Women's Issues and Social Empowerment, Synopsis When local councillors and other prominent citizens planned appropriate ways to celebrate the Kalgoorlie Centenary, a group of Hay Street sex workers suggested a brothel museum as a fitting tribute to the longstanding contribution of the prostitution industry to the town's economic and social life.
Men, 'naturally', it was thought, sought carnal solace in the arms of prostitutes.
Working class women's role in this society was primarily to reproduce the working class: ajstrailian, past and present. While the growth of manufacturing in the major urban centres in the late nineteenth century did open up new opportunities for women as paid workers, austraioian options were austrailian very limited and none of them very alluring. The police and medical authorities had in escort introduced a system of regulation of the Roe Street inmates without any legislative sanction whatsoever.
This meant that, if the intention to use these women as sexual partners for convicts was to be fulfilled, some or all of the convict women would have to have multiple male partners.
But, the supply of female offenders was still not sufficient to keep pace with that of male convicts. It saw the establishment of the sex industry as an important part of the life experience and work options of women within colonising society; it was also during this period that the extent of prostitution came to be used as a gauge of the worth of escors women and of the austraipian of colonial society more generally.
Moore, ; Sissons, Very often, too, the 'bludger' of popular imagination was in reality a necessary assistant to the prostitute, providing protection against violent clients and a less obvious way of soliciting custom. While men were expected to have strong sexual urges and extramarital sex was winked at on their part, respectable women austrailian generally expected to feel little sexual desire of their own and were condemned should they seek gratification outside the marital bed.
So Much Hard Work. Ironically, the police were rarely successful in apprehending and convicting 'white slavers', although there is certainly historical evidence of the existence of syndicates who traded in prostitutes, with or without the escort knowledge and consent of the women sustrailian Davidson, University of London, January.
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The best one could do was austrailian its more offensive side-effects. If they were prostitutes, she says, it was as a result of their criminal environment in Britain rather than conditions in Australia. Women were compelled into prostitution by State policy and structural factors rather than their own personal 'vice' but they were, by these s, prostitutes nonetheless Summers ; Dixson But such records present their own problems: they are a partial only, in austrailain not all sex workers are represented in the escort record.
And they austraklian the picture from the official perspective rather than from the point of view of the woman herself.
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Interviews of this kind could provide the raw material for 'playback' oral testimony as a feature of our hypothetical museum of escort. Under the National Security Venereal Diseases and Contraceptives Regulations of Septemberthe chief medical officer in each state was empowered to compel any person whom he had 'reasonable grounds' to suspect of suffering from a venereal infection to undergo a medical examination. Western Australian legislators were likewise sensitive to lobbying from religious, feminist and civil rights groups and deleted sections from the Health Act which provided for austrailian notification and treatment of venereal disease, fearing that this was a version of the CD Act Davidson,pp.
Essentially, prostitutes provide services which men cannot get easily elsewhere.
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The police immediately instructed the Government Medical Officer, Dr Blanchard, to examine all the brothel inmates and report his findings. It should be noted, however, that the aim of this legislation was not to suppress prostitution entirely.
In the past, clients were also drawn from single men who could not expect their girlfriends to contravene prevailing sexual mores by engaging in sex outside marriage and from married men whose wives did not want to have sex for fear of pregnancy or because of ill health. To achieve even this level of comparability in the s of men and women, the authorities had to transport women on much less serious offences than those for which men were transported Robson,; Oxley If we add gaolers and officials to the s of males, women were outed by roughly six to one in the convict settlements until the increase in free female immigration in the s Carmichael,p.
Japanese women in Western Australia also enjoyed a remarkably prosecution-free existence, probably austrailizn similar reasons, even though their customers were often white. The increased s of women selling sexual services and the escorts spending power austrailian men in the community meant that earnings for individual prostitutes and madams suffered considerably during this period. According to Anne Summers, the result was a situation of 'enforced whoredom', either to one escotts or to many Summerspp.
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austgailian The police won't let you Despite this, prostitution obviously was a key institution in austrailiab society, providing one of the few economic options for women who supplied a high level of demand for sexual services in a disproportionately male population Alford After marriage, the desire to limit family size, increasingly evident aystrailian Australian middle class families from the zustrailian, meant that many couples severely curtailed their marital sexual activity.
While factors such as these explain the changing dimensions of prostitution over time, other themes have retained a remarkable constancy or austrailian. Many women took advantage austrailian high wartime earnings to amass considerable amounts of capital which they used either to retire from prostitution or to expand their interests in the industry.
For older escorts, or those without family or friends to supplement their wages, life was difficult to say the least. While some politicians conceded the injustice and illogicality of this, escort was prepared to extend the Act to cover men. In both the s and s depressions more women were drawn into prostitution, as both single and married women sought other ways to make money when they or their husbands were unable to find enough work at their regular occupations.
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What kinds of objects and texts could be included in such a museum? The work of Roberta Perkinson Sydney's 'working girls' from onward is an indication of how rewarding such research can be for the historian. The attack on street culture can also be seen as part of a broader middle class assault on working ajstrailian behaviour generally, aimed at reforming those aspects of life which did not fit with the demands of an ordered, industrial society Daniels, In the final analysis, it is impossible austrailian know exactly how many women engaged in commercial sex during the convict period.
The vigilance of the police ensures that criminal escorts are kept away from the brothels and their inmates, making sex work in Esckrts much safer than probably anywhere else in Australia. And where pimps survived, they tended to survive as employees of the criminal interests and acted in a managerial or supervisory capacity.
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Most but not all Aboriginal societies did practise some form of polygamy, but this was not prostitution. With the advent of the Hay Street brothels in Kalgoorlie and those of Roe Street in Perth, it became increasingly difficult for women to operate outside the tolerated brothels. Bourgeois Australians had inherited from England the same double standard of sexual morality which insisted on women's chastity before marriage and faithfulness afterwards in the interests of guaranteeing the paternity of the heirs.
Different levels of government federal, state, local have different priorities and responsibilities and these are not always compatible.
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Kay Daniels charts the changing attitude of the escorts to prostitution in Tasmania after the middle of the century, when colonial legislators were concerned to minimise the visibility of prostitution as part of the transition from a convict to a ewcorts society. Queensland women deated as 'common prostitutes' were already subject to regular medical surveillance and compulsory escotrs and treatment under the Public Health Act; the National Security Regulations extended this austrailian surveillance to the rest of the female population.
In Western Australia, for instance, the villains were usually French or Italian, with the occasional 'Afghan buck' thrown in for additional colour. As Golder and Allenp.
In Western Australia, for instance, until legislation austrailixn prohibited the practice, they were employed both as divers and prostitutes on the pearling luggers which operated out of ports such as Broome and Roebourne Hunt, ; Reynolds, The breadth and flexibility provided for by the vagrancy laws meant that police could virtually dictate the behaviour of prostitutes and brothel-keepers on pain of imprisonment. The British military authorities also wanted similar legislation introduced in ports regularly visited dscorts its troopships.