This article originated in some years of feminist activism, and a sustained effort to understand two sentences spoken by Evelina Giobbe, an antiprostitution activist and educator, at a radical feminist conference in 1987. She said: "Prostitution isn't like anything else. Rather, everything else is like prostitution because it is the model for women's condition." Since that time, I have listened to those sentences echo in my mind, as if they wanted to teach me something I could not yet understand but needed to. I believe now that my perplexity arose, perversely, from my own commitments as a lawyer and activist in support of women in prostitution: not, it seemed, from the commitment part, but from the lawyer part. Thinking from within prevailing discourses of feminist legal theory and law reform strategies, I found myself precluded from any adequate engagement with, much less response to, Giobbe's analysis. That is something to notice. A sister suggests that you take a look at her car, as something seems to be rattling. You stand befuddled, gazing at the saw and hammer in your hands.
Baldwin, Margaret A.
"Split at the Root: Prostitution and Feminist Discourses of Law Reform,"
Yale Journal of Law & Feminism: Vol. 5
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlf/vol5/iss1/3