JBS Vol 22. Num 2. 2020 - Bangladesh’s Biggest Brothel: A Rhetorical Analysis of Body and Sex Work

Nur E Makbul

“Bangladesh’s Biggest Brothel” (BBB) — a visual documentary produced by Al Jazeera (2017) demonstrates the life and work of sex workers in Bangladesh. Numerous threats, including violence, trafficking, exclusion from health service, social stigma, and other concerns are brought up in the narration of this visual documentation. This article focuses on two main ideas presented in this visual rhetoric. First, it employs theoretical perspectives on the rhetoric of body and sex-work to explain the complexity of the visual representation of sex work. Second, it provides an understanding of the nature of sexual exploitation and addresses several controversies regarding sex work. The review of literature discusses a brief history of sex workers' rights movements within both anti-prostitution and sex-positivist feminist stands. Finally, this article argues empowering women in brothels can liberate sex workers from stigma and shame.

sex work
visual rhetoric