a faceless man in a suit


Pimp State: how should society respond to the global sex trade?

Hosted by the LSE Library

Thai Theatre, New Academic Building, United Kingdom


Kat Banyard

Author and founder of UK Feminista

Mia de Faoite

Activist and survivor


Dr Ann Summers

Chair of the Friends of The Women's Library at LSE

How society should respond to the rise of the sex trade is shaping up to be one of the twenty-first century's big questions. 

Never before have prostitution, strip clubs and pornography been as profitable, widely used or embedded in mainstream culture as they are today. How society should respond to the rise of the sex trade is shaping up to be one of the twenty-first century's big questions. Should it be legal to pay for sex? Isn’t it a woman’s choice if she strips for money? Is online porn warping the attitudes of a generation of boys? Feminist author and campaigner Kat Banyard will discuss these questions with Mia de Faoite - a survivor of prostitution. 

Kat Banyard is author of Pimp State: Sex, Money and the Future of Equality (2016) and Founder of UK Feminista.

UK Feminista is an organisation that supports people to take action for equality between women and men. In 2010 Kat was named in the Guardian as "the most influential young feminist in the country" and in 2011 she was selected as one of the Observer's 50 contemporary innovators, described as “Game-changers whose vision is transforming the world around us”.

Mia de Faoite is an activist and survivor who spent six years in prostitution, exiting in 2010. Mia was a core partner in the successful Turn Off the Red Light campaign which resulted in the passing of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 in Ireland - which made it a criminal offence to purchase sex but not to sell sex. Mia has spoken publicly about her experiences in the media and has given written and oral evidence in the Dail, Stormont and at the House of Commons. Since exiting prostitution Mia has obtained a BA (hons) in Philosophy & Sociology and a LLM Master of Law at Maynooth University. 

Dr Anne Summers, Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck College and Chair of the Friends of The Women's Library at LSE, is a former Curator of Modern Historical Manuscripts at the British Library.  From 2004-2007 she led a Leverhulme-funded project, based at The Women’s Library in London Metropolitan University, on the international campaigns of Josephine Butler (1828-1906) against trafficking, state regulation of prostitution, and the double standard of sexual morality.  Her latest publication is Christian and Jewish Women in Britain, 1880-1940: Living with Difference.

The British Library of Political and Economic Science was founded in 1896, a year after the London School of Economics and Political Science. It has been based in the Lionel Robbins Building since 1978 and houses many world class collections, including The Women's Library.

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