The concepts of sexual freedom in the private and the public realm are different, yet similar at the core. When we think of it in the private sense, thoughts turn to our ability to make our own choices sexually, to express ourselves as we wish in our private lives. The public sexual freedom issues seem to turn more on things like voluntary prostitution, human trafficking, and erotic displays. In reality, sexual freedom is equally important in either context, it is just that one is more evident than the other. After all, isn’t sexual freedom in one’s home as critical as it is out in the general public (Thiroux and Krasemann 2008).Arguably women have more power than they may be aware of, it is just that some are subordinated by a pimp or a human trafficker, while others may be subordinate to a partner or a spouse. One may be absent freedom out on the streets, while the other may be equally unfree in their own home. To be truly free would mean emancipation from either form of subordination, and achieving a position of equal rights and opportunities, whether at law or in reality (Ethics Lecture Notes W4 A1 2015).
In recent times there has been increased agreement between strident feminists and right wing Christians as to the plight of women and sexual trafficking, as being representative of a global problem with inequality among the sexes (Bernstein 2010). While historically known to disagree as to the issues of gender, sex, and equality, these disparate partners have somewhat united as advocates for more harsh punishment for people who patronize prostitutes, human traffickers, and even countries who are slow on the uptake to stem such tide (Bernstein 2010). What has brought together historically opposing factions, is not a turn towards conservatism, but instead perhaps, a noticeable commitment to justice for women, championed by both conservatives and liberal feminists alike, but instead, stemming what is truly ‘wrong’ (women’s oppression or lack of freedom, sexually) versus what may be politically motivated or driven.
- Bernstein, Elizabeth. “Militarized Humanitarianism Meets Carceral Feminism: The Politics of Sex, Rights, and Freedom in Contemporary Antitrafficking Campaigns”. Signs 36.1 (2010): 45–71.
- “Ethics W4 A1 Lecture Notes.” Venue, City, Date 2015, Class Lecture.
Thiroux, J. P., Krasemann, K. W. (12/2008). Ethics: Theory and Practice, 10th Edition [VitalSource Bookshelf version].