Hartford Connecticut sex women

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Katharine Martha Houghton Hepburn and her physician husband Tom wanted to end the exploitation of women and the spread of venereal disease. They learned just how hard it was to reform the city government. And the salacious report of the vice commission exposed just how many sex workers plied their trade in Hartford — and how hard it would be to drive them out. In , Hartford razed Gold Street tenements, which housed Irish and black families, to try to rid the street of prostitutes.

By , the Hartford clergy shamed the police into storming bordellos in well-publicized raids. The police judge also changed the policy of fining sex workers and their pimps. Instead of fining them, he sentenced them to jail time. But the police stopped raiding the bordellos once they learned the inmates would go to jail. So the judge d fining them, and the bawdy houses opened the next day. Critics argued that closing the bawdy houses simply spread the so-called social evil beyond the red light district.

Much better to tolerate and contain the problem, they said. Eight men and five women were smoking, singing and indulging in very, suggestive dances. Couples frequently left the room and returned in about half an hour, and the remarks made upon such occasions plainly indicated the nature of their occupation while they were away. None of the girls in this room were over twenty.

The commission explored small apartments, private rented rooms, road houses, cafes, restaurants, private dining rooms or booths, hotels both great and small. The so-called cent houses took 25 cents from the sex workers for each trick and let them keep 25 cents. The first six dollars went for board, one dollar for the doctor and twenty-five cents for gas. The sex workers in such houses averaged 15 customers a night. Each booth had a heavy table and four chairs.

According to the report,. Since Hartford police tolerated the bawdy houses, sex traffickers came to the city during conventions. According to the report, Hartford probably ranked third as a top destination for New York prostitutes. A maritime tragedy in had exposed the scope of the human trafficking from New York. The detective pretended to be a madam interested in buying a brothel. The Cohens showed her around. A young man sat there, a typical tough…. The two beds had no linen on them, just a piece of dark, dirty oilcloth; there was a pillow on each with a case on, which was the only piece of white on the bed.

There were three girls there. They appeared to be not more than seventeen. But what led the sex workers to their profession? Anarchist Emma Goldman wrote that exploitation by men forced women to sell themselves. Others blamed low wages. In , a U. Department of Labor study found that nearly half the prostitutes surveyed had ly worked in factories and shops before turning tricks. Poverty did. They concluded the sex workers may have started out as respectably employed women who occasionally prostituted themselves for presents and tips. Then they ed the majority of sex workers and relied on prostitution to support themselves.

Finally they ended up in brothels. Nearly all had hard luck stories. Many, like No. Since then she has been reckless. Her family cast it up continually until she had to leave home. This was eight years ago. Now she is careless in her appearance, rough in her manners and thoroughly hardened. She appears rather ignorant and claims she is in the life only for the money.

She shows indications of being a drug fiend. He only stayed with her for six months after the baby was born. She once serviced 23 men in one night. Until the baby died her husband was all right. We live in the same house but do not occupy the same room. He has a girl on Main Street whom he goes to see. She hustles the streets too. She left home because her mother beat her so much. She and her beau left town and came to Hartford. He is going to Washington, D. C, and I am going there to work during the big time. He has been out of work for some time.

The report also maintained that closing the brothels reduced prostitution. They included including keeping the brothels closed, repressing sex workers anywhere else they did business and paying for more detectives. When the report came out, people snapped up copies in two days. Suffragists printed up another and sold them for 25 cents. Hartford City Council did nothing. Sex workers found new ways to attract and service customers.

They made asations by telephone and met their customers in cars. To read the whole report, . This story was updated in New England Historical Society. Katharine Martha Houghton Hepburn. Emma Goldman in A slum interior. A Hartford slum in the s. Related Items: alcohol , business , Canada , Congress , connecticut , disease , divorce , government , Hartford , history , hotels , houses , Irish , labor , law , library , maritime , nature , Orleans , police , poverty , prostitution , reform , restaurants , sex , singing , six , trade , women , York.

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Hartford Connecticut sex women

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Hartford’s Sex Workers of An Intimate Portrait