The Oldest Oppression
Since October 2014, I have been researching a new book on the global sex trade, commissioned by a UK publisher under the working title 'Abolishing the Sex Work Myth: The Rise of the Prostitution Survivor Movement'. This book will be about what we know about prostitution and the international sex trade, and who we know it from. I will produce a detailed examination of the global 'sex workers' rights' movement and how the 'happy hooker' narrative has come to shape our perceptions - including many women involved in prostitution - of what is misleadingly named as 'the oldest profession'.
I am planning to visit around thirty countries in order to conduct my research, taking me to the UK, the Netherlands, the Nordic region, Germany, South Africa, East Africa, North America, South America, France, New Zealand and Australia, South Korea, Turkey and India. To make this happen, I will need some funding - I'll be able to pay some of my way through freelance journalism, but there is still a gap of around £6,500 in my budget. That is why I am asking for your help today.
Along the way, I will write articles and make podcasts for Byline. You'll see interviews with survivors of the sex trade but also pimps and pro-legalisation activists. I will report from conferences on sex trafficking all over the world. Those who pay will also have access to special rewards such as signed books, invites to a Q&A, and extra material.
Through this work, I will outline the emergence of a powerful lobby - the sex workers' rights movement - that works in favour of a total decriminalisation of the sex industry. The lobbyists argue that workers' rights are at the heart of their struggle, and that those of us opposed to the sex industry are actually opposed to sex, liberation and freedom. My interviews and time spent with the feminist abolitionists - in favour of decriminalisation of the women selling sex and criminalisation of the buyers, will ask if the end to the sex trade is ever possible or desirable.