The Industrial Vagina

February 26, 2009


Awe-inspiring, radical, charismatic, lesbian feminist Sheila Jeffreys has written a new book called The Industrial Vagina: The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade. It looks like it will be a really eye-opening and well-researched book (as are all books written by Sheila Jeffreys). Radio National interviewed Sheila about the book. You can find the interview here Go listen. Sheila is awesome!


  1. As an important note for mac users….I found it necessary to actually hit the link that said “download” to listen to the interview.

    I have noticed, from reading the craigslist “Erotic Services” pages (as I do from time to time since I found out they existed, and were, apparently, used by underage girls. I don’t know what I would do if I saw an ad that I thought was questionable, or at least more questionable than the others) that there is a “massage parlour” not far from my apartment. I put that in quotation marks because if what somewhere I could go to get the knots rubbed out of my back, they wouldn’t tell me the women’s cup size. Every woman, without fail, on their webpage, is called a “Filipino beauty”, an “exotic, curvy african” or somesuch. You can, apparently, for the right fee, purchase an hour or a half hour of asian love, of african love, of venezualan love….but not Canadian love. Which leads me back to Sheila Jeffreys. These women probably didn’t come to Canada so that they could be prostitutes. Whatever else they may be, they didn’t come here so that they could be commodities

  2. Oh bitchcakes. I accidentally hit “submit” before I was done.

    The point I’m driving at is this….the women, as mentioned before, become commodities. They mostly don’t seem to be Canadian. They may or may not be here legally, and there’s a chance they didn’t choose to work where they work. If they are illegal, and the place were to be shut down, they would be penalized. They would be penalized for being objectified, for using their bodies as industrial equipment. I have never been to this place, of course, but I have seen their webpage. there are pictures of the women, with those horrible, patriachal and euro-centric descriptions, and their bodies are displayed like cuts of meat.

    I think I’m going to buy Sheila Jeffreys’ book. That industry makes me sick.*

    *Disclaimer: my beloved has a friend who is an independent escort. she seems to enjoy it well enough, and that’s fine. I don’t hold it against her. Her clients (though I’d never tell her that) and any person, male or female who forces a girl or woman into that lifestyle deserve nothing but our scorn.

  3. Yeah, I had to download the interview too.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this fop. I had never really thought about prostitution through a race-based lense until I read Not For Sale, a collection of essays by feminists (some of whom were survivors of prostitution) against pornography and prostitution. Not I find it hard to see how I could have missed the connection. In Australia, we have ad after ad in the papers advertising Asian women. Usually these women are trafficked, their papers are confiscated and they are held in debt bondage. It is really horrifying to know that every night Every. Single. Night. there are hundreds of women being raped by man after man, until their vaginas and anuses are scraped raw.

    The thought of it makes my stomach turn, the fact that I can’t do anything about it makes me really sad and angry. The only way that a man could buy a woman as sex (and it doesn’t matter if she is an independant escort or a trafficked woman, makes no difference to him) is if he cannot/ does not see women as human beings.

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