“A woman who owned property, made high wages and had sex outside of marriage was probably a whore.” Guest Author, Mrs. Robinson
In the nineteenth century, whores performed or received oral sex, used birth control, consorted with men of other races, danced and drank. They harbored no shame. They were assertive, walked alone in public and wore makeup, perfume and stylish clothes. Prostitutes practiced virtually all of the freedoms that were denied conventional women which are now taken for granted Prostitutes were particularly successful in the wild, lawless, renegade boomtowns of the West. During a time when women were barred from most employment and wives had no legal right to own property, madams in the West owned large tracts of land and prized real estate.
Several madams were so wealthy that they funded irrigation and road building projects that laid the foundation for the New West. Decades before American employers offered health insurance to their workers, madams across the West provided their employees with free health care. While women were told that they could not and should not protect themselves from violence and wives had no legal recourse against rape by their husbands, police officers were employed by madams to protect the women who worked for them. Many madams owned and knew how to use guns.
While feminists sought to free women from the slavery of patriarchal marriage, prostitutes married later in life and divorced more frequently than their more traditional counterparts. During a time when birth control was effectively banned, prostitutes facilitated a market for production and distribution of contraceptives. Women were taught that they belonged in the private sphere while prostitutes traveled extensively, often by themselves, and were brazenly public women.
Long before social dancing in public was considered acceptable for women, prostitutes invented many of the steps that would later become all the rage during the dance craze of the 1910s and 1920s. When gambling and public drinking were forbidden for most women, prostitutes were fixtures in Western saloons and became some of the most successful gamblers in the nation.
Most ironically, the makeup, clothing and hairstyles of prostitutes which were maligned for their overt sexuality (lipstick was considered “the scarlet shame of streetwalkers”), became widely fashionable among American women and are now so respectable that even first ladies wear them.
During the nineteenth century, women could not leave home before marriage, could not work, vote or even walk in public alone
If they where to inherit the family farm it was deeded to their husbands. A husband was also free to rape his wife and children.. Marriage was a form of slavery.
In 1870, “The Gentleman’s Directory” was published as a pocket size review system of 150 New York brothels. So how did sex workers come to be criminalized in the USA? Here is how things unfolded.
Congress claimed to have received an influx of reports that immigrants were being smuggled into the USA and being forced to work in brothels to the extent that they created the Mann Act of white slavery. Oddly enough, in 1910 it took 3 months to send a letter from New York to California. How congress received all these reports and had the time to investigate their authenticity is incredible.
The true objective behind the Mann Act was to prohibit white women from fraternizing with African American men
The Mann Act clearly stated that each state had the right to make its own prostitution laws. These laws were created to “stop a woman from showing her wares in public”. The Fed’s would only intervene if the state line had been crossed for the purpose of prostitution or another illegal sex act.
The White-Slave Traffic Act, better known as the Mann Act, is a United States law, passed June 25, 1910 (ch. 395, 36 Stat. 825; codified as amended at 18 U.S.C. §§ 2421–2424). It is named after Congressman James Robert Mann. Its original form prohibited white slavery and the interstate transport of females for immoral purposes. Its primary stated intent was to address prostitution, immorality, and human trafficking. However, its ambiguous immorality language allowed selective prosecutions for many years and was used to criminalize forms of consensual sexual behavior. In 1978, it was amended by Congress and again in 1986 to apply only to transport for the purpose of prostitution or illegal sexual acts.
Originally this law was passed to criminalize consensual behavior
The first person prosecuted under the act was African-American heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. He had an interracial affair with a white prostitute by the name of Lucille Cameron. After she refused to cooperate with the prosecution Johnson married her. Less than a month later, he was arrested again for having crossed a state line before the Mann Act was passed.
I believe divorce was created to let a man out of his obligation
During this time, women were told to be good girls. There was not much premarital sex, no gay rights, and women were shamed for having children out of wedlock. Even the Catholic church told women that it was their duty to stay with their husbands, no matter how badly they were being treated.
Even if she is married she expects her husband to work and support the family and behave in an acceptable manner. No man has sex without expecting it to cost him something. Men have been taking care of women since the beginning of time. Yet today, we want to pretend this is a new concept.
Today, I think many women stink at negotiating. When a husband can leave his wife with 3 small children and she has to track him across the country for child support, we realize that marriage does not always equal future security. We even have no fault divorce that gives a person the power to dump their spouse after years of marriage and raising children – for no good reason.
Most women in the USA have admitted having sex by the 3rd date
During the 1950s, 78% of all adults in the USA were married. In 2011, only 50% of adults were married. More often than not Americans are hooking up for casual sex with strangers for free while 1 out of 10 men admit to having paid for sex.
Many single mothers date, allowing men whom they barely know into their homes where they have small children. Then they are all surprised when their children are molested or go missing. Not only is this legal, it seems to be socially acceptable, as long as the woman is not being paid. We have the folks who say that they do not want to live next door to a woman who gets paid for sex, yet these same people have no problem living next door to the town shank who regularly brings strange men home for sex.
So when did society begin to accept that it is okay for a woman to be a slut as long as she is not a whore?
Why do people scrutinize the sex lives of prostitutes? Why do we encourage hate crimes against prostitutes with the “they get what they deserve” attitude. More importantly, why are we stalking and arresting adults because of their private sexual activity with another consenting adult?
I can tell you that we escorts are not going to give up our freedom to be independent. We will not be forced into marriage just to survive a bad economy.
Written by Geisha Diaries Guest Author & Advocate for Sex Workers, Mrs. Robinson