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Prostitution in Modern Europe - Essay Example

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Prostitution in Modern Europe

In order to make the picture more prominent, it is better to look into a case of prostitution in early modern London. This instance will be able to present a true picture of how important prostitution became in modern Europe.
Margaret Huberty, a woman aged 46 years was prosecuted for keeping a brothel in London in the year 1905. According to many of the witnesses, they saw unknown people going in and coming out of the house on 49, Whitfield Street, which was owned by Mrs. Huberty. When reported to London police, they kept a vigil on the house and found the report to be true. While investigating the house, they found it out to be a brothel run by Mrs. Huberty. The prostitutes were caught red handed when some disturbance caused them to shout from the windows. According to the court paper, it was the lady herself who owned the business. She used to employ prostitutes and keep them in the house. The prostitutes were also seen to accompany the men on the streets. These men were the customers and all of them were from high society. Margaret Huberty, a middle aged woman with the possession of a house does not present a picture of poverty hovering over her life. It becomes, therefore, a question of great importance, what compelled women like Mrs. Huberty to choose this profession as the means of earning. (The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 2003)
Keeping a
Keeping a brothel was nothing new in London from the second half of the 19th century. A Bailey Court case in the year 1869 tells about three London women prosecuted with this charge. They were Mary Ann Clark, Christiana Clark and Jane Roberts. Three of them compelled a girl under the age of twenty to take up the profession of a prostitute. Apart from that, they were also involved in the business of running a bawdy house. This incident clearly indicates that prostitution was quite prominently taken as a profession since that age in early modern Europe. To these women, marriage and security did not appear to be good options in life. Prostitution and its business could give them huge amount of money and this shows that these modern women in Europe understood the value of wealth very well, although social rules were ignorable to them.

Another session held in the London's Central Criminal Court in the year 1889 shows an evidence of late 19th century prostitution in this city. Here, a 23 year old lady named Annie Gough was prosecuted with the charge of counterfeiting coins. Although the charge was very far from prostitution, the accused person clearly declared in the court that her main means of earning was through prostitution. She confessed before the Magistrate that her prostitution was the main profession on which her husband depended, too. This presents a picture that looks quite bleak from any social perspective. This also refers to the irresponsibility of the husband and his indifference about his wife's profession. Unlike the case of Mrs. Huberty, Gough's case had a ground of poverty. (The Proceedings of Old Bailey, 2003)

According to many of the social critics, prostitution in modern Europe was a result of poverty in the families. It is also stated that in many cases, this was a temporary alternative for the women to survive. Still, this will be very unjustified to say that it was only poverty that compelled the modern European women to choose this profession. The historical survey suggests that 30% of the whole ...Show more

Summary

Women are always the integral part of European society. Their role in the economic life of the every family is very important for evaluation to understand the actual grip they had on the modern European society. On the way to establish them as earning members of the European families, some of them opted even for prostitution…
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Prostitution in Modern Europe essay example
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