"A powerful work filled with disbelief, outrage, and documentation...sexual bondage shackles women as much today as it has for centures."
--"Los Angeles Times"
"Exposes the dark side of sexuality and dares to ask the crucial question, 'why do men do these things to women?'...the issues it raises deserve nationwide attention."
"Kathy Barry has written a courageous, crusading book that should be read everywhere, from the local District Attorney's office to the United Nations."
"This powerful and compassionate book should be read by anyone concerned with social values, with sexuality, with psychology -- female "and" male."
Traffic in women, prostitution, wife-beating, and polygyny. For sociologist Barry all are forms of sexual slavery, all conditions that hold women hostage while subjecting them to violence and exploitation. The net is cast wide (perhaps too wide, including enforced marriage and pornography, Patty Hearst's kidnapping and early crusades against prostitution) in order to emphasize the shared "sex is power" justification. The argument is strongest where the material is the freshest - current traffic in women and prostitution - which Barry considers near-indistinguishable theoretically: "I found that street pimp strategies and goals do not differ significantly from those of international procurers." From interviews, study of secondary accounts and official documents, she describes the "slaughterhouses" of Paris, where prostitutes never leave their beds, the slave markets of Zanzibar, numerous cases of forced marriages and abductions, and, closer to home, the "Minneapolis connection" piping Midwestern runaways into the New York prostitution network. She argues against romanticizing prostitution and against viewing it as a profession. Instead, picking up on Susan Brownmiller's Against Our Will, she sees all forms of sexual violence as resulting from patriarchy. "Why do men do these things to women? Because, in part, there is nothing to stop them." And she notes as a contributory factor that some men never lose the adolescent notion that the sex drive is uncontrollable, hence abuses excusable. What Barry proposes by way of remedy starts with redefining perversion and re-emphasizing intimacy, includes creating support structures for all victims of sexual violence, and extends to decriminalization of prostitution. Some is rehash here, some is new; and some is a potent reminder that feminism needs to be more than a "self-improvement ideology." (Kirkus Reviews)
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st December 1984
Dimensions (cm): 20.879 x 13.741 x 2.21
Weight (kg): 0.376