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Sex Slaves and Discourse Masters

Sex Slaves and Discourse Masters

Doctor Jo Doezema


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Why is the international community so concerned with the fate of prostitutes abroad? And why does the story of trafficking sound so familiar? In this pioneering new book, Jo Doezema argues that the current concern with trafficking in women is a modern manifestation of the myth of white slavery. Combining historical analysis with contemporary investigation, this book sheds light on the current preoccupations with trafficking in women. It examines in detail sex worker reactions to the myth of trafficking, questions the current feminist preoccupation with the 'suffering female body' and argues that feminism needs to move towards the creation of new myths. The analysis in this book is controversial but crucial, an alternative to the current panic discourses around trafficking in women. An essential read for anyone who is concerned with the increased movement of women internationally and the attempts of international and national governments to regulate this flow.
'Everyone who loves sex workers or who is horrified by prostitution, everyone interested in what prostitution 'means' should read this book.' Melissa Hope Ditmore, Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work 'Jo Doezema sheds new light on the meanings of the myth of “white slavery” and its contemporary, the trafficking of women. Rejecting stories about innocence lured, betrayed, and destroyed, this book importantly argues for a re-articulation of the trafficking narrative through an engagement with sex worker emancipatory struggles and a politics of social change. A must for any student or scholar of prostitution and human trafficking.' Kamala Kempadoo, York University in Canada. 'Sex Slaves and Discourse Masters offers an analytically sophisticated and politically astute analysis of myth and ideology in the creation of sex trafficking as a social issue. Doezema's work is not only smart but also lively and engaging.' Wendy Chapkis, University of Southern Maine
Jo Doezema is a member of the Paulo Longo Research Initiative, which works shaping new directions in sex work research and policy. She has been involved in advocacy and research on sex workers' rights for two decades. She is the co-editor of Global Sex Workers: Rights, Resistance and Redefinition (1998).

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
About the Author i
Acknowledgements vi
Acronyms vii
Introduction: Positioning trafficking in women 1
Box 1 • ‘Italy’s sex slaves’ 2
Box 2 • ‘Human trafficking: charming girls and greedy merchants!’ 3
Box 3 • ‘Filipinas end up as fun girls in South Korea’ 4
Defining trafficking in women 5
Myth and consent 9
Contextualizing consent: the forced/voluntary dichotomy 20
Abolitionism and regulationism reconfigured 23
The Vienna negotiations concerning the 2000 UN Trafficking Protocol 27
1 White slavery and trafficking as political myth 30
Myth and ideology 31
Ideology and trafficking 35
Ideology, truth and power 36
True myths? 40
Myth and its political effects 47
2 The construction of innocence and the spectre of chaos 49
Narrative and truth 51
The white slave (appearances and apparitions) 54
Empire and race in the construction of white slavery 70
Narrative, ideology and political effects 72
3 Metaphorical innocence: white slavery in America 74
Metaphor and myth 74
The American anti-white slavery campaign 77
How white was white slavery? 82
Immigration and white slavery 90
Feminism and white slavery in the US 98
Commercialization: ‘the rise of the pimp system’ 101
Metaphor and myth redux 104
4 ‘Prevent, protect and punish’ 106
Locating the myth 106
Performing narrative 107
Interrupting the innocent victim 109
The Protocol on Trafficking in Persons: background 113
The two sides of the Trafficking Protocol 119
Moral panics and boundary crisis 124
Suffering bodies, protection and ressentiment 131
The trafficker 138
The results of anti-trafficking campaigns 139
Disappearing sex workers? 144
5 Now you see her, now you don’t: consent, sex workers and the Human Rights Caucus 145
Delinking prostitution and trafficking 146
Putting the lobby together 147
Visible protest, invisible influence 151
The disappearing prostitute and the definition of trafficking 154
‘Specially vulnerable’ 160
What’s wrong with sexual exploitation? 161
Consent to trafficking? 165
The disappearing subject of trafficking (lose the myth, and who’s left?) 168
6 Towards a reinscription of myth 170
Trafficking in women, myth and consent 170
Why trafficking? Why now? 171
Sex work, myth and reinscriptions 173
The new subject of myth 174
Notes 177
Introduction 177
1 White slavery and trafficking as political myth 179
2 The construction of innocence and the spectre of chaos 182
3 Metaphorical innocence: white slavery in America 186
4 ‘Prevent, protect and punish’ 190
5 Now you see her, now you don’t: consent, sex workers and the Human Rights Caucus 193
Primary sources 196
Documents Relating to the Vienna Negotiations around the 2000 Trafficking Protocol 196
Works cited 201
Index 210