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Militarized Humanitarianism Meets Carceral Feminism: The Politics of Sex, Rights, and Freedom in Contemporary Antitrafficking Campaigns by Elizabeth Bernstein

During a blusteryNew York City winter in the final weeks of 2008, two very different cinematic events focused on the politics of gender, sexuality, and human rights stood out for their symmetry. The first event, a benefit screening of Call and Response (2008), a just-released “rockumentary” about human trafficking made by the Christian rockmusician- cum-filmmaker Justin Dillon, showed at a hip downtown cinema to a packed and enthusiastic mixed-gender audience of young, predominantly white and Korean evangelical Christians. The second event, a public screening of the film Very Young Girls (2008), a sober documentary about feminist activist Rachel Lloyd and her Harlem-based nonprofit organization for teenaged girls in street prostitution, was populated primarily by secular, middle-aged professional women with a long-standing commitment to the abolition of the sex trade. Despite the obvious demographic contrasts between the participants and the different constellations of secular and religious values that they harbor, more striking still was the common political foundation that the two groups have come to share.

Militarized Humanitarianism Meets Carceral Feminism 

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