The premise of Kat Banyard’s Pimp State is a familiar one: sex work — a phrase the author rejects as pure euphemism — is formalised sexual exploitation, synonymous with sexual abuse and therefore both ‘a cause and a consequence of inequality between men and women’. It follows, then, that if you’re in favour of gender equality, or simply a decent human being who disapproves of sexual violence, you must oppose the sale of any and all variations of sex. If you’re not part of the solution — well, you know the rest.
You don’t have to be especially interested in feminism to have heard this before. For centuries, institutions, social leaders and ordinary civilians alike have decried the fundamental immorality and socially destructive capacity of pornography, prostitution and everything in between.