19th Century Prostitution Essay

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Prostitution is a subject whom many people today have vocal opinions about if it should be legalized and is it moral? Can you imagine how people felt about prostitutes in the 19th century? Today people think the worst possible things of a woman who prostitutes herself and a less rigid view of women’s sexuality exists now almost two centuries later than there was then. In 2011 men and women can have a different view of prostitution and distinctive ways to correct the problem. Men today as they did almost 200 years ago would like to see prostitution legalized and regulated. Women still see prostitution as they did a moral issue that needs reformed. The data suggests that few things have changed when it comes to the punishment and…show more content…
There was what could be considered morally wicked reasons that prostitution was taken up such as women who wanted to drink, dance, and have a good time. Though the main reason appeared it was a need for money. “I went into the sporting life for business reasons and for none other” (MacKell, 2004). “It was a way for a woman in those days to make money, and I made it” (MacKell, 2004). These remarks were made by Mattie Silks who worked in Colorado that claimed she was a madam and never a prostitute (MacKell, 2004).
Penalties could be different in any part of the country a prostitute worked in. New York there could be time spent in jail (Hill, 1993). In Saint Paul the madams appeared in court monthly to fulfill their obligations (Best, 1998). Monetary fines were popular in Wyoming (Butler, 1985). Payoffs to the police and city council were common in Denver in the 1860’s (Secrest, 2002). Until 1875 prostitution was not illegal in Pueblo Colorado and when it became illegal the working girls were fined (MacKell, 2004).
In 1822 under New York’s new constitution prostitutes fell under the designation of disorderly persons. This law included prostitutes, keepers of bawdy houses, drunkards and other disorderly persons. The punishment for this crime could be bail for good behavior for one year or jail time not exceeding sixty days. If the disorderly person was found to be guilty of prostitution, she could be sent to prison for up to six months. In New
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