Sexin’ Work: The Politics of Prostitution Regulation
Keywords:Gender Regulation, Identity, Normativity, Function of Prostitution, Street Sex Work, Transgressive Sexualities, Criminalization
AbstractThis essay explores regulation in both the institutionalized and discursive production of prostitution control. The contemporary regulation of prostitution in Canadian and international contexts are explored to show that prostitution was never seriously targeted for elimination; the case of street sex work in Winnipeg is used to illustrate this phenomenon. I argue that prostitution is a cultural and political necessity deployed by nation-states to discipline women, regulate their bodies, and ensure they uphold reproductive normativity. The purpose of such regulatory projects is underwritten by the drive to strengthen national/ ethnic/racial/class identities within normative forms of gender and sexuality.