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Why do some feminists regard prostitution as sexual slavery?

 Why do some feminists regard prostitution as sexual slavery? And why do other feminists object so strongly to the use of this metaphor?Is it possible to draw and clear line between free and forced choice prostitution?

This essay is for the module “human rights and critical modern slavery”. It is the core module for MA Global Citizenship, Identities, and Human Rights. The full title is “Why do some feminists regard prostitution as sexual slavery? Moreover, why do other feminists object so strongly to the use of this metaphor? Is it possible to draw and clear line between free and forced choice prostitution?”Introduction:
-huge debates for many years about prostitution:
1, evil, terrible violence against women; It should be abolished …
2, women’s choice to be the pros

There are some basic issues:
One the one side: When people say this is the free choice of women who engage in this industry It is just free in principles. For example, if the women choose to become prostitution instead of doing other jobs (maybe they can do other jobs but get lower payment), what’s social, economic reasons behind? Is it difficult to say in this circumstance it is free or forced?

One the other side: If all prostitution is forced, even slavery, is that fair for those women who choose this by themselves?

The two main arguments in the prostitution debate. Both sides should be clearly criticised. The examination whether it is possible to make a clear definition is necessary. Moreover, then comes out to the conclusion it is very difficult to draw and clear line between free and forced.

One side is in all kinds of ways; prostitution is a force. It should be illegal and abolished anywhere. Prostitution is violence against women. However, many women are not forced to do this because of violence or not compel to do this by the third party. Those who are forced to do it by the third party are the victims of human trafficking.

The other side prostitution can be a free choice. Women can do anything with their body and become a prostitute. However, some social, economic circumstances, for example, Migrants become prostitution or women who are from very low-income background, are not possible to fit the standard of “total freedom”.

The core reading list:

Alexander, P. 1997: ‘Feminism, sex workers and human rights’, in J. Nagel (ed) Whores and Other Feminists. London: Routledge •
Barry, K. 1995: The Prostitution of Sexuality. NY: New York University Press •
Doezema, J., 1998: ‘Forced to choose: Beyond the voluntary v. forced prostitution dichotomy’. In Kamala Kempadoo and Jo Doezema (eds.) Global Sex Workers: Rights, Resistance and Redefinition. New York: Routledge. pp34-50. •
Jeffreys, S. 2009: The Industrial Vagina. London: Routledge. •
Kelly, P. 2008: Lydia’s Open Door: Inside Mexico’s Most Modern Brothel. Berkeley CA: University of California Press. •
Kempadoo, K., 1999: ‘Slavery or work? Reconceptualising Third World prostitution’, Positions, Vol.7, No. 1, pp 225-237. •
McIntosh, M., 1996: ‘Feminist debates on prostitution’, in L. Adkins and V. Merchant (eds) Sexualizing the Social. London: Macmillan. •
O’Connell Davidson, J. 1998: Prostitution, Power & Freedom. Cambridge: Polity. •
Pheterson, G., 1993: ‘The whore stigma: female dishonour and male unworthiness’, Social Texts, no.37, pp 39-64
Steinfeld, R. (2001) Coercion, Contract and Free Labor in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Introduction)

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