“Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self”, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman – book review

Whatever one’s view of the rights and wrongs of prostitution, this book (reviewed by me in 2018) is worth a read.

K Morris - Poet

This review is of “Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self”, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman, (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1742198767/).

In “Being and Being Bought” Eckman argues that prostitution entails the exploitation of women by men. Women are (in Ekman’s view) “prostituted” (the word being used by her to denote the lack of free agency of those engaged in the world’s oldest profession).

Ekman contends that many of those who are “prostituted” develop a “split self”. The “prostituted” woman attempts to convince herself that she is “selling sex” rather than her very self. However for Ekman the act of selling sex can not be separated from the person (the “prostituted” woman who is doing the selling, for they are one and the same. Sex does not walk around the market place selling itself, for it has no existence independent of the “prostituted” woman. Likewise, Ekman contends one can not sell one’s…

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4 thoughts on ““Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self”, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman – book review

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for commenting, Michael. I’m pleased you found my book review interesting. I agree that human trafficking is a terrible crime. However I believe that a distinction needs to be made between consensual (adult) sexwork/prostitution and trafficking. What truly consenting adults do in private (whether money is entailed or not) should be no concern of anyone else, whilst human trafficking needs to be clamped down on hard by the authorities. I do, however accept that this is a highly contentious issue on which there exist strong feelings/opinions. Best wishes. Kevin

      1. OIKOS™- Art, Books & more

        I agree with you Kevin! Above all, the state should stay out of adult life. Here in Germany since 2004 we have the most liberal laws for prostitutes, worldwide. They meant this would make things better, but the opposite happend. xx Michael

    2. K Morris Poet Post author

      I have read articles about a mega brothel in Germany. I’ve also read conflicting reports as to whether the law change in Germany was beneficial (or otherwise) for those engaged in sexwork/prostitution, so I was interested to hear your view that things are now worse for those engaged in prostitution.

      In England and Wales selling sex (or paying for it) is not (in itself) illegal, however many activities associated with it are. For example it is a criminal offence to pay for sex with someone who has been forced/trafficked irrespective of whether the person paying was aware that the prostitute was being compelled to engage in sex work.

      Here escort agencies are legal, but they operate under the fiction that they are merely providing companionship. However everyone knows that the overwhelming majority of escorts do, in fact provide sexual services.

      I have read a number of articles praising the liberal approach in New Zealand (including some by those engaged in sex work).

      Whatever the rights and wrongs of the industry are, I suspect that prostitution will continue so long as humanity exists.

      All the best. Kevin


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