The Pimping of Prostitution

© SpringerAbolishing the Sex Work Myth
Julie Bindel
28 September 2017
£22.50 | $39.99 | Softcover | 978-1-349-95946-4


In The Pimping of Prostitution, renowned investigative journalist and feminist activist Julie Bindel takes the debate on prostitution legislation head-on, exposing the lived realities of women in contrast with the dominant discourse in current academic and liberal feminist debates.

Based on more than 250 interviews with the people involved in and affected by prostitution around the world – from trafficked women to legal brothel owners to the men who drive demand – this book uncovers the lies, mythology and criminality that shroud this global trade, and suggests a way forward for the activists seeking to abolish ‘the oldest oppression’.

Over the course of two years, Bindel conducted interviews in almost 40 countries, cities and states, traveling around Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, New Zealand and East and South Africa. Visiting brothels all around the world, Bindel got to know pimps, pornographers, survivors of the sex trade and the women currently being sold by pimps who are classified as ‘business entrepreneurs’. The book gives an account of the struggle of those harmed by the sex trade, who she argues make up the majority of those involved, and shows that the popularly accepted tropes about ‘agency’ and ‘choice’ in prostitution are challenged by the testimony of its survivors.

The Pimping of Prostitution exposes the harms of the global sex trade and documents the emergence of the exciting and vibrant survivor abolitionist movement – leading us to question when the policy makers, politicians and international human rights organisations will start to reject the mythology around prostitution, hold sex buyers accountable for the damage that they do, and truly begin to fight for the human rights of women around the world.


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‘The first step in recognizing a big injustice is often an end to blaming the victim – say, to stop assuming that most poor people are lazy, or that battered women could just leave, or that our prisons are so racially imbalanced because the imbalance is deserved. To find out the truth behind all those “Pretty Woman” myths about the global sex trade, read this well-documented book by Julie Bindel.’

—Gloria Steinem, writer, lecturer, political activist and feminist organiser

The Pimping of Prostitution ruthlessly exposes the international pro-prostitution lobby across the full length of its inglorious spectrum of dishonesties, from subtle deliberate deceptions to outrageous outright lies. Nobody gets off the hook: from the pimp-affiliated ‘activists’ to the HIV funded NGO’s, from the pro-decriminalisation academics to the sex trade profiteers; if you have a voice on this issue and you have misused it, expect to meet yourself in the pages of this book.’

—Rachel Moran, sex trade survivor, and author of Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution

‘Julie Bindel shatters the myths, misconceptions and outright lies about the buying and selling of women’s bodies for sex. Her research into this devastating human rights violation against women and girls worldwide is powerful, profound and most important of all, irrefutable. It is the most thorough analysis of prostitution I have ever read!’

—Victor Malarek, author of The Natashas: Inside the Global Sex Trade, and The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It


‘Bold, brilliant and brave. This is Julie Bindel at her best, demolishing the myths around prostitution and asking us to listen to survivors, the women and men who know the ugly reality first-hand.’

—Joan Smith, author of Misogynies




About the Author

Julie Bindel is a renowned investigative journalist, and has written extensively on religious fundamentalism, violence against women, the international surrogacy trade, mail order brides, trafficking, and unsolved murders. She writes regularly for the Guardian, New Statesman, Truthdig and Standpoint Magazine, and frequently appears on the BBC and Sky News. She was Visiting Journalist at Brunel University, UK (2013 - 2014) and is now on the advisory board for www.byline.com.

For more information or to get in touch with the author please contact:
Rebecca Krahenbuhl – Communications Manager, Palgrave Macmillan
rebecca.krahenbuhl@palgrave.com, +44 020 7014 6634