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Main : abuse, feminism, human rights, sex industry, sexual abuse, violence against women

ISBN: 9781742198767
221 x 137 mm
223 pp
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Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self
Kajsa Ekis Ekman
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Grounded in the reality of the violence and abuse inherent in prostitution—and reeling from the death of a friend to prostitution in Spain—Kajsa Ekis Ekman exposes the many lies in the ‘sex work’ scenario. Trade unions aren’t trade unions. Groups for prostituted women are simultaneously groups for brothel owners. And prostitution is always presented from a woman’s point of view. The men who buy sex are left out.

Drawing on Marxist and feminist analyses, Ekis Ekman argues that the Self must be split from the body to make it possible to sell your body without selling yourself. The body becomes sex. Sex becomes a service. The story of the sex worker says: the Split Self is not only possible, it is the ideal.

Turning to the practice of surrogate motherhood, Kajsa Ekis Ekman identifies the same components: that the woman is neither connected to her own body nor to the child she grows in her body and gives birth to. Surrogacy becomes an extended form of prostitution. In this capitalist creation story, the parent is the one who pays. The product sold is not sex but a baby. Ekis Ekman asks: why should this not be called child trafficking?

This brilliant exposé is written with a razor-sharp intellect and disarming wit and will make us look at prostitution and surrogacy and the parallels between them in a new way.

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Sex & Prostitution.Kajsa Ekis Ekman interview in Appelscha TV 2 Sex & Prostitution.Kajsa Ekis Ekman interview in Appelscha TV 2
Kajsa on ABC's Q&A
Insight on SBS
Festival of Dangerous Ideas
Feminist Current Interview with Meghan Murphy

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Being and Being Bought is a riveting analysis of prostitution and surrogacy that shatters the great wall of lies about these two institutions. Brilliantly analysing the parallels, Kajsa Ekis Ekman wages a multi-pronged attack on sexism and classism that leaves the reader with hope for change. If you've ever wondered how to respond to those who say there are no victims in prostitution or what to say when someone proposes surrogacy as a solution to childlessness - this book is a must-read. 
Melissa Farley, Executive Director of Prostitution Research & Education, San Francisco.
It may seem outrageous to many of the proponents of commercial surrogacy that we might compare the position of the prostitute to that of the surrogate, but Ekman does an effective job of explaining the very real parallels.
Grazyna Zajdow, Arena Magazine

Ekman has to be commended for the many convictions she shakes in Being and Being Bought. It is rare to find a text exploring issues that affect women that genuinely challenges preconceptions.

Jazz Croft, NZ Booklovers

Table of Contents



PART I Prostitution

Chapter One: The Story of the Sex Worker or How Prostitution Became the World’s Most Modern Profession

The ‘Sex Worker’ and the Feminist Sexual Orientation

The Victim and the Subject

A Slippery Slope: From the Independent Escort …

… to Human Trafficking …

… and Children

The Invulnerable Person 

The Narrator

The Cult of the Whore

The World’s Oldest Profession: Regulation

The Drainage Model


Chapter Two: An Industry is Born–1970 to present

The 1970s: The Sex Industry Expands—and Gets Into Trouble

The 1980s: Holland Takes Up the Thread

The 1990s: HIV/AIDS—Money Comes Through

The New Millennium: ‘Unions for Sex Workers’

The International Union of Sex Workers—Pimps

Les Putes/STRASS—The Men

The International Committee of the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe —The Researchers

Ámbit Dóna—The Social Workers

The Industry

False Façades

Rhetoric from the Left—Money from the Right

Power Transformed—The Legacy of 1968


Chapter Three: The Self and the Commodity in the Sex Industry

“My body is not my Self”  

“Sex is not the body”

Reification—When Sexuality becomes a Commodity

The Struggle for the Woman

The Buyer’s Dilemma

The Postmodern Story: A False Dialectic

The Way Out


PART II Surrogate Motherhood

Chapter Four: The Reality of Surrogacy


The Buyers and the Bearers of the Bought


Chapter Five: The Story of the Happy Breeder

Happy Families

A ‘Revolutionary Act’

The ‘Feminist’ Arguments


Child Trafficking

Sold with Fatal Relativism 

Turning the Law of Demand and Supply into a Human Right

On the Term ‘Surrogate Mother’

The Capitalist Creation Myth

‘For a Friend’s Sake’ – About Altruistic Surrogacy


Chapter Six: Inside the Surrogacy Industry

Uterus Pimps – About the Agencies

The Most Surrogacy-Friendly Courts in the World

“They are sad for a few weeks, but it passes quickly”

The Ultimate Reification

The Virgin Mary in the Marketplace 

Women who Change their Minds: “I am not a surrogate; I am a mother”






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