In this podcast, Esther, who has a longstanding interest in research on legal and public policy approaches to sexualised violence and domestic abuse, uses her own experience of porn and prostitution to reflect on consent, the global reach of depictions of sexualised violence and what this means for women and girls. Read More
The Colonisation of Intimate Life
The Mainstreaming of Sexual Violence and Hazard.
This article is based on the second presentation at our recent webinar, Porn, Prostitution and Violence against Women.
“Expressions of fear and distress on the faces of porn performers are deliberately induced. The cruelty is the point. It associates sex as something painful for women in the eyes of the viewer…” Read More
In this ground-breaking and harrowing article, Esther, who was herself involved in prostitution and the making of porn, shows how the eroticisation of cruelty in both the political and personal arenas is fed by the global sex industry’s violence and cruelty, and she reveals the hypocrisy of those who insist that ‘sex work’ is a private matter of no consequence to anyone else and who wilfully ignore its devastating consequences for both individuals and society. Read More
Who is misbehaving? Reflections on the film, Misbehaviour
At the beginning of the film, Misbehaviour, Sally Alexander (played by Keira Knightley) is applying to study history at University College, London (UCL). We see her walk into the large wood-panelled interview room where six middle-aged white men are waiting for her, seated in a row behind a long table. The camera pans back so we can see them giving her a mark out of ten as she settles on the lone chair in front of them… Read More
The long road to abolition
A reflection on the transatlantic slave trade – what drove it, how it was justified, and the long road to its abolition – and the current battle between those who want to open up the sex trade to the free markets and those who want to abolish the sex trade and the entire system of prostitution.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela, 1995 Read More
Women of colour against the sex trade
We report on the recent ‘Women of Colour Against the Sex Trade’ conference in London, UK, that was hosted by Space International and heard first-hand from black and ethnic minority survivors of the sex industry.
“In Dr Vednita Carter’s Black Minnesota neighbourhood, white middle class men cruise the streets in luxury cars, looking for Black girls and young women to pay to use and abuse sexually. This echoes back to the white man’s white god-given right to unlimited sexual access to Black women and girls during the long centuries of slavery.” Read More
From sexual abuse to prison via prostitution: guilty of being victims
Francine Sporenda interviews Yasmin Vafa, co-founder and executive director of Rights4Girls, which works to end male violence against young women and girls in the United States. She is a lawyer and her work focuses on the intersections between race, gender, violence, and the law. She educates the public and policymakers on these issues and how they affect the lives of marginalized women and children. She has successfully advocated for several anti-trafficking laws at the federal level, has testified before Congress and international human rights bodies, and co-authored a seminal report mapping girls’ unique pathways into the justice system: The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story. Read More
This article draws on the work of key feminist thinkers to provide a brief introduction to feminist theory and to show how many of the things we struggle with as women are not personal failings but are consequences of a system that is rigged against us – simply because we are female. That system has many threads – including the systematic deprivation of resources from women, men’s impunity to rape and abuse women, and the system of prostitution. Read More
Hate crime as expression of dominance and inequality
This is the text of our submission to the APPG on Hate Crime’s inquiry into hate crime in the UK. We argue that hate crime is typically the behaviour of members of a dominant group towards members of a less powerful group – usually with the motivation of maintaining their collective and individual dominance; that the hate crime framework must never be used to silence respectful debate and dissent; that porn should be considered a form of hate propaganda; and that the hate crimes that are centrally monitored and for which perpetrators can get an increased sentence should be extended to include misogynistic hate crime. Read More
Working as a receptionist in a legal brothel proved to me that prostitution is anything but a normal job
The media glamorises prostitution and presents the illusion that it’s sexually liberating for women, and sex industry lobbyists claim that it’s just regular work. For a long time Jacqueline Gwynne accepted this without question even while working as a receptionist in a legal brothel in Melbourne. It was only two years later that she began to see the dark, seedy and dangerous truth. Here she explains what it was like so you can decide for yourself whether prostitution can ever be considered a normal job. Read More
“Caught in the Crossfire and Not by Accident”: In Canada, the Legislation was Just the Beginning
As the five year anniversary approaches of Canada passing its Nordic Model-style Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA), Zoë Goodall interviews several activists from the women’s movement to find out what PCEPA has achieved. What she finds is both disappointing and enraging and provides salutary lessons to all who want to see the Nordic Model implemented: passing the legislation is just the first step in the battle. Read More
Invisible men in London and Telford
The London Mayor’s VAWG strategy no longer commits to targeting men’s demand for prostitution and does not even mention sex buyers once in its 100 pages. Meanwhile the men who bought children to rape and sexually abuse in Telford are mostly excised from the media reports. How can we address the heinous crimes of CSE, sex trafficking, and the pimping of women in prostitution if we refuse to look at the men who drive it and the culture that creates this behaviour and gives it impunity? Read More
What’s Wrong with Prostitution?
This article takes a hard look at prostitution, and how it affects people, taking in its intrinsic links with porn, sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation, its inherent racism, and why we should hold those who drive it accountable. Read More