False photographic consciousness: the visual war on sex work.

Whoretography scored a nice blog entry as part of the Beyond the Gaze Project , you can read the blog post here.  It's a redacted version of the one that I'll publish in the Whoretography magazine

Here is a snippet ....

The prohibitionist visual portrayal shapes everyone’s understanding of the lives and bodies of sex workers.    It's that; we must challenge and call out.   A new interpretation of sex worker imagery can change the visual landscape that forms the political and social views that rob so many of us of autonomy.  Change what people see of sex work, and we change what they understand.
People’s perception of other people’s experiences is informed by the images they see,  so it's unsurprising prohibitionist picture selection always drums out the victim narrative.  Except Rachel Moran, because Moran thought it fit to sell a harrowing tale of a working class girl abused with a fashion inspired photograph airbrushed and photo-shopped to boot.  I believe they are not aware they are doing it, a false photography consciousness.  So blinded by their visual rhetoric they believe it to be the obvious visual truth.  This denial is handy if you seek to indoctrinate people perversely with their not so subtle attempts at visual rhetoric.

The prohibtionist trade in dead hookers and appalling photo editing ...

How much for that dead whore in the window? 

No bloody idea to be honest but if you ask Mouvement du Nid I'm guessing a badly edited over photoshopped mock dead whore shot is a must have for the prohibitionists for profit these days. If pimps apparently profit off the prostituted then prohibitionists profit from death and questionably choice in editing.  Trigger warning; the photo editing is woeful, can't believe these muppets won an award for this photographic nonsense.

This is an extract from an article to be published soon. The tame version to be published on an academic site and the more passionate I blame you people for the murder of prostitutes, I'm not letting you off the visual hook version in the magazine.  If their intentions were not so vile, the editing would be laughable. They don't look dead they look liker they need B12 injections and a bit of sun.


The French anti prostitution organisation Mouvement du Nid, created a fake escort website ( with the aim of deterring men from paying for sex. The site a perfect example of why the dead whore is such a powerful visual marketing tool.   Mouvement du Nid argue they are fighting violence against sex workers by using violent images, completely oblivious and ignorant to the way photography gives justification to the violence Mouvement du Nid claim to want to stop.   So ignorant,  they celebrated upon being awarded a prestigious advertising award for doing nothing more than promoting a stereotype.  For an organisation that claims to save sex workers, an image of a dead prostitute is essential for bringing in cash donations. 


The uncharitable bastards at the Salvation Army also understands the financial benefits of maintaining the visual status quo. They were forced to make a public apology after sex workers complained over the representation that vilified them as bad mothers.  Although the Salvation Army issued an apology over the offensive material, and lacked the photographic balls to use the dead hooker look,  other campaigns that visually depict sex worker as hapless deviants continue to form   part of their fund raising strategy.  Perhaps, one should ask them how much for that dead whore in the window?  No, that is not a rhetorical question, as I'd love to know the amount of money a dead hooker photo is worth in so called charitable donations. 

Remembering Hanna Karim - murdered by prohibitionist hate.

Warning:  Images of graphic violence are at the end of this post. I have included them after much deliberation and internal moral conflict but believe them to be necessary to the story of sex work stigma.  I use them in the correct photographic context. I do not believe them to be gratuitous.  If you disagree, please feel free to comment.

This Masters Degree has broken my heart on more than one occasion.

I cry more often than not. More often than the sarcastic banter on the twitter will lead you to believe. I cry at the socially acceptable violence that is committed against sex workers and then the victim blaming that follows. I cry at the self serving agenda of the moralistic who seek to have sex workers trapped in violence by state sanctioned draconian legislation.  I cry at the violence of sex worker imagery spread by prohibitionist hate mongers.

Photography is an agent for body political change weaponised against sex workers. If we don't start calling out prohibitionists on their use of photography against sex workers then sex work stigma will never end. 

I am 100% committed to having Whoretography as a platform for visual activism, my way to actively protest for legislative change. I know sex work and I know photography. I know how to question images and photographic theory. In this digital age, the message lies not in the photograph but in the transmission of the image. We need to disrupt the flow of sex worker imagery from the hands of prohibitionists. They are controlling the visual message.

Daily I read prohibitionists lambaste sex workers for photo-shopped images and accuse the falsely labelled privileged of creating a fakery and a falsehood of the perfect world of sex work.  One which apparently is masking the prostituted reality via one photo shopped image at a time.   One may suggest they are gentrifying sex work in a photographic photo-shopped conspiracy to hide the prostituted reality prohibitionists  believe to be truth.  Yep. its a pimp my photo conspiracy.

Sex workers are a photographic voice not welcomed on the internet by the very same women who alter their visual self representation on line.  Smells like visual prohibitionist hypocrisy to me. Yep, blatant prohibitionist hypocrisy.  Imagine that. Now let me explain in terms of photographic theory.

Follow enough anti sex work people across social media platforms and you see them doctoring their images. The filtered Instagram image is a phenomenon that has changed the visual landscape of the internet.  Allowing prohibitionist women to alter their self representation  without appearing to be vain or lying by manipulating an image through photo-shop trickery. That's what whores do after all.  A more honest way of creating visual dishonesty.  Photoshop is for whores lying about being prostituted.   The Instagram filter is attempt to make the lives of the antis appear visually special,  add an aesthetic beauty to the ordinariness of reality. To convince others their lives are better that yours, better than reality, better than the Photo-shop lying whores they are rescuing.  

It goes beyond a photo filter though.

All prohibitionists have profile photos on Facebook, a twitter handle image. A visual expression of identity, a form of digital self representation,  a visual performance at tricking the world to seeing you the way you want to be seen. Much like a married man who convinces the world he is a happily married man but his Facebook profile is not of a family unit. Its a self portrait that omits the other half of his apparent happy marriage.   A careful process of culling,  photo editing and selecting.   Sounds like photo-shopping to me.

So, in my journey to challenge the visual antics of the antis I stumble across images that are just gut wrenching. A direct consequence of the hate generated by the visual myth of the prostituted woman.  If men perpetrate the violence against sex workers its female prohibitionists who create the platform for the violence to flourish. What's not to love about exclusionary feminism and their photographic manipulation.

This is Hanna Karim murdered by prohibitionist hate.  She is the consequence of the visual hysteria whipped up by the anti sex work industry.

She was slaughtered on 12th July 2014 along with 27 other men and women massacred in an Iraqi brothel It would be easy to dismiss this as an act of sectarian violence in the Middle East. It would be easy to suggest they deserved it. Prostitution brutally inhumanely massacred them but as it was so eloquently described on Myth Buster this is the consequence as prohibitionist hate speech. 

As far as I see it, they were murdered by the visual war raged by prohibitionists that seek to represent sex workers as disposable worthless bodies worthy of the violence that becomes them.