You can now listen to our series of conversations entitled Debunking ‘Sex Work’ as podcasts! Listen to the series to learn about the reality of the sex trade from the women who’ve experienced or studied it.
Episode 1: Pornography and Prostitution with Dr. Gail Dines
Our founder, Esohe Aghatise, in conversation with Dr. Gail Dines, a radical feminist who specializes in the study of pornography. Described as the world’s leading anti-pornography scholar and activist, she is founder and president of Culture Reframed, created to address pornography as a public-health crisis. Dines is co-author of Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality (1997) and author of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality (2010), now translated into five languages. Dines talks about the links between pornography and prostitution.
Episode 2: Language, Migration and Trafficking with Marie Merklinger and Anna Zobnina
Anna Zobnina is the executive director of the European Network of Migrant Women. Born in St.Petersburg, Russia, Anna has over 15 years of experience in the area of feminist analysis of male violence & discrimination against women and girls, sexual and reproductive exploitation, EU and international human rights policy work, research, training and advocacy, women’s empowerment, with a specific focus on migrant and refugee women.In this episode Anna Zobnina is in conversation with Marie Merklinger, a German survivor of prostitution and activist of SPACE INTERNATIONAL.
The two women talk about the connection between migration and trafficking and how these phenomena are deeply connected. They also go deeper into the conversation discussing how the way we use language affects the laws: Should we separate the words “trafficking” and “prostitution”?
Episode 3: Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation Globally with Bekah Charleston and Taina Bien-Aimé
Taina Bien-Aimé has almost three decades of experience defending the rights of women and girls at the national and global level. As the Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), she travels the world advocating before national governments and the United Nations, urging them to invest in equality for women and girls. Bekah Charleston, after enduring a decade of abuse and exploitation, built a career dedicated to the empowerment of Survivors and focused on community collaboration at all levels. In 2013, she launched Bekah Speaks Out to provide customized training and consultancy services to law enforcement, service providers, and community leaders alike. Since then, she has gained a bachelors and masters degree in criminal justice and criminology, filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Nevada over the legalized prostitution industry, and worked with senators to advocate for the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act which provides victims the opportunity to vacate or expunge federal convictions resulting from their victimization.
The two women give an overview of the phenomenon of trafficking for sexual exploitation and explain why it is impossible to separate from prostitution, including the financial side and trafficking as the ‘supply’ for the sex trade. They also speak about the reality – and the horrors – of what it really means to legalise prostitution and what life is like in Nevada, where prostitution is legalised.
Episode 4: Trauma and Prostitution with Dr. Ingeborg Kraus and Rebecca Mott
Dr. Ingeborg Kraus is a German trauma-therapist, feminist and abolitionist, specialised in treating trauma in prostitution.
Rebecca Mott is an English poet, writer, activist and survivor of prostitution.
In this episode the pair explore the topic of trauma in prostitution. They speak about what it means to have post traumatic stress disorder, dissociation and communication issues for survivors and for prostituted women. And how trauma itself can be the root of vulnerability that leads women into prostitution.
If you want to support Rebecca Mott’s activism please visit her blog and consider donating.
For more information about Dr. Kraus’s work visit her website, Trauma and prostitution.
Episode 5: Role of the buyer with Rachel Moran and Melissa Farley
Rachel Moran is an Irish survivor of prostitution and abolitionist activist. In this episode she and psychologist and radical feminist Melissa Farley discuss the role of the buyer within prostitution and what his money really buys.
The focus of the episode stands in the switch of perspective we should have when we talk about prostitution. We often talk about the woman who is bought or sold, when really we should be focusing on the people who have the choice of selling and buying women’s bodies: pimps and sex buyers.
Stupro a pagamento – Rachel Moran
Paid For – Rachel Moran
Prostitution and trafficking in Nevada – Melissa Farley
Prostitution, trafficking and traumatic stress – Melissa Farley
Melissa’s NGO website: Prostitution Research and Education
Article Melissa mentions, which they wrote together: Consent, Coercion, and Culpability: Is Prostitution Stigmatized Work or an Exploitive and Violent Practice Rooted in Sex, Race, and Class Inequality?
Episode 6: Legal Frameworks and State Responsibility with Sigma Huda and Mickey Meji
“Prostitution is about men doing things they want to women’s bodies, not women doing what they want to their bodies, women don’t choose to be in prostitution, it chooses them.” Mickey Meji
Sigma Huda is a senior lawyer of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, appearing before the Appellate Division Bench for the last 49 years. Sigma has founded/ co-founded as many as 28 organisations; she is a former UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in persons especially women and children for the term 2004 to 2008; Former twice elected to Bangladesh Bar Council. In this episode she is in conversation with Mickey Meji, a feminist, abolitionist, and human rights and gender activist. She has significant professional and personal experience in issues surrounding the sex trade as well as the system of prostitution and its harms. Mickey is the lead survivor activist and advocate in South Africa advocating for anti-sex trade laws that benefit the women who are bought, sold, and exploited in the system of prostitution. She is the founder of Kwanele, the first survivor movement in Africa, former advocacy manager at Embrace Dignity, a feminist human rights organization, and has founded the SESP Survivor Empowerment & Support Programme.
Huda and Meji outline the main legal approaches to prostitution that different countries have taken, and the consequences associated with them. They focus on where prostitution is legalised and the role the state plays in such countries, where states act effectively as pimps, complicit in violence against women, and profiting from such violence.