Sex Work and the Worth of a Woman – Olutimehin Adegbeye

Nicki Minaj wants to tell women who charge for their time, companionship and pussy to “know their worth” sis why else do you think they have rates?!

It’s so hilarious how “know your worth” is coded to mean “fuck for free”. In this capitalist world where people’s value is determined by how much money they can generate for their personal use, women’s labour is almost inevitably under- or devalued, and it is understood that sex diminishes women unless said women are expressly offering it in service to or as the property of men.

It seems to me that women charging the equivalent of some people’s monthly income (the 2k Minaj states) for sex is a sign that they know their worth.

“Know your worth” is slut-shaming, whorephobic nonsense. What a person does/doesn’t do sexually has no impact on their worth. Human beings are intrinsically worthy; it’s Minaj’s inability to divest from oppressive ideas of differential value that is the problem, not IG models.

That fake deep take of “I was critiquing myself and asking if I contributed to women selling sex because I sell sex appeal” while positioning women who actually sell sex as ‘less than’ and somehow ignorant of their own worth is traaaaaaaash and Nicki can like to gedifok.

Sex work is work. And legitimising sex work benefits everyone, particularly women. Nicki is probably just mad that a former sex worker is now being treated as a better, more interesting, more current rapper than her.

Look. Struggle all you want with the idea that sex work is legitimate labour. It doesn’t change the fact that it is. Labour = production of goods & services that have exchange value. Sex work puts material value on consensual sex the way nannying puts material value on childcare.

Sex work is a service. And heterosexual sex in particular is so often transactional, even when the exchange doesn’t involve a direct price structure. That’s why y’all’s husbands and dads are forever ‘joking’ about how they end up paying for sex one way or another.

The struggle people have is rooted in the degree of agency women sex workers in particular display when it comes to who and how they fuck, in women’s rejection of monogamy (& marriage) as the only ‘legitimate’ sex, & the radical way a woman claims ownership of her body via SW.

Sex workers claim the benefits of sex with men (bc let’s face it, most clients are male) while ostensibly escaping the costs; the servitude, denial of self etc that come with being a ‘legitimate whore’ aka a wife.

And let’s be clear: wifehood IS whoredom within traditional heterosexual marriage. Het. marriage is constructed as a contract in which a woman exchanges her sexual value for economic and social benefits. (I’m sure your feminist marriage is the exception sis, please don’t @ me.)

Bottom line: legitimising sex work will force us as a society to reckon with how our collective morality has its foundation in cis women’s vaginas. And the day society can rid itself of its obsession with all women’s bodies, vaginas or not, half our work will be done.
Go follow @thotscholar @Raquel_Savage @tilly_lawless for complex, complicated conversations about sex work. ???

Side note: there’s no place with more glamorous women enjoying their lives, drinking water, minding their biz & being sweet to one another than sugarbaby twitter lol

Side side note: dead the idea that sex work is easy, or easy money. All those memes of “if I can’t hack school I’ll just become a sex worker” are laughable. Like, have you met men??? ????

Side side side note: before you @ me to argue about wives being the ultimate whores (I use that word with intention), ask yourself why so many people believe that neither wives nor whores can be raped – that even forced, unwanted sex with wives and whores *cannot be* rape.
Okay so sex workers are agreeing with me, therefore I have done something right. I’d like to dedicate this award to my beloved mother of blessed memory.

BTW: If you’re pro-justice, a feminist, or just interested in learning about the world through a sex work(ers) lens and you’ve never read @titsandsass, you should fix that.

The article was originally posted as a thread.

Follow @ohTimehin on Twitter

1 Comment

  1. Persephone says:

    “Het. marriage is constructed as a contract in which a woman exchanges her sexual value for economic and social benefits.” Actually she is exchanging her reproductive value and domestic labor. You are reducing the woman to a vagina with your argument

    Like

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