D. A. Clarke
Feminism, globalisation, and
the 'sex' industry
Sex, as it is organized in this society, is the most common way in which human rights
violations, injustice, and inequality are acted out. Acts of sexual injustice continue to
be protected by the right as moral, and by the left as personal freedom. This difference
creates a superficial political opposition over a fundamental agreement.
Both the right and the left have taken an active role in protecting traditional
sexuality … The left has responded to feminism's success and the breakdown of the
patriarchal family not by trying to reassert the traditional family, but by actively
defending as freedom, or dismissing as unimportant, its substitute: men's intensified
sexual aggression against girls and women via pornography, libertine television and
movies, prostitution, private sexual assault, and a culture that imposes sexual demands
on girls at a younger and younger age.
—Adriene Sere, 'What if the Women Mattered?' (Eat the State, Sept. 23, 1998)
… Guan Somyong was no longer ashamed that his fifteen-year-old daughter was the
first in their village to enter the sex trade. From the money she sent home, the family
now had a brick house, refrigerator, TV and stereo. 'Now all the girls want to go',
her mother said.
—William Greider, One World Ready Or Not:
the Manic Logic of Global Capitalism
A report from western Colombia describes a situation where women headed many
of the households and provided, even when married, cash income as agricultural
labourers, in addition to crops from their gardens. They were driven out of production
with the encroachment of cash crops introduced by Green Revolution technicians.
'Whereas men saw their interests being improved by wage labour available in the
mechanised farming sector, women lost control over the variety of crops that had been
the mainstay of their subsistence activities and ensured their children food in the face
of market values of monocrop cultivation. Some of their coffee trees were ruined by
the insecticides dusted over tracks outside the commercial crop and by planes used in