Compromised Positions: Prostitution, Public Health, and by Katherine Elaine Bliss

By Katherine Elaine Bliss

To light up the advanced cultural foundations of nation formation in smooth Mexico, Compromised Positions explains how and why lady prostitution turned politicized within the context of innovative social reform among 1910 and 1940. concentrating on the general public debates over legalized sexual trade and the unfold of sexually transmitted illness within the first 1/2 the 20 th century, Katherine Bliss argues that political swap used to be compromised repeatedly by means of reformers' personal antiquated principles approximately gender and sophistication, through prostitutes' outrage over authentic makes an attempt to undermine their livelihood, and by means of consumers' unwillingness to forgo vacationing brothels regardless of innovative campaigns to advertise monogamy, sexual schooling, and understanding of the wellbeing and fitness dangers linked to sexual promiscuity.

In the Mexican public's mind's eye, the prostitute symbolized the corruption of the outdated regime while her redemption represented the recent order's strength to dramatically adjust gender kinfolk via social coverage. utilizing clinical documents, felony case documents, and letters from prostitutes and their consumers to public officers, Compromised Positions finds how the contradictory innovative imperatives of person freedom and public well-being clashed within the attempt to get rid of prostitution and craft a version of morality compatible for best Mexico into the trendy era.

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1909, ibid. 30. Sergio Gonza´lez Rodrı´guez, ‘‘Cuerpo, control y mercancı´a: Fotografı´a prostibularia,’’ Luna Co´rnea, no. 4 (1994): 74–75; Patricia Masse´, ‘‘Photographs of Mexican Prostitutes in 1865,’’ History of Photography 20, no 3 (1996). 31. Gonza´lez Rodrı´guez, ‘‘Cuerpo, control y mercancı´a,’’ 72. 32 Interviews, surveys, and the prostitutes’ own testimony reveal that a young woman’s early and often involuntary sexual debut was the principal factor that led her to sell sexual services in brothels and on Mexico’s city streets.

Matronas over the age of thirty were not themselves required to register as prostitutes, for the law apparently could not contemplate sexual desirability in a woman over that age; however, the madam was responsible for ensuring that all pupilas were old enough to work in sexual commerce. 22 Thus, late-nineteenth-century public health regulations and criminal law alike held the matrona responsible for both physical and moral contagion within the urban milieu. Labor of ‘‘Love’’ Some thirty-six years after Dr.

I have assumed that prostitutes have a variety of complex and overlapping reasons for engaging in sexual commerce, including economic obligations to family members, their exploitation and victimization by men or other women, because they believe that prostitution offers greater financial gain than other occupations open to them, or because its potentially transient nature suits their immediate needs. Also, I show that in revolutionary Mexico City, popular and official definitions of who a ‘‘prostitute’’ was varied widely, from the woman working in a brothel who had sexual intercourse with ten to twenty men a day to the young girl who accepted breakfast or a pair of shoes from ´ rgano del Departamento de 33.

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