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WHOOPS! Here I was thinking that the interplay between sex work and forced labour was complex and multi-causal, involving structural factors like poverty, identity-based discrimination, and anti-migration policies! BUT IT’S ACTUALLY INCREDIBLY SIMPLE! Turns out pimps (or, as they’re also known, “drug dealers”!) are simply luring young girls into the game with sequinned knicker shorts and the “Single Ladies” video, and if Beyoncé would just put some damn clothes on, the sex trafficking industry would dissolve!

Sorry to snark, it’s just that I can’t seriously engage with your evidence-devoid theory. The anti-sex trafficking cause is already thick with moral panic, misinformation, and ill-informed, PR-boosting celebrity activists, and you’re cluttering the already-diminished discourse with further nonsense. This wouldn’t especially bother me if it weren’t for the fact that theories like yours spawn attitudes and policies that actively harm sex workers. You are ignoring the freely available perspectives and requests of real-life sex workers because they interfere with your romantic notion of the Prostituted Woman as a forlorn, passive victim who needs to be saved. If you engage with sex workers before you form a view onwhat’s oppressing them, you might find that criminalisation and stigma are higher-priority concerns than mythical drug-dealing pimps wielding persuasive charm and Beyoncé’s hotpants.

Maddie Collier at the Pantograph Punch writes An Open Letter to Rakhi Kumar, Beyonce Hater: Your Feminism is Not My Feminism


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