Eine Begleiterin der Menschheit / A Companion of Mankind
Edited By Frank Jacob
Prostitution seems to be as old as humanity itself and is consequently not described as the «oldest profession» without cause. This anthology is an interdisciplinary, chronological and regional extensive approach to analyze the phenomenon. It provides a broad historical, sociological, cultural, and gender perspective on prostitution for the academic as well as the interested reader alike. It examines the role of prostitutes in society, the reception of the profession per se and the conditions due to which it is established.
Selling Sex on the Canadian Prairies: Histories of Sex Work and Social Responses to the Sex Trade in Saskatchewan, 1880–1920
At 11:00 P.M. on 27 January 1910, much to the fury of the judge overseeing the proceedings, brothel madame Babe Belanger was found not guilty of attempting to bribe an officer of the Royal North-West Mounted Police.1 The evidence against Belanger included her letter to a constable offering one-hundred dollars a month in exchange for turning a blind-eye to her business. The all-male jury believed Belanger’s claim that her letter was meant to be a joke, although it was clear that selling sex was how she made a living – she had three prior convictions of keeping a house of ill-fame.2 The verdict provoked a storm of responses. While some argued for a no tolerance approach, the jury’s ruling showed a surprising tolerance toward sex workers.3
Perhaps this lenient ruling was not as astounding as it seems, however. After all, Belanger’s business served the kinds of men who made up her jury. In fact, men who sought to regulate sex work were often clients of sex workers.4 In 1883, a local newspaper reported that the “red-coat of the Mounted Policeman is seen flashing in and out of [brothels] at all hours. As no arrests have been made the character of these visits may easily be surmised.”5
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