Every year, December 17 is observed as the day to end violence against sex workers. The practice began in 2003 in order to pay respect to the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle, Washington. Since then, several organisations working for the rights of sex workers organise vigils and campaigns in order to speak about the issues plaguing them and also raise awareness about it.
On this day, we list out five books that have touched upon this topic and, many a time, upheld the issues and problems sex workers face.
Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work
Written by American journalist Melissa Gira Grant, the book is based on extensive research and years of reportage. Through her work, Grant attempts to change the way one looks at sex workers. She not only puts them on the fore but also humanises their problems.
Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk
Written by Melinda Chateauvert, the powerful book narrates sex-worker activism for over five decades and reveals how they have always been at the receiving end of social injustice.
Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights
Written by Juno Mac and Molly Smith, both sex workers, the book looks at sex workers from a wider perspective and emphasises on the need to support their rights. It refuses to present a binarised picture of the sex workers – does not glorify them or castigate them, rather shows how their struggle forms an integral part of any social movement.
Sex Work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry
Published in 1987, this audiobook has series of writings by prostitutes, porn stars, and is considered one of the most important books on sex workers and is often credited for initiating conversations about them.
Prostitution and Beyond: An Analysis of Sex Workers in India
Published in 2008, this book presents various perspectives on sex workers prevalent in India today. Divided into various parts, it addresses several issues pertaining to sex workers and brings them to the fore for conversations and discussions.