chapter  1
12 Pages

Power and Prostitution

ByAngie Hart

Most prostitution texts have constructed female sex workers either as immoral enemies of 'the family' or as enemies of women's emancipation/victims of women's lack of emancipation. It is often assumed that prostitution is simply the most extreme manifestation of this universal gross power imbalance. Prostitution is seen as a kind of symbol of the state of gender power relations. Issues of power with regard to sex workers and prostitution are complex. They have largely been discussed either in 'macro' or in 'micro' terms. Texts concerning macro issues of prostitution from a non-feminist angle include a vast body of literature that is informed by Catholic morality. Many writers on prostitution who explore 'macro' issues are feminist scholars. In common with macro approaches to prostitution, micro approaches employ power as a central theme. Some studies have superficially explored the power relationships between sex workers and their clients.