The profile sparked a debate over what counts as "valid" work experience.
One LinkedIn profile is going viral for having “Sex Work” listed under their experience, and reactions are—as you may expect—mixed.
31-year-old Arielle Egozi, who uses she/they pronouns, is a brand advisor and creative director, according to their LinkedIn profile. Arielle also has experience contributing to publications such as Teen Vogue and Elite Daily, managing social media platforms, and, since the Covid-19 pandemic, sex work.
Egozi recently added the experience to their LinkedIn profile after being able to leave their full-time job with benefits because of it. They shared all of the skills sex work takes in a post on the career platform, including handling rejection, knowing your worth, and maintaining boundaries. “Why is this different than any other client work?” they asked. “The answer I come to, again and again, is that it isn’t.”
The post spread across LinkedIn and beyond, racking up over 10,000 likes and over 1,600 comments. Of course, plenty of them come from people who disagree with sex work as a valid career option, leaving not only questioning comments but spewing hateful, derogatory commentary (that won't be repeated here).
“I am all for women’s rights, equality, personal choice and bodily autonomy but I found this post to somewhat tone deaf, self-absorbed and disingenuous due to this ridiculous portrayal of prostitution as somehow liberating and empowering for a woman,” one man wrote, in part.
“Dennis you’re a joke,” someone responded, proving the supporters to be just as loud, if not louder.
“Your comfort in your own skin threatens their world view and calls into question their beliefs about what they ‘deserve’ and why. ‘I'm successful and I didn't *have to* take off my clothes to do it’ type beat,” someone else wrote of the critics. “Never occurs to these folks that maybe you didn't *have to* either. You chose to.”
Egozi posted a follow-up after the original started picking up speed. “My intention here was to bring all my pieces into the room. It was to hold myself accountable in celebration of the choices I’ve made, the decisions that make me who I am and make my work what it is. It wasn’t to inspire. It wasn’t to be radical. It wasn’t to make you upset. It was to make space for myself.”
And as LinkedIn explains itself, “The mission of LinkedIn is simple: connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” There are no rules about what field you’re a professional in—if you’re a member of the global workforce, LinkedIn is there to “create economic opportunity” for you, and has a space for Egozi and any other sex worker.