Working Girls

Working Girls ★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

In college, one of my favorite classes was Victorian History. We read several articles about sex work in that class and about how, when England codified prostitution, women felt trapped. Beforehand, it was work that they could do “on the side” to make ends meet. All of a sudden there was a name for what they were doing. And they were henceforth classified as prostitutes.

I think that being referred to as “whores” made the women in Working Girls feel similarly boxed in. For these girls, sex work was a way to make quick money in pursuit of their other dreams. Whether that be to fund their photography career or college education.

I actually really enjoyed this film. It focused on the dynamics between the women – among the working girls, and also with their Madame – more so than with the clients, which were just a parade of guys walking in and out of the brothel. I did find myself wondering how certain sexual fetishes came to be. For example, the whole “we could be siblings” and being turned on by that has always struck me as really bizarre.

Anyway – men are weird. Let sex workers unionize. That is all.