Photomontage by George Blair
Prostitution is the practice in which men are able to purchase women to use as sex objects. Men are taught via pornography and patriarchal culture to believe that they have an inalienable right to the sexual access of women and children’s bodies. Prostitution eroticises the degradation and oppression of women. Men use prostitutes not only to assert dominion over women, but also to fulfill racist and paedophilic sexual fantasies.
“The presumption is that access to the female body is a male right.”
Andrea Dworkin (1981) Pornography: Men Possessing Women.
Women do not choose to be in prostitution. They are often groomed into the sex trade through childhood sexual abuse and/or manipulated by ‘boyfriend’ pimps. Poverty drives women into prostitution as a means of survival. Women in prostitution suffer immense physical and psychological damage. Prostitution is inherently violent; it is rape.
We OBJECT to the idea of prostitution. The enslavement of women as sex objects cannot exist within a society in which women are liberated and sex equality is attained.
We advocate for the implementation of the Nordic Model, which criminalises the abusers (pimps and sex buyers), while not penalising prostituted women; this system also provides support and exit services to assist women in escaping prostitution.
OBJECT’s recent work on Prostitution
We have co-operated with Nordic Model Now in campaigning against the total decriminalisation of prostitution, speaking up against the ASLEF proposals at TUC Conference and other public meetings.
We have been in continuing correspondence with the Public Policy Exchange which has marketed annual one-sided training events on prostitution for public service employees with no speakers for the Nordic Model or exit programmes.
In 2016 we persuaded PPE to include Heather Harvey from Eaves, which works with exiting women.
In 2017 we again applied pressure with sister organisations and got 2 speakers onto the panel, Heather Brunskell Evans and survivor Sabrinna Valisce, who has worked in New Zealand and debunked the much-vaunted New Zealand model of decriminalisation.
The 2018 OBJECT Essay Prize was awarded for an essay on the environmental impact of prostitution.
In September 2018, we joined sister organisation Not Buying It (plus others from Fair Play For Women, Nordic Model Now and Women Against State Pension Inequality) in a protest outside the Liberal Democrat Party Conference in Brighton. We OBJECT to their policies supporting pimps, pornography and the prostitution industry.
Recommended Books on Prostitution
Banyard, Kat. (2016) Pimp State: Sex, Money and the Future of Equality
Bindel, Julie. (2017) The Pimping of Prostitution: Abolishing the Sex Work Myth.
Dines, Gail. (2011) Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality.
Häggström, Simon. (2016) Shadow’s Law: The True Story of a Swedish Detective Inspector Fighting Prostitution.
Jeffreys, Sheila. (1997) The Idea of Prostitution.
Jeffreys, Sheila. (2009) The Industrial Vagina: The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade.
Moran, Rachel. (2013) Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution.
Raymond, Janice. (2013) Not a Choice, Not a Job: Exposing the Myths about Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade.
Recommended Websites on Prostitution
Nordic Model Now – Movement for the Abolition of Prostitution.
Space International – ‘Survivors of Prostitution Abuse Calling for Enlightenment’
Not Buying It – Campaigns against porn, prostitution and ‘sex encounter venues’ – “‘Time’s up’ to men buying women.”
To read OBJECT’s latest blog posts on prostitution, click here.