Author Archives: Cathryn Berarovich

Harlotry: On Arguing With SWERFs (Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminists)

Harlotry: On Arguing With SWERFs (Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminists)

I lived in my cozy little sex worker-friendly utopia for quite a while before I realized that all was not just “rights not rescue” hashtags and descriptions of the harm of stigma that spanned several tweets. There was a dark side to sex worker Twitter, and it wasn’t in the small divisions and little tiffs between the anti-capitalists and the libertarians or the misandrists and women who truly, deeply love men. The dark side of sex worker Twitter is caused entirely by the frequent invasion by sex worker exclusionary radical feminists (SWERFs) and trans exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs). More »

Harlotry: Men Who Pay For Sex Shouldn’t Be Punished With Public Humiliation

Harlotry: Men Who Pay For Sex Shouldn't Be Punished With Public Humiliation

Last week, a friend sent me a link to this article (about Nassau County’s public shaming of sex work clients, a sting so-named ‘Flush the Johns’) and asked if I had any feelings about it.

I’m pretty sure it was a rhetorical question, because like any conscientious sex worker, I have lots and lots of feelings about not only this particular article, but also the practice of criminalizing and targeting clients rather than workers. I also have a lot of feelings about the use of the word “John” for clients, and the general dehumanizing attitude people have when they talk about men who buy sexual services.

Most of my feelings about these things can be summed up with exclamations of “grr,” “argh,” “graagh,” “gurrargh,” and even “YAAAARGH!” but such exclamations do not make for good, thoughtful, or even comprehensible writing. More »