TRUTH, JUS­TICE, AND THE AMER­I­CAN WHORE

Foreword Reviews - - Foresight -

Siouxsie Q, The Whore Next Door Colum­nist, Threel Me­dia. Soft­cover $18.95 (208pp), 978-0-9905571-5-9

It takes a bold free spirit to re­pur­pose the deroga­tory ep­i­thet “whore” in a rev­o­lu­tion­ary con­text. That’s what out­spo­ken sex-worker-rights ac­tivist Siouxsie Q does in Truth, Jus­tice, and the Amer­i­can Whore, a pow­er­ful per­sonal man­i­festo that wit­tily blends sub­ver­sive pol­i­tics with deca­dent kink.

Siouxsie is a bi-sex worker and ac­tivist-jour­nal­ist. Se­lected pieces from her SF Weekly col­umn, “The Whore Next Door,” make up the ma­jor­ity of the book and of­fer a pi­caresque, first-per­son ac­count of Bay Area sex cul­ture. Star Wars fetishes, bondage par­ties, and smart sex toys fill the pages. Siouxsie’s voice is fresh, fun, and ir­rev­er­ent with­out ever be­ing forced or boor­ish.

The same voice wields in­tel­lec­tual heft when ad­dress­ing pol­i­tics, dis­play­ing a par­tic­u­lar tal­ent for cul­tural cri­tique. The heart of the book is a per­sis­tent and im­pas­sioned de­fense of “whores.” Re­pur­posed here, the word de­scribes a smart, sex­u­ally con­fi­dent woman who has no qualms us­ing her body and per­son­al­ity as en­trepreneurial tools to gain and re­dis­tribute pa­tri­ar­chal con­cen­tra­tions of wealth. A proud ad­vo­cate of open and le­gal sex work, Siouxsie finds her­self at odds with an­tiporn fem­i­nists, up­per-crust yup­pies, and even Hol­ly­wood roy­alty. Her brand of fem­i­nism re­jects stigma of all types and un­equiv­o­cally sup­ports a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body.

Be­yond the polemic and the kinky, Truth, Jus­tice, and the Amer­i­can Whore is a love let­ter to San Fran­cisco and the free­dom and equal­ity it rep­re­sents. The book’s fi­nal sec­tions be­come ele­giac as Siouxsie Q moves across the bay in search of lower rent, mir­ror­ing a greater mi­gra­tion of the queer com­mu­nity. Th­ese pas­sages, along with beau­ti­ful black-and-white pho­tog­ra­phy by Is­abel Dresler, add a hu­man layer of yearn­ing and nos­tal­gia to an oth­er­wise fun and for­ward-look­ing read. Truth, Jus­tice, and the Amer­i­can Whore is si­mul­ta­ne­ously provoca­tive and charm­ing.

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