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Sex and StigmaStories of Everyday Life in Nevada's Legal Brothels$
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Sarah Jane Blithe, Anna Wiederhold Wolfe, and Breanna Mohr

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479859290

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479859290.001.0001

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Feminisms, Prostitution, and the Sex Trafficking Debates

Feminisms, Prostitution, and the Sex Trafficking Debates

(p.33) 2 Feminisms, Prostitution, and the Sex Trafficking Debates
Sex and Stigma

Mary White Stewart

NYU Press

Chapter 3 addresses the confusing, conflicting, and comingled landscape of sex work research, literature, and popular discourse. First, the authors address the deep divide amongst feminists about prostitution. Long a contentious issue for feminists, we review arguments that all prostitution is violence against women and arguments that prostitution is a viable, potentially empowering occupation. The authors sort through dichotomous positions about whether or not prostitution should be abolished or legalized. Next, they address the controversy between prostitution and trafficking. Currently, the United States is experiencing a moral panic about sex trafficking. An unlikely coalition between scholars and advocacy groups from radical feminism and the Christian right argue that all prostitution is trafficking. The purpose in this chapter is to untangle this conflation. Finally, the authors situate legal prostitution as different from illegal prostitution and legal prostitution in international contexts.

Keywords:   Feminism, Prostitution, Sex work, Brothels, Sex trafficking

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