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Reading Analysis


UrsulaBiemann’s article “Remotely sensed, A Topography of the GlobalSex Trade acutely describes how globalization is a gendered process,with many women than men migrating to other countries to look forjobs. Ursula’s claim is that women’s labor is being sexualized onthe global scene, with many women entering into the worldwide sexindustry willingly while others are trafficked into the trade. Inorder to justify her case, Ursula notes that the geography, which inthis case is understood as a visual culture, allows for theexamination of female migration trends, and their routing to specificsites. As such, topography of the global sex trade in this book isenhanced by the presence of a global satellite media, as well as,other geographic information systems that generate an abundance oftopographic images of various parts of the globe. The author explainshow such images are continually entrenched in the minds of peoplecreating a homogenous thinking of people across the globe on how theyview women. Ursula’s claim is that such satellite’s visions ofglobal sex trade produce a sexual economy that makes it possible forpeople to start bearing thoughts of how they can reorganize womengeographically on a global scale.

Ursulasupports her claim by noting that the presence of counter geographiesfacilitates cross-border migrations whether legal or illegal,whereby, women have emerged as the key factors in these migrationsfor global sex trade purposes. In connection with these, Ursula linksgeo politics to the continued existence of the global sex trade. Theauthor emphasizes this by highlighting the hurdles encounteredinthe trafficking of women across various topographies from onecultural area to another and the abstract global capital gained inthe process. In view of these, Ursula wishes to argue againstcapitalism, as well as, the need to understand the interplay betweenfeminization and economic materiality of women.

Tokeep her article coherent, Ursula looks at the existing technologiesand networks that facilitate the continued existence of women globalsex trade. As such, her article is mainly focused on therelationship between gender, technology, and capitalism the remotesensing aspect brings about visualizing technologies on a globalscene that enhance continued global sex trade. In line with this, theauthor introduces to us geographic information systems that bringabout an abstract and accurate view of the globe from high above tobelow. Ursula critiques geographic information systems to propose amode of representation that keeps track of individuals in “a pancapitalist world order”. In this case, the space between departureand arrival is viewed as a transnational one that does not adhere tonational rules and is a complex material and social space that isformed for economic purposes.

Coherencein the writer’s work is also seen when the author traces the livesof these women from one country top another with the sole purpose ofconfirming that global sex trade is a reality and how globalizationis perpetrating its continued presence. In this line, the authorexplains the factors leading to the global trafficking of women forsex trade purposes. For instance, the author highlights howmigrations and international businesses have created the need for thesupply of similar services abroad that are given in the parentcountries. Filipinas, for instance, are routed to Nigeria too caterfor Chinese businessmen. On the other hand, Thai women are alsotrafficked to Paris to serve French born Chinese and Cambodianimmigrants. The survival of these women is characterized by constantmovement, their time is always scheduled civil rights and sexualgovernance denied, as well as, operating on scheduled spaces of time.By such graphic representation of the lives of these women, theauthor aims to show the geographic ambivalence present in this trade.

Coherencein the authors’ arguments is further seen when she breaks down hisargument to support her work by showing that while big players whoare involved in laying down the foundations for global femaletrafficking most of the trafficking is not done by huge syndicates.As such, some trafficking takes place in small units with relativesor even acquaintances with contacts to traffickers recruiting slumgirls. Ursula notes that the parents to these girls feel that theagents are not exploiting their children, but are instead providing avaluable service in their desire to relocate to richer countries in abid to empower them economically. The author notes that, from thetrade, the girls are able to send some money back home for theirparents, and also generate hard cash for their government. By this,the author also shows the relationship that is there between genderand power as governments rake economic benefits from the trade.

Theauthor uses employs a style that is characteristic of academicjargons, such as “transnational sexuality” in explaining howglobal sex trade is perpetrated. The author shows how from agendered perspective, the transnational sexuality comes into play,whereby, the topography of the global sex trade sees “femalebodies” sensed, evaluated and rerouted according to their assignedfunctions. Ursula uses remote sensing to visualize the multilayeredmeaning of geography, whereby, mobilization, and sexulization ofwomen are linked to implementation of new technologies. As such, asmuch as the internet facilitates the migration flow, the presence ofborder reinforcement technologies pushes the migration to take placeillegally.

Theauthor notes how European migration politics is explicit in theirpractice of directing migrant women straight into the sex industrywithout the option of giving them future options to switch to othertrades in the future. This is, for example, seen where the Swissgovernment gives visas to female immigrants who come in only asdancers. As such, Ursula notes that the automatic channeling ofmigrant women into sex work shows the place of sex in the nationalspace where laws seem to protect the flourishing sexual life of menas a privilege and a source of power.

Ursulafurther employs academic jargons that ensure that her article, thoughtouching on a contentious subject, takes into consideration themultifaceted audience that it is directed to. As such, the authoremploys a language that can neither be offensive to some sections ofthe readers, nor weaken her arguments. As such, the use of words,such as, “eroticizes hierarchies”is jargons that try to portray her message in the most appropriateand decent of ways. By using such words, the author tries to show howgovernments around the globe facilitate the existence of the sextrade through their permissive immigration policies. As such, the useof such academic jargon has enabled the writer to relay to us herargument in the most explicit and understandable manner.

Theauthor systematically analyses how women are trafficked into theglobal sex trade by giving various reasons that expound her argument.In line with this, Ursula successfully argues the relationshipbetween gender and power concept by noting that two thirds of the500,000 women that migrate into Europe’s entertainment industryeach year are from eastern post socialist countries. As such, theauthor shows how the social change in these post socialist countriessince the 1990s, as well as, the migration politics of the receivingcountries both have an impact on the flow of women into the sextrade. In connection with these, the author shows how technologies ofmarginalization go into affecting women, particularly those that areeconomically disadvantaged in their sexuality. This is becausepowerful powers, for instance, states and military institutions tendto create a sexuality that “eroticizes hierarchies”

Thearticle is a vital addition to the overall field of study in variousaspects as it shows how various individuals and even governmentsfacilitate the continued existence of the sex trade and how theybenefit from it. In the article, Ursula highlights how “gendermatters to capital” and how many women turn to prostitution tocater for their poor families. In this line, Ursula indicates howtechnology has augmented the speed in which “women’s bodies”are advertised to the outside world for sex trade purposes. Thoughthe marketing strategies used to advertise women to the globalaudience, portray them as sex objects for male consumption, womenalso use their sex appeals for their economic needs hence ending upinto prostitution. The author shows how women from Asia and EasternEurope, for instance, use internet to find avenues for the sex tradein a bid to escape from their poor lives.