5 Books about sex work and feminism

Discussing sex work and feminism in the same sentence can mean inviting controversy, but it’s an issue that’s been playing on my mind a lot for the past few years. Academically, the field of sex work research is growing and is dominated by women’s voices – many of them white women, but that’s an improvement on the overall story of sex work being told by men. In fictional media for many years, sex workers have been mere objects in our stories – damsels in distress, cold corpses in dark sheds, reduced to being just low risk victims for serial killers seeking release.

The story of sex work is often interlaced with that of human trafficking, exploitation and abuse. The people who choose to work in the sex trade rarely have their voices heard and are less visible in the mainstream media. In the past few years, this gap has been addressed with some extremely thought provoking publications on the topic of sex work, some of which are discussed below.

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