Here is my review for Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution, by Rachel Moran. Hope you enjoy it.
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“The best work by anyone on prostitution ever, Rachel Moran’s Paid For fuses the memoirist’s lived poignancy with the philosopher’s conceptual sophistication. The result is riveting, compelling, incontestable. Impossible to put down. This book provides all anyone needs to know about the reality of prostitution in moving, insightful prose that engages and disposes of every argument ever raised in its favor.” —Catharine A. MacKinnon, law professor, University of Michigan and Harvard University
Born to mentally unstable parents, Rachel Moran left home at the age of fourteen. Being homeless, she became prostituted to survive. With intelligence and empathy, she describes the fears she and others had working on the streets and in the brothels. Moran also speaks to the psychological damage that accompanies prostitution and the estrangement from one’s body. At the age of twenty-two, Moran escaped prostitution. She has since become a writer and an abolitionist activist.
- eye opening and brutally realistic
- sickening and infuriating most of the times
I’ve finished this book in a while and it’s still very hard to talk about it. This was definitely the title that changed me the most throughout this year. First of all, I want to say that you shouldn’t go into this thinking it will be a memoir because that’s like 20%, tops, of the book. It is important to understand the background and some of the experiences of the author but that mainly comes in order for you to understand the analysis and kind of lives people forced into prostitution have. Secondly, you need have to have a strong stomach to read through some of parts in this book. When the author talks about the lack of physical hygiene of some of her past clients, I literally gagged. Besides, the recollections of physical and mental abuse the girls had to endure from everyone around them wasn’t easy to read either. But that comes from something I really enjoyed in this title: there’s no kind of sugar coating or embezzlement to what prostitution really is. I have to admit I had a glamorised idea of it (both about prostitution or escorting) but this book opened my eyes wide and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. As the author says, we as women have the obligation to stop accepting prostitution or even view it as some kind of feminist statement at times, and actually do something to stop it.
Anyway, go read this book! It’s an amazing read for anyone interested in women’s issues. If you know any titles you might think I would also enjoy, please let me know!
See you soon,