There are few liberal words more full of hate and spite than “whorephobic,” both for the women they claim to defend but call whores, and for the women who dare to actually stand up for them. Ella Hawthorne discusses the definition of whore and how it connects to the uses of “whorephobia.”
If whorephobia really did mean hatred of women in the sex trade, then we would apply the word toward people who hurt women in the sex trade. The people hurting women are those people who take advantage of vulnerable women to coerce them into sex acts they do not desire, who beat and murder women, who traffic women, who want women to act out the Whore character. If whorephobia really did mean hatred of women in the sex trade, then pimps and johns and porn users would be considered whorephobic. In addition, if whorephobia really did mean the hatred and fear of women in the sex trade, then those who bully and silence women who speak out about their own experiences in the trade would be considered whorephobic.
The women who are calling radfems ‘whorephobic’ are really saying this: Stop saying anything negative about the shitty things I have to do to survive in the patriarchy, and stop pointing out where I’ve been victimized, because I don’t want to think of myself as a victim, no matter what men do to me. Validate the abuse that my abusers dish out, so I don’t have to think of it as abuse, and can pretend that everything is okay instead of acknowledging the epidemic of violence against women.