Pussy Patrols in Academia: Towards a Disobedient, Sex-Worker Inclusive Feminist Praxis

Heineman, Jenny. 2019. ‘Pussy Patrols in Academia: Towards a Disobedient, Sex-Worker Inclusive Feminist Praxis’. Feminist Formations 31 (1): 45–66. https://doi.org/10.1353/ff.2019.0008.
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Abstract
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The “pussy patrols” in academia are the economic, discursive, sexual, and epistemological forms of violence in academia that control, silence, and reroute all femmes—not just cis women—in higher education. Although feminists have long examined sexual harassment in educational and occupational spaces, very few have turned their attention to the specific, embodied experiences of sex-working academics. Employing “epistemic disobedience” and “Critical Life Story” interviewing methodologies, I look at the experiences of thirteen sex-working academics, including my own experiences as a sex-working undergraduate and graduate student. I disrupt the false dichotomy of empowerment/oppression in the sex industry; I ask if higher education is necessarily emancipatory; and I offer suggestions, based on the forced rerouting and silencing of sex-working academics, for moving forward as activist-academics. Indeed, the time for rebelling against the strict academic codes that rely on Cartesian dualism is now.

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