Sex Slaves: The Trafficking of Women in Asia

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Overview

The Asian sex trade is often assumed to cater predominantly to foreigners. Sex Slaves turns that belief on its head to show that while western sex tourists have played a vital part in the growth of the industry, the primary customers of Asia?s indentured sex workers and of its child prostitutes are overwhelmingly Asian men. Here are the voices of some of the world?s most silent and abused women?women who have been forced into prostitution by the men they trust. This is their story, including the journey...

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Overview

The Asian sex trade is often assumed to cater predominantly to foreigners. Sex Slaves turns that belief on its head to show that while western sex tourists have played a vital part in the growth of the industry, the primary customers of Asia’s indentured sex workers and of its child prostitutes are overwhelmingly Asian men. Here are the voices of some of the world’s most silent and abused women—women who have been forced into prostitution by the men they trust. This is their story, including the journey from home to captivity, the horrors of "seasoning" for prostitution, and the hidden life within the brothel.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A trawl through the secret world of the eastern sex trade; from the squalor and slums of Burma to the secret lodging houses and expensive hotel rooms of Japan."  —Evening Herald
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781860499036
  • Publisher: Virago UK
  • Publication date: 6/1/2001
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,215,994
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 2.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Louise Brown is Lecturer in Asian Studies and Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Research in the Humanities at the University of Birmingham.

Biography

Louise Brown is an academic at Birmingham University in England and the author of several books on Asia. She frequently returns to Lahore, Pakistan.

Author biography courtesy of HarperCollins.

Good To Know

In our interview, Brown shared some fun facts about herself with us:

"I have red hair, and I like it. In England red hair is seen like an affliction or a disability. Any redhead who is anyone dyes their hair blonde. I like Bree on Desperate Housewives because I see her as a mascot for all us redheaded women. A couple of years ago a girl on the supermarket checkout said I was lucky that none of my children had red hair. I was stunned because I'd always been a little disappointed that I'd given birth to blondes and brunettes. Here redheads are seen as mad, ugly, or alien."

"I got my first job when I was 14. I was a petrol pump attendant and car valet during the school holidays, and the money was good. I was the best-dressed car valet in town. After that I worked during weekends in a camping shop and then later in a greengrocers for a couple of years. Even now the smell of rotten potatoes makes me gag. Whenever I see a blush of white mould on oranges in the fruit bowl I remember how the boss made us slip bad, overripe oranges into old ladies' bags, hiding them under the plump, firm, shiny ones: cheap produce for the poorer consumer. We girls on the till disliked him and left at night, silently removing our aprons while thinking of the old ladies at home with their moldy oranges. I used to wish that I could be back vacuuming and polishing cars."

"Exercise is the best way to unwind. I know this because I've done it for years and it works -- except that I have neglected my regime of late and now I look, feel and am middle aged. I haven't been to the gym for months and it really shows. Soon, very soon, however I will be back on the rower and plowing up and down the swimming pool. I will be a better person and nicer to know. I might even be a more attractive person to look at. I'd send photos as proof but I have no faith in the accuracy of photography: the camera all too frequently lies."

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    1. Hometown:
      Birmingham, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 1, 1963
    2. Place of Birth:
      Stone, Staffordshire, England
    1. Education:
      B.A. Honors in Medieval and Modern History

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2008

    A reviewer

    I was asked to read and give my opinion of this book by a student who is about to embark on a masters course on this same topic. I therefore dutifully slogged through it, although I would have never finished it otherwise. The topic of the book is primarily about the condition and circumstances of Asian women who have been trafficked into the sex industry for consumption by Asian men. As a book that brings focus on the abject abuse, imprisonment, slavery and torture of women, it is a welcome contrast to the more exploitive 'read: crap' books on the market such as 'Private Dancer,' which tend to deal with the high end of Thai prostitution with western customers, all based more on fiction than on research. Brown's book is looking at the same coin from the opposite side. OK, that's about it for the positive comments I have to make about the book. On the minus side, this book is so redundant, you need only read the first chapter, 'The Market,' to learn all you will about what Brown has to say on this subject. In chapters such as 'The Management' and 'The Law,' Brown just spins a few interviews with Calcutta or Thai sex workers to send the same message of how horrible trafficking is and her disgust at the men who perpetuate it. I think she's spot on with her opinion and I had no idea of the depth of the problem, but more complete research might have given her more to write about each topic, and would have allowed me to read more than 4 pages before going to sleep. As a case in point, there is a chapter titled, 'The Customers.' I was expecting to read data and observations based on interviews with the people who use prostitutes. Instead, all you read is more extrapolation of what she thinks men are thinking based on said interviews with the sex workers in Calcutta, the Philippines and so on. Her only published interview of a male seems to be the one young motorcycle taxi driver youth who said he went to brothels because he was 'lonely.' For this book to have increased substance and power to change and dismantle systems, interviews and insider information from all parties are required. In this same chapter Brown writes, 'We should ask what these customers think about prostitution. And why they have to buy sex.' Indeed, she should have. As for her conclusion that prostitution should remain illegal, she ignores all of her evidence that it's precisely because it's illegal that police and other institutionalized corruption completely prevent the dismantling of the system. So which do you want? The unrealistic ideal of ending all prostitution while keeping it illegal at the expense of the continued state of women being kidnapped, cajoled, forced, sold and leveraged into accepting a fate 'and by fate, I mean the end of their lives as they know it' of severe mental and physical abuse, confinement, rape and murder? Or do you try to help those suffering the most by legalizing and regulating it as an industry, with the intention of allowing more access of NGOs to inform, educate and help improve general working conditions in non-prostitution industries? This underlying confusion in her argument is really what annoys me the most about this book. I respect her passion for the subject, but she needs to take a reality pill, or at the very least try to draw conclusions that arise from her data. In summary, as a person who purports to be tackling this as an academic, her research is weak and all of her conclusions seem to be based just on personal opinion and interviews with sex workers. As for her claim that her work is not meant to be sensational, with a title of Sex Slaves in bold red letters, and a cover shot of an Asian woman seemingly about to service some blurry unclothed man, it seems that sex does sell after all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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