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June 26, 2005


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Sales & Use Tax

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Mark Eastwood

An interesting blog post right there mate. Thank you for the post.


Sharon, when I first did the work on prostitution, one of the articles that prompted me to take a second look my material was a piece done by a British historian who had looked at Plymouth in the 19th century. I don't have the reference to hand (and probably wouldn't be able to find in the mountain of boxes in the basement at home). But the idea that women passed in and out of "the life" based on their economic condition made a good deal of sense.


"What Proulx has done is substitute one western myth for another (as she does in the essay as a whole)."

Yes, but her myth makes her feel better about herself and superior to the rest of us.

That seems to be the point of much "progressive" historical research, in my experience.


I don't have precise references to hand, but recent research has turned up a good deal of evidence from early modern Britain (especially London), suggesting that prostitution, although it was strongly associated with poverty, was for many (maybe even most) of the women who did it a part-time or occasional occupation alongside many other elements of the flexible "economy of makeshifts", not some terrible doom from which "fallen" women could never escape except by their early disease-ridden death.

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