Edition 18: Prostitution, Pornography & Sex Trafficking

WLRN’s 18th edition podcast is packed with information and stories about prostitution, pornography and the sex trade. Though this topic is a difficult one to discuss, WLRN is committed to facing the truth about the conditions under which women live worldwide. For this reason and since we have never addressed this issue head-on before in a podcast, we are going over our normal hour length to offer up this collaborative work that is nearly two hours long.

We were able to get in touch with some of the world’s leading experts and activists on this topic including Samantha Berg, Julie Bindel, Sabrinna Valisce and Renee Gerlich. Each of our four guests have unique and powerful things to say about the male-driven rape industry that plagues us in these latter stages of global patriarchal capitalism.

In addition, hear our WLRN world headlines as written and presented by Amanda. Tired of patriarchal news coverage of world events? Take a listen to our headlines that come at the beginning of each podcast.

And finally, enjoy the scathing and rich language employed by our resident female separatist, Sekhmet SheOwl as she holds leftist men accountable to the neolibral politics of the sex trade and calls for women everywhere to fight it in solidarity.

Samantha Berg is a journalist, activist, and radical feminist. Originally a reproductive rights and anti-poverty advocate, in 2002 she began working against prostitution, specifically seeking to reduce men’s demand for paid sex. In recent years Samantha been organizing conferences and public events to build community among radical feminists. You can read Samantha’s published articles at the blog Johnstompers.com

Julie Bindel is an English writer, feminist, and co-founder of the law-reform group Justice for Women, which opposes violence against women and helps women who have been prosecuted for killing violent male partners. She is the author of The Map of My Life: The Story of Emma Humphreys (with Harriet Wistrich, 2003), Straight Expectations (2014), and The Pimping of Prostitution (2017). This last book is set to be released this month in London at a public event that will feature women speaking out against the sex trade.

Sabrinna Valisce experienced prostitution in the South Pacific under three legislative models and is now the South Pacific representative of SPACE International. She is a former volunteer with the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective but left when it became clear decriminalization was unable to fix sex trade problems. She participates in strategy meetings for Abolitionist Model implementation in Victoria working alongside frontline services, organizations, MPs, police officers and researchers. As of November 2017 Sabrinna will be joining the board of Herspace, a unique Trauma Informed Service for women harmed by sexual exploitation.

Renee Gerlich is an artist and feminist activist living in Wellington New Zealand. She spoke with WLRN’s Julia Beck about an art exhibit she curated last month called Too Much Truth about the global sex trade.

Musical selections for this edition are “Me and a Gun” by Tori Amos and “Invincible” by Pat Benatar.

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