1 Mich. J. Gender & L. 65 (1993)
Strategies of Connection: Prostitution and Feminist Politics

handle is hein.journals/mjgl1 and id is 71 raw text is: STRATEGIES OF CONNECTION: PROSTITUTION
c.1Yvargaret A. 'Baldwin*
I am daunted by the shortness of our time, and by the scope of the
tasks we face. There is the task each of you has shouldered in attending
this symposium: to absorb and respond to what you are hearing. Many
of us, especially those of us who have never been prostituted, have
likely heard much about prostitution that seems new, or much that is
old but presented in a new way. However, more than novelty is at stake
in this confrontation. In my experience, serious engagement with the
reality of prostitution is disorienting, scary, and enraging. I know no
one, including myself, for whom this has not been the case. There is
also the task of developing a politics adequate to it all. For the
challenges that continue to confront us in crafting feminist strategies
against prostitution and for prostituted women are profound. Those
challenges require putting into action the greatest and most demanding
strengths of feminism: forging connections among women, confronting
the political meaning of our silences, and refusing to abandon any
woman by the side of the road. A feminist political approach to pros-
titution must begin from these strengths and be tested against the
standards set by them. I want to address how taking each of these
strengths seriously can create sustained resistance against prostitution.
t   This paper is essentially the speech that Ms. Baldwin presented at the Michigan
Journal of Gender & Law Symposium entitled Prostitution: From Academia to
Activism, held on October 31, 1992, at the University of Michigan Law School.
Most of its speechlike characteristics have been preserved so as to maintain its
t   This talk came to life after discussion with Evelina Giobbe and Vednita Nelson. I
thank them, as well as Susan Hunter and Dorchen Leidholdt, for the insight and
*   Margaret Baldwin (J.D. 1984, University of Minnesota Law School) is an Associate
Professor of Law at Florida State University College of Law. She has taught classes
including: Women and the Law; Civil Rights; Prostitution and Pornography; and
Race, Gender and the Law. She has written several law review articles related to
prostitution and pornography. She has written provisions of Florida law to provide
damages for women coerced into prostitution. She has testified before several
commissions on prostitution issues. Professor Baldwin also has been active with the
Florida Gender Bias Implementation Commission and the Tallahassee Feminist
Women's Health Clinic.

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