18 Yale J.L. & Feminism 109 (2006)
Prostitution, Trafficking, and Cultural Amnesia: What We Must Not Know in Order to Keep the Business of Sexual Exploitation Running Smoothly

handle is hein.journals/yjfem18 and id is 113 raw text is: Prostitution, Trafficking, and Cultural Amnesia:
What We Must Not Know in Order To Keep the
Business of Sexual Exploitation Running Smoothly
Melissa Farleyt
Wise governments, an editor in the Economist opined, will accept that.
paid sex is ineradicable, and concentrate on keeping the business clean, safe
and inconspicuous.'    That third adjective, inconspicuous, and its relation to
keeping prostitution ineradicable, is the focus of this Article. Why should the
sex business be invisible? What is it about the sex industry that makes most
people want to look away, to pretend that it is not really as bad as we know it
is? What motivates politicians to do what they can to hide it while at the same
time ensuring that it runs smoothly? What is the connection between not
seeing prostitution and keeping it in existence?
There is an economic motive to hiding the violence in prostitution and
trafficking. Although other types of gender-based violence such as incest, rape,
and wife beating are similarly hidden and their prevalence denied, they are not
sources of mass revenue. Prostitution is sexual violence that results in massive
tMelissa Farley is a research and clinical psychologist at Prostitution Research & Education, a San
Francisco non-profit organization, She is availabe at melissa.farley@prostitutionresearch.com. She
edited Prostitution, Trafficking, and Traumatic Stress in 2003, which contains contributions from
important voices in the field, and she has authored or contributed to twenty-five peer-reviewed articles.
Farley is currently engaged in a series of cross-cultural studies on men who buy women in prostitution,
and she is also helping to produce an art exhibition that will help shift the ways that people see
prostitution, pornography, and sex trafficking.
On the one-year anniversary of her death, I note that Andrea Dworkin's life and her words changed my
life. Catharine MacKinnon's wisdom about exactly how women get hurt by men, her generous heart,
and her fabulous critical reviews, have made it possible for me to keep writing. Margaret Baldwin, a
brilliant and compassionate attorney who is in the process of setting up a state-of-the-art treatment
center for women escaping prostitution, has been a joy to work with. Nikki Craft's vigilance, her
devotion to cyberspace, and her saucy attitude are an inspiration to me. And thank you to Dorchen
Leidholdt for saying to me in the back of that bus near Beijing, why don't you compare other countries
to the US-that hasn't been done before? And write about the emotional harm, why don't you?
I thank the editors at the Yale Journal Journal of Law and Feminism for their assistance and their
dedication in editing this paper.
1. The Sex Business, ECONOMIST, Feb. 14, 1998, at 17.

Copyright 0 2006 by the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism

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