Making it Work
The Prostitute's Rights Movement in Perspective
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As its double-edged title suggests, Making It Work examines the oldest profession as just that: a service industry with professional sex workers. This reframing of prostitution is done by chronicling the evolution of COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics), the leading organization of the contemporary prostitutes' rights movement. Founded in the early 1970s, a period of intense and far-reaching change in American sexual mores, COYOTE sought from the beginning to claim ownership of the problem of prostitution from the traditional experts. In its first campaign, California-based COYOTE engaged local law enforcement and municipal government officials in debate over selective and discriminatory enforcement of criminal law. In its next stage of development, COYOTE joined in the feminist debates on violence against women and the right of women to control their bodies, linking the question of prostitution to the larger issues of women's rights. In recent years, prostitutes' rights organizations have countered assertions that prostitutes are spreading AIDS and these organizations now constitute a link between prostitutes and public health agencies. The book adds an important practical and theoretical voice to the issues of prostitution, pornography, and sexuality within contemporary feminism. Furthermore, in reconstructing prostitution as a social problem, it speaks more broadly to the notion of deviance, and how so-called deviants can act to frame the debates that affect their lives.