That line is nothing new – its like 70’s – but the work still needs to be done. Especially for women whose lives got tangled up in prostitution. Its a myth-rich history. If it was rewritten as herstory the myths would get the boot.
I absolutely love ‘The Myth of the Happy Hooker” by FreeIrishWoman! http://survivorsconnect.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/where-were-all-the-happy-hookers-when-i-was-on-the-game/
But we need write our herstory as expatriates of whoredom – not the historians who do not know how to listen ‘below the texts’ OR spend any meaningful time with us, god-love-them. (Ever feel like an interview with a researcher was like a visit to the dentist?)
One example of research-on-steroids was done by French physician of the 19th century, Dr Andrea Jean Baptiste Parent-Duchatelet in which he ‘interviewed’ thousands of women in prostitution on Paris streets and brothels. He was forming ideas for legislative reform on the trade. He concluded the women were a contagion and the quarantine idea took hold for districts and exams (not the men).
He bragged he could get data he needed from the women who were arrested for prostitution in under 10 minutes: a gyn exam plus interview. His conclusions were taken up by countless policy makers, sociologists, historians, and theologians – we were now trapped in data that further shaped a stratification of woman for sexual servitude. Any study on the men – the demand – by the men? You know the answer.
Can we recognize that we are our own irrefutable data?