Friday, April 15, 2011

de Vries, From Slave to Sex Worker

New from Petra de Vries (University of Amsterdam) is "From Slave to Sex Worker: Feminist Debates and Prostitution Politics in the Netherlands 1880-2000." Originally published in L'Homme (January 2010), the article is now available at Eurozine.

Here's a brief summary:
Today's approach to prostitution in the Netherlands reflects the currency of the concept of "agency" advocated by feminists since the 1980s. Yet while defining prostitution as "sex work" implies entitlements, it also glosses over gendered inequality, writes Petra de Vries. Can the abolitionist arguments of the nineteenth century provide the basis for an alternative?
And here's a "road map" to the article, from the introduction:
Nineteenth century state policies on prostitution will be the subject of the first section of this article. The second and third sections will deal with the feminists' opposition to these policies and in the course of this process creating their own theories about sexuality, the state, and the "origins" of and the "solutions" to the prostitution question. The last section is devoted to a discussion of the feminist legacy from the past and the re-emergence of prostitution politics during the so-called second wave.
The full text is here.

Hat tip: bookforum

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