Kat Banyard and Diane Martin
Never before have prostitution, strip clubs and pornography been as profitable, widely used or embedded in mainstream culture as they are today. How should society respond to the rise of the sex trade? Should it be legal to pay for sex? Isn’t it a women’s choice whether she strips for money? Could online porn be warping the attitudes of a generation of boys?
An increasingly popular set of answers maintains that prostitution is just work, porn is fantasy, demand is inevitable; fully legalise the sex trade and it can be made safe.
But Kat Banyard contends that these are dangerous myths. She argues that sexual consent is not a commodity, objectification and abuse are inherent to prostitution, and the sex trade poses a threat to the struggle for women’s equality.
She is joined by Diane Martin, who, having survived prostitution in her late teens, has spent nearly 20 years supporting women to exit prostitution, working with others to develop and improve strategy, policy, service development, prevention and exiting options.
Photo of Diane Martin, copyright PA Photos