Prostitution is the act or practice of giving sexual pleasure and or engaging in intercourse for monetary goods.
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Prostitution in the Victorian Era
- Women needed/wanted money, so they provided pleasure
- Men captured women, kept them in their house for pleasure
- Poor women were not regarded in the Victorian society, could not fight back.
Incentive towards Prostitution
- Differences in social classes led some women to being ignored and unacknowledged in society
- For economic reasons and for the sexual pleasures of some men, prostitutes had no exit from prostitution
Prostitution In Victorian Society
- Prostitutes beaten, tortured by those who considered it as an evil
- Prostitution visible in Victorian Art and Literature
- Victorian Literature: Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, Henry Ashbee’s My Secret Life, Thomas Hardy’s the Ruined made
- Most prostitutes lived on the “low streets” known for being unsanitary
- Regarded as nuisances and trash, had no rights
Contagious Diseases Act
- Created for protection of sailors and soldiers, whom were part of UK’s leading industries
- Increase in venereal diseases amongst prostitutes, sailors and soldiers worried majority of UK
- Women required to conduct regular checkups for diseases, kept at hospital until cured
- Women seen around ports and army bases were arrested
Jack the Ripper
- Name given to unknown serial killer, whose main targets were prostitutes
- Brutally murdered them, took out their organs, and sent some organs as proof to higher authorities
- Huge controversy in the Victorian era, people were scared of leaving their homes
- Known for slitting throats of prostitutes and for removing internal organs, possibly had surgical knowledge
- Was not caught although investigations were long and detailed
- Committed a lot of murders, most famous were 7 Whitechapel murders, contained around 1200 prostitutes
- Other sets of murders: Canonical Five and East End murders
- Also Wrote the letter “From Hell”