UPDATE: RIP $pread?

Courtesy of $pread

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This week the country’s only sex worker-operated trade magazine, $pread, announced that it needs $30,000 or the magazine gets it:

After all these years, five all-volunteer years to be exact, we have come to the conclusion that an all-volunteer magazine is simply unsustainable in the current publishing climate. Short of a donation of $30,000, we will be unable to sustain the magazine past January.

Last week, I interviewed Will Rockwell, the editor-in-chief of the New York-based publication, to get his take on industry myths, decriminalizing prostitution, and more. Some highlights:

MJ: How does $pread tackle myths [about sex workers]?

WR: $pread publishes a range of experiences in the sex industry. For some people it’s all a field of roses; for some of us, it was our best option among limited options, and others experienced violence at the hands of the police and a stigmatizing culture. In all cases, $pread provides a forum for sex workers to speak for themselves.

MJ: Have you ever been in a scary or dangerous situation while working that you think could have been prevented or helped if prostitution was decriminalized?

WR: I was once shorted out of an entire night’s pay by a client who told me he was going to call security on me if I didn’t leave. I decided against calling the police, because every case I heard of involved the police arresting the sex worker. Instead, I had to let a rape go unpunished.

MJ: Why do you think prostitution has yet to be decriminalized in this country?

WR: Sex work has yet to decriminalized in the US because people fear what is most familiar: We know our fathers and husbands are clients of sex workers, and our sisters, cousins, and friends find a way to pay the rent when two or three jobs aren’t enough to make ends meet.

Read the full interview here.

$pread’s Crime and Punishment Issue as well as its Race Issue are slated for publication by January, before the mag closes its doors indefinitely.

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Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

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