A little something for the men

A few years ago, feminists in Hungary ran a publicity campaign aimed at helping men to understand the harms of prostitution and how the money they pay for sexual access to women and girls drives the whole exploitative prostitution system, right up to the sex trafficking of children.

The Hungarian women, part of the Hungary without Prostitution movement, have generously given us permission to use the photo that was central to the campaign and translations of the key messages they used on their posters.

We have created postcards and hope they will help start a conversation with men.

If you live in the UK and would like a pack of these postcards to give to local community and youth groups or to leave in men’s changing rooms, etc., you can get some in our shop.

The postcard

Download a pdf version of the postcard.

On the front is Lenke Szilágyi’s iconic photo of the seven men shot from behind, with the text:

“Approximately one in seven men
buy vulnerable women and children  for sexual use…”

On the back is the following text, superimposed on a splash of blood:

“… while the women take the blame for everything + beatings + torture  + pregnancy + STIs, HIV & AIDS + gang rape + torn guts and anus.

Prostitution = paid for abuse.


Where did the one in seven men figure come from?

The Key Facts section of a 2016 report by the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) said:

“Around 11% of British men aged 16–74 have paid for sex on at least one occasion, which equates to 2.3 million individuals.”

In our response to the report, we pointed out that according other figures in the same Key Facts section, nearly two million men buy sex in the UK every week. If this is true, it is inconceivable that there are only 2.3 million men who have ever bought a human being for sex in the UK.

The fact is that there has been very little research on punters in the UK. The Home Office recently commissioned research into prostitution in England and Wales but did not include any research into punters. We know that people don’t always tell researchers the absolute truth about their private lives, particularly about things that they know to be shameful. It is therefore hard to know exactly what proportion of men are punters.

When we were considering using this photo, we discussed whether to follow the Hungarian women and use the approximately one in seven figure – reflecting the seven men in the photo.

One in seven men is equivalent to 14%, which is only a little higher than the HASC’s 11% – which we have shown is almost certainly an underestimate. A large US study found that 20% of men buy sex over their lifetimes. We therefore decided that we are justified in suggesting that approximately one in seven men in the UK are punters.

Further reading

10 thoughts on “A little something for the men

  1. You want a conversation with men? Fine, I’ll get straight to the point. You want me to stop using prostitutes, and I (and most men if they gave it some thought) want marriage abolished, to be replaced by an institution(s) that keeps sexual and economic relationships separate.

    Give us men that one concession, and you feminists won’t seem so hostile anymore.

    1. Your comment would be more convincing if women had the same access to economic resources as men do. But the fact is they don’t – and this is because that is how men have devised the world. We want to change this as much as you do. We long for an egalitarian world. This is what we are fighting for. But we won’t achieve that while women are exploited in the sex trade.

      We recommend you read our introduction to feminism:


    2. Marriage as an institution was founded by men to control women in general and women’s sexuality in particular, in order to ensure their sexual and household needs are met and their own offspring produced.
      So don’t blame women for the culture of men.
      Are you really sayin that men in this day and age are forced into marriage by women?
      And here I thought grown-up people who get married do it because they fall in love, want to be an official legal family, and like the traditional ceremony of a wedding…
      I’m an avid atheist and have no wish to get married (just like millions of other people who never marry), so me and the love of my life have had a “Stockholm-marriage” for the past 17 years.
      Besides, it is laughable that you compare marriage where you may feel inconvenienced and/or trapped; with trafficking and prostitution, where women and children are actually tortured, raped and murdered…
      Prostitution is the most dangerous “profession” in the world.
      Marriage for a man isn’t really dangerous either; it’s usually the wives that are violently beaten, raped and murdered by their current or former husbands.

      Conclusion: your comment was clearly a barely thought out ignorant and illogical emotional outburst.

    3. abusive misogynist refuses to stop abusing women/children until women change the institution of marriage that was created by men; is unaware neither he nor any man are required to marry: more at 11.

      1. you are the second person stating here that marriage was created by man…. no, I don’t think so, but it is true that for a long period of time in history it was a means of control of women and limitation of their free movement and self-determination, but it wasn’t always like that in history and it is not like that everywhere in the world today and hopefullly will not be like that in the future…there are societies, like north-european democracies, where the status and power of men and women are much closer, and in fact housework counts as WORK, and it is paid, and you will eventually get even retirement on your house work as well…

      2. indeed, why is he married if he does not love and respect the person he is with?? What a creep! Another that thinks women owes him….

    4. Abolish marriage – or just don’t get married. That’s the spurious justification I’ve ever heard for buying girls and women.

    5. At least you named yourself accurately, Devil….you think that men have a right to sex or to have and buy women. That in the first place makes you an evil person. Nothing you can say here will redeem you. You are a misogynist, and the only result that will be fair to society, is to have the likes of you locked up for life, so you can no longer use and harm women and children. Patriarchy needs to be destroyed, as well as the mindset behind it. You don’t have to get married. Certainly not for ‘economics’. Many feminists are against marriage as they rightly see it as a patriarchal trap. It’s a trap for women, not for men. Men benefit from marriage. Men also benefit from hookup culture. None of it benefits women..
      All we have ever strived for is real respect and love. Something that neither of those things gives women, only men. And even though living that way is also a form of self hate. Well, xys live in the darkness, so that’s to be expected. They don’t focus on personal growth, or evolving….just being knuckledraggers. I’m sort of in the middle on marriage. I believe in love. It’s the only thing that does matter. Sex does not. Money does not. Nothing superficial or hedonistic does. That’s low level living, and hey, what do we expect from the devil? I am not against marriage. I am against unequal partnerships in which men think that women are supposed to service them in any way, and women are viewed like property. Why are you not loving and having sex with your life partner? You really think they are two separate things?? They are not. You think that women owe you anything. We do not. And relationships are not supposed to be about anything other than love. Marriage is not supposed to be a convenience, or so people are supported financially. They are supposed to care for EACH OTHER.
      Your failure to do that, leads to your ‘complaints’ about ‘unfairness’ in other words, how dare women not submit to your every whim. Because women are human beings, and you have to EARN love, trust, and respect, it’s not given to you because you demand it. And you are not giving it in return anyway. You don’t view women as human to begin with, as you are a misogynist. I don’t care anything about you, or men like you, as you are horrible people. So keep crying crocodile narcissistic tears and pretending it’s women’s fault that you are a bad person.

  2. I don’t really understand what Mr. Devil wants to say, I can’t follow his logic… What marriage got to do with it? Women’s body and body parts should not be treated (used) as marketized, alienated objects with a pricetag on them, (for example anus, mouth, vagina) we should not let women’s body be commercialized, no matter whether you are in or out of a marriage or a relationship…

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