Heidi Tinsman

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Sex still sells. It was standing room only at the Panel entitled "The International Sexual Exploitation of Women: Prostitution, Surrogacy, and Commercial Marriage." The preceding Panels, though thoughtful and provocative, did not generate the same degree of interest. Panel IV apparently struck a different chord than did previous discussions on subsistence farming and domestic service, maquiladora unions and GATT treaties: Sex-work seemed unique, if not titillating. But just what is so unique about sex-work? Why do surrogacy and bride-selling pose problems different from those raised by garment-making and grape-picking? Why does the prostitute epitomize the most exploited woman? "Female sexuality," of course, is what is different about sex-work. Feminists attack men's control over it; paternalists rush to protect it in the name of women.

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