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The Dangers of Rebranding Prostitution as ‘Sex Work’

June 7, 2016

by Kate Banyard

 

In an extract from her new book, Pimp State, activist Kat Banyard argues that prostitution is sexual exploitation. Decriminalising this industry only legitimises the abuse of women.

‘Using the term “sex work” as if it was an adequate and appropriate shorthand serves a deeply political goal. ‘
‘Using the term “sex work” as if it was an adequate and appropriate shorthand serves a deeply political goal. ‘ Photograph: Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images

One Comment

  • Dominic Pukallus on Mar 18, 2017

    This article seems to suffer from the assumption that sexual activity is in some way different from all other Human activities, and that all sexual acts for money are inherently abusive.

    The criticisms leveled at this activity, regardless of terminology, could apply to any form of employment or remuneration for doing something which could be done for enjoyment. The word “prostitution” does not apply only to sex for money, it works for any other activity done without integrity, passion, or inclination purely for material reward or survival.

    It is a tragedy that many people find themselves unable to make ends meet without having to engage unwillingly in this. So it is with the world, our choices are sometimes limited. Pehaps fighting to widen these choices would be a better focus for energy rather than fretting over nomenclature, especially when someone enjoying their particular method of income generation might take offense at being labeled a “prostitute”.