The Sex Work Fantasy: Julie Bindel

The Sex Work Fantasy

Julie Bindel

Is sex-work a job like any other? What lies behind the image of the ‘happy hooker’? Radical feminist activist and journalist Julie Bindel challenges an emerging neoliberal story.

  • juliebindel
    Julie Bindel

    Writer, feminist and co-founder of Justice for Women, writes regularly for the Guardian on subjects from LGBT rights to child protection to domestic violence.


About the Course

The sex trade is a growing industry, with legalisation increasing across the globe. Even sex-workers are coming out in support, with books and films like The Happy Hooker transforming public perception of the industry.

In this two-part course radical feminist Julie Bindel draws on over a decade of research into sex-work to give her own account of the industry, arguing that criminalising the consumer is the only path to true equality.

In this course you will learn:

  • The evidence behind the ‘happy hooker’ idea.
  • The impact of legalisation of sex work on those in the trade.
  • How Bindel thinks we should stop sexual violence and end-trafficking.


Through video lectures, questions and suggested reading discover the truth about the sex-work industry.  Share your ideas and support your learning through our discussion boards and test your knowledge with questions throughout the course.


This course is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the politics of the sex-industry and its place in the fight for gender equality. No prior knowledge is required to take this course.


About the Instructor

  • Julie Bindel

    Julie Bindel is a radical feminist activist, author and columnist for The Guardian. She co-founded Justice for Women and has campaigned against male violence and sex-trafficking. Her books include Straight Expectations.

Course Syllabus

  • Part One: Tolerance and Mythologies
    Is the myth of the ‘happy hooker’ a delusion? Julie Bindel argues that we need to throw the story out.
  • Part Two: The Future of Sex Work
    What does the evidence from legalising sex work show? And how should we tackle the suffering of those working in the industry?