Honky-tonk women: Prostitution and the right to bodily autonomy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


How do persons identify themselves sexually? The question that interests me is what it means to identify oneself as a sexual agent at all, or what conditions must be met in order for a person to identify herself sexually. I am particularly interested in how (heterosexual) women 1 can identify themselves as sexual agents under patriarchy, given various constraintsexternal, internal, and social-that threaten their control over their own sexual identity. To explore this question, I take up the case of the prostitute. This is because some people believe that the prostitute is the paradigm case of a woman who completely controls her sexual identity, making free and autonomous choices about when and with whom she has sex. The prostitute dismantles sexist stereotypes about women’s passivity and submission in sex, and so may serve, strangely enough, as a model for other (heterosexual) women to emulate.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersonal Autonomy and Social Oppression
Subtitle of host publicationPhilosophical Perspectives
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781135036102
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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