Prostitution: The Enconomics of Sex and Power Dynamics in El Saadawi’s Woman At Point Zero, Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Trafficked and Unigwe’s On Black Sisters Street

Oyeh O. Otu


Many feminist writers and critics have projected female prostitution as a radical and aggressive strategy aimed at undermining patriarchal values and wresting power and subjectivity from men. Many have argued that through prostitution women revolt against the traditional double standards which on one hand grant men license to be sexually adventurous, promiscuous and unfaithful to their partners, and on the other hand legislate and enforce grave moral and social sanctions against women who engage in the same acts. Such critics aver that women move from the position of passive sex objects designed for men’s sexual pleasures to the position of agency and subjectivity that enable them express their sexuality, and more importantly use their bodies to turn men to objects of sexual and economic exploitation. But this paper argues that sex is a huge industry ultimately controlled by men. The three African novels studied here reveal that from sex tourism, ownership and management of hotels and brothels, to the mafia-like transnational business of trafficking in women, men control the sex industry, and that prostitution, by objectifying and commodifying the woman’s body, makes women (female prostitutes to be specific) objects of sexual and economic exploitation and victims of modern day slavery. 

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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