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Being and Being Bought
Being and Being Bought

Being and Being Bought

Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self


223 Pages, 5.25 x 8.75

Formats: EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF, Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $29.95 (US $29.95) (CA $29.95)

Publication Date: January 2014

ISBN 9781742198767

Rights: US, CA & MX

Spinifex Press (Jan 2014)


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Price: $29.95


In 1998, Sweden passed ground-breaking legislation criminalizing the purchase of sexual services which sought to curb demand and support women exiting the sex industry. Grounded in the reality of the violence and abuse inherent in prostitution-and reeling from the death of a friend to prostitution in Spain-Kajsa Ekis Ekman exposes the many lies in the 'sex work' scenario. Trade unions aren't trade unions. Groups for prostituted women are simultaneously groups for brothel owners. And prostitution is always presented from a woman's point of view. The men who buy sex are left out. Drawing on Marxist and feminist analyses, Ekis Ekman argues that the Self must be split from the body to make it possible to sell your body without selling yourself. The body becomes sex. Sex becomes a service. The story of the sex worker says: the Split Self is not only possible, it is the ideal. Turning to the practice of surrogate motherhood, Kajsa Ekis Ekman identifies the same components: that the woman is neither connected to her own body nor to the child she grows in her body and gives birth to. Surrogacy becomes an extended form of prostitution. In this capitalist creation story, the parent is the one who pays. The product sold is not sex but a baby. Ekis Ekman asks: why should this not be called child trafficking? This brilliant exposé is written with a razor-sharp intellect and disarming wit and will make us look at prostitution and surrogacy and the parallels between them in a new way.


"A riveting analysis of prostitution and surrogacy that shatters the great wall of lies about these two institutions. Brilliantly analysing the parallels, Kajsa Ekis Ekman wages a multi-pronged attack on sexism ad classism that leaves the reader with hope for change. If you've ever wondered how to respond to those who say there are no victims in prostitution or what to say when someone proposes surrogacy as a solution to childlessness—this book is a must-read."  —Melissa Farley, executive director, Prostitution Research & Education

"Being and Being Bought gives an incisive portrayal, not only of the sex and surrogacy industries, but also of the arguments used to justify them both, arguments that Kajsa Ekis Ekman skillfully and comprehensively pulverizes. Her work is overflowing with humanity and empathy for some of the most downtrodden women and girls in the world."  —Laura Fitzgerald, Irish Socialist Party,

Author Biography

Kajsa Ekis Ekman is a writer for the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter and a member of the editorial collective of the anarchist magazine Brand. She is the founder of the network Feminists against Surrogacy and the climate action group Klimax.