Who Is The War on Sex Trafficking Serving?

Reason has just published a fantastic interview with Laura Agustin, jumping off from her new book Sex at the Margins:

reason: So there is an attempt to conflate the terms prostitution and trafficking?

Agustín: There is a definite effort to conflate the terms in a stream of feminism I call “fundamentalist feminism.” These feminists believe there is a single definition of Woman, and that sexual experience is key to a woman’s life, soul, self-definition. This particular group has tried to say that prostitution is not only by definition exploitation but is trafficking. It’s bizarre but they are maintaining that.

reason video on trafficking

A follow-up video is now up at the New York Times, asking, is the “war on trafficking” a war on women? Reason Senior Editor Kerry Howley points out what sex worker rights advocates have been saying about prostitution for decades: that we are not “selling our bodies,” that poverty drives prostitution, and that for many people, prostitution is one of very few options for escaping oppressive families, nations, governments.

3 Responses

  1. Thank you for posting this!!!

  2. […] Who Is The War on Sex Trafficking Serving? « Bound, Not Gagged “Reason Senior Editor Kerry Howley points out what sex worker rights advocates have been saying about prostitution for decades…” (tags: sexwork feminism debate prostitution trafficking conflation) […]

  3. Yea — I heard her first on Doug Henwood’s Behind the News Radio program. As a consequence, I ordered her book and will do a series of posts on it, in conjunction with Kempadoo’s book, Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered. Part of my summer attempt to get in touch with my inner queer dew. I have about five other book in a similar vein, exploring the rescue industry, that I want to blog — because I’m damn sick of the ridiculousness that typically characterizes the sex worker “wars”.

    The interesting thing about Kempadoo’s book : most of the authors are also suspicious of the economic victimization argument as well. That’s food for thought eh?

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