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“Don’t Be This Guy”: Sex Worker Autographics and Labors of Masculinities

  • Author(s): Pierce, Allison
  • Advisor(s): Miller-Younh, Mireille
  • et al.

This thesis examines the ways that sex workers utilize art, specifically the form of the autographic, to make visible their labor and critique hegemonic masculinity. In looking at two nonfiction comic works, Striptastic!: A Celebration of Dope-Ass Cunts Who Like Money by Jacqueline Frances and Rent Girl by Michelle Tea and illustrated by Laurenn McCubbin, I argue that the re-presentations of these events in this visual-textual medium leads to the denaturalization of masculinity as inherent or stable, revealing the ways that sex workers are able to benefit from their navigation of clients’ gender performances. In addition, the ways that Frances, Tea, and McCubbin depict these client interactions in this comic format serves to further disempower masculinizing practices, even those in which the workers are engaging, by orienting the reader to the authors’ and workers’ perspectives and experiences of masculine gender performances at work.

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