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Running from the Rescuers: New U.S. Crusades Against Sex Trafficking and the Rhetoric of Abolition

From: NWSA Journal
Volume 17, Number 3, Fall 2005
pp. 64-87 | 10.1353/nwsa.2005.0071

Abstract

This article analyzes recent developments in U.S. anti-sex trafficking rhetoric and practices. In particular, it traces how pre-9/11 abolitionist legal frameworks have been redeployed in the context of regime change from the Clinton to Bush administrations. In the current political context, combating the traffic in women has become a common denominator political issue, uniting people across the political and religious spectrum against a seemingly indisputable act of oppression and exploitation. However, this essay argues that feminists should be the first to interrogate and critique the premises underlying many claims about global sex trafficking, as well as recent U.S.-based efforts to rescue prostitutes. It places the current raid-and-rehabilitation method of curbing sex trafficking within the broader context of Bush administration and conservative religious approaches to dealing with gender and sexuality on the international scene.



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