Winnie Small, a radical feminist, abolitionist, and ally to victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation gives an in depth interview for Human Trafficking Awareness Month. In it, she explains how pornography plays into other forms of prostitution, the affect the internet has had on this, how, within a capitalist patriarchy, ‘choice’ and ‘freedom’ don’t always mean choice and freedom for women, particularly indigenous women and women of colour, and she discusses the Nordic model, and the current law, which she describes as offering no reasonable assurance of protection “where money and men’s boners collide.”
How did you become involved in supporting the abolition of prostitution?
I must admit my opposition to pornstitution was largely academic at first, not felt in my gut to be wrong until I read anti-pornography/anti-prostitution feminist books, especially radical feminist books, like Gloria Steinem’s Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics, Joan Smith’s Misogynies – I read all these at twelve years old. Another book I read at the same age, Patrick Roscoe’s Birthmarks, is a collection of semi-autobiographical stories about prostitution, child sexual abuse, homelessness, trauma re-enactment, and so on – that is what really hit me in the gut/tear ducts. Before that, I was pro-porn, from about eight to twelve, consuming romance novels (from garage sales and the library) and porn – first sneaking looks at my dad’s friends’ porn, then seeking out mostly televised pornography on pay per view channels (we had a descrambler). I…
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