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The Oldest Oppression

Julie Bindel photo
Julie BindelLondon
The Oldest Oppression
A detailed examination of the global ‘sex workers’ rights’ movement

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.

#sex work, #trafficking, #prostitution, #legalisation, #human rights, #libertarianism, #feminism, #male violence

Risks and Challenges

This debate is often fierce and polarised, and so it is likely that some of the sex workers' rights lobbyists will refuse to speak to me. Many women in prostitution have experienced trauma and severe abuse. Ensuring their safety is paramount when seeking to interview and gather their stories. Many of those profiting from the sex trade - i.e. pimps and brothel owners - will attempt to mislead and give false information. Some of these individuals are violent and dangerous.

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Mark Baillie

2 years ago

Superb journalism here- very pleased to support the project. All the best going forward.

Claudia Clare

2 years ago

Hi all, just to let you know, Hussein Sahabi reduced his payment because he made three by accident. We decided to leave the extra two in place until the assorted friends / family I've been contacting had made their pledges. We're still 100% behind this project. Reduction in donation Definitely doesn't signify reduction in support.

Julie McNamara

2 years ago

I couldn't think of a better qualified Investigative Journalist to lead on this one. GO JULIE B

cwknews

2 years ago

So sorry I couldn't pledge more, this is so important, thank you so much for doing it Julie.

Jordan Lim

2 years ago

I would love to see this project being successfully funded!

Renate van der Zee

2 years ago

Julie, you are doing such a great job! Thank you for keeping the abolitionist fire burning!

Angie Stewart

2 years ago

Look forward to the book. Have always appreciated your work in this area.

DJ Connell

2 years ago

I wish you all the best with this, Julie. You do formidable work. DJ Connell

islaclarethomas

2 years ago

Sorry last post posted by accident before I was ready! Are there alternative methods of payment by PayPal

islaclarethomas

2 years ago

I'm so pleased to be able to support this project. the more I read of this trade the more appalled I am by it. Is there any way I could donate through pay pair send a cheque though rather thann

helensaxby11

2 years ago

Thanks for all the work you do on this subject: brilliant project, look forward to the book.

Laurel Long

2 years ago

I so appreciate the work you do. I think feminists need all the support we can get, and I am so honored to be able to support you. I don't think some people realize how hard it is for feminists, particularly radical feminists to state their positions publicly--and you do so for a large audience on a regular basis! Thanks for keeping up the good fight.

Karen Ingala Smith

2 years ago

Brilliant that you're doing this Julie. Looking forward to the book. Get the truth out sis. xx

Chris Green

2 years ago

It's a great project and I hope you will come and do a book talk/ signing if White ribbon campaign can organise one in Hebden bridge.

Ashley Chu

2 years ago

This sounds like a really interesting project. I love that you chose to interview both sides and will show interviews from individuals who are actually really invested in the issues. Good luck!

Mary Contrary

2 years ago

"the ‘happy hooker’ narrative has come to shape our perceptions - including many women involved in prostitution"... Is this literally a reference to false consciousness? As in, Bindel fully acknowledging that pretty much everyone in the sex industry supports full decriminalisation so, in advance of speaking to them, she's busy doing the mental gymnastics required to discount their opinions about their own lives and experiences. Forward thinking, I'll give her that.

Mary Contrary

2 years ago

Ha, so good Hayley! I made an account just so I could state my appreciation. :) Don't be so hard on Julie though - it's HARD to have self-awareness when you're so high on on your own vision of yourself as a white saviour.

hayley srours

2 years ago

Julie, I just want to raise my conern for you welfare, I know you must need money for this project, but its worrying to see you resorting to having to offer lunch dates with johns to finances you for 250 pound "donations" what does that mean for us other women who go out to lunch and talk...do you have to comodify human connections. I hope I can fight for laws to criminalise anyone offering to donate over 250 pounds - they are clearly lookimg to exploit you. you can be decriminalised and then the donators can be criminalised so we can just set up some police to monitor all of your activities and ensure youre not allowed into any restaurants, so you can avoid this exploitation.

Christina Oskjaer

2 years ago

I am a Danish political scientist and I would be happy to support your research in Denmark if needed.

Joanna Brown

2 years ago

This is an excellent and badly-needed project, and I would love to help in any way I can. I have some research experience in analysing online materials, and if I could be of any use, please let me know.

Felicia Hyde

2 years ago

Julie I am in agreement with you! Legalize prostitution will enslave more women and children into sex slavery. The lines are blurred by most people in spciety if some dont see prostitution as a willing act of the highest esteem of a woman...what women with high esteem in a healthy mental emotional way wants to willingly have sex for money to pay her bills...the titanic is a huge ship to pull up. Im rooting you on and am proud and honored sister to support you,tell what i can do .

Rachel Moran

2 years ago

This is a hugely worthwhile project that I cannot wait to see completed. The truth is sex-trade surviving women like myself are harassed, abused, threatened, libelled, defamed and subjected to every other sort of abuse imaginable for telling our truths. Hats off to Julie Bindel who has been supporting us in the telling of them since the 1990's. A huge thanks to everyone who supports her in this vital truth-exposing project.