Trafficked Child or Motherly Sex Worker?: How Motherhood Shapes Sex Trafficking Politics In Argentina




Swenson-Weiner, Benjamin

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One mother yearns for her daughter. The other earns for her daughter. These two motherly narratives have developed from two separate activist responses to sex trafficking in Argentina. Susana Trimarco purports the first narrative as the mother of sex trafficking victim Marita Verón while the Association of Female Argentine Sex Workers (AMMAR) endorses the second narrative as their explanation for why women participate in prostitution. Both invoke motherhood as a motivation for their protest and as a means to persuade others to their cause of securing protection for neglected prostitutes. Such motherly activism reflects early protests by the Madres of the Plaza de Mayo who utilized a cultural glorification of self-sacrificing motherhood called marianismo to demand information from the government regarding their missing children. AMMAR and Trimarco have created different narratives for women selling sex despite similar motherly rhetoric and motivation. Trimarco has framed the prostitutes as daughter-like victim while AMMAR has framed prostitutes as autonomous mothers. As a result, these activists demonstrate how one can invoke motherhood to either limit or expand the perception of selling sex as an autonomous choice.



human trafficking, motherhood, Argentina, prostitution, Honors College


Swenson-Weiner, B. (2015). Trafficked child or motherly sex worker?: How motherhood shapes sex trafficking politics In Argentina (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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