for this list. Follow him on Twitter at @Magnusbetner; he tweets in both Swedish and English.
Andy Bodle is a journalist and scriptwriter who has written for the Guardian, the Times, the BBC, and ABC. He is out about having hired sex workers when he was younger, and has written several times debunking “trafficking” claims and arguing for decriminalization from a harm reduction viewpoint. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @_Womanology_
Felix Clay is not a cat, but rather a writer for the humor site Cracked who not only writes sex-positive articles, but even defended sex work in one where he admitted to hiring an escort (though he denied having sex with her). Follow him on Twitter at @Felix_Clay
Leonard Fahrni is a regular reader and an instructor at Metro State University in Denver; beside speaking up in person and in a number of blog posts, he also proved hugely helpful to me when I reached Denver on my tour this past June. Follow him on Twitter at @LeonardFahrni.
Robert King is a professor of applied psychology at University College, Cork, Ireland; he writes the blog Hive Mind at Psychology Today, in which he has on a number of occasions defended the legitimacy of sex work. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @DrRobertKing
Ed Krayewski is an editor at Reason who has, like so many libertarian journalists, consistently supported people’s right to do whatever they damned well please with their own bodies, including sell or buy sex. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @edkrayewski
Jay Levy is a Cambridge University researcher whose 2012 PhD looked at Swedish prohibitionism as a form of violence against women; he has also written a book on the subject and discusses it in this video. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicola Mai is a professor of sociology and migration studies at London Metropolitan University; he not only authored an important study debunking “sex trafficking” myths in the UK, but has also supported decriminalization in both scholarly and popular articles. Email him at email@example.com.
Robert Murphy is a well-known libertarian economist who, though he has not written on the subject of decriminalization before, did so after attending my presentation in Nashville back in July. Email him via this page or follow him on Twitter @BobMurphyEcon
Jim Norton is a comedian who recently came out as a client and published an article about it (in Time, no less), opening himself to the kind of prohibitionist attack that would cause fainter hearts than his to quail. I don’t know if he ever reads this blog, but I have it on good authority that he owns an autographed copy of Ladies of the Night. Email him via this page or follow him on Twitter at @JimNorton
Peter Brian Schafer is a photographer and regular reader who strives in his work to portray whores with dignity and respect and to debunk the Madonna/whore dichotomy. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Seder is a comedian, writer, actor, film director, television producer-director, and talk radio host; in the latter capacity, he has debunked ridiculous excuses for the criminalization of sex work and had Melissa Gira Grant as a guest on his show, Majority Report. Contact him while on the air via this page or follow him on Twitter at @SamSeder
Michael Smerconish is a radio (on Sirius XM) and TV (formerly on MSNBC, now on CNN) personality who has made at least one persuasive on-air defense of prostitution from a harm reduction perspective, also mentioning clients with disabilities. Follow him on Twitter at @smerconish
If you’d like to be on the next list of this type, just email me with a link to whatever public statements you’ve made about sex worker rights under your real name, and we’ll see about adding you to the next one (don’t be shy; if you don’t tell me, who will?) In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for “Stand-Up Guys” in my weekly TW3 column, where I’ll mention guys who come to my attention without having to wait another year.
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