The writer reflects the emancipation of slavery and how it influenced the American women. For many Americans (the slave owners), it was not possible to think that what will happen if they no longer owe slaves. It was natural for people who were used to the cheap and easy labour found themselves in the middle of nowhere. The demise of slavery gave rise to a new kind of slavery where woman could sell their body. For writer this idea of selling women seems new, but in many tribal societies around the world, women are still sold and bought.
The idea of selling body was loathsome in society that was still Victorian in thinking. The moralist advocated ban on streetwalkers and prostitution; while state sought to legalize the body trade, it was this tussle that continued for decades. For many the idea of selling body was a reminiscent of slavery; but even the law itself was dubious about the prostitution. According to the idealist the prostitution stood as a” social system in which all was for sale”. It was this thinking that made prostitution or women at the edge a social issue.
For Southerners slavery and marriage was one and the same thing; while for Northerner slavery and prostitution were one and the same thing. The Southerners were used to slavery and bondage, prostitution for them seemed a kind of outlet where they could vent out their frustration along with economic benefits. For Northerners marriage was a sacred idea hijacked by streetwalkers to lure loyal husbands and sons. The Southerners argued that by recruiting black women as slave prostitutes they are limiting the white prostitution again shows double standard.
The Northerners argued that prostitution continued because the lusty men of South wanted it. For abolitionists it was unthinkable to mix market economy and family values together in one place. Ironically both of them used prostitution as deformation, but the reality was far different. The author failed to address the core issue of the North and South. The basic reason of differences between the North and South has been economics. In broader sense the North was rapidly modernizing and South felt threatened by it.
Being more viable economically means more powerful, the South was still stuck up to agrarian economy. It was under these circumstances in the South slaves were more important compared to North. Being less modern and less developed the slave prostitutes were a source of income for Jones in the South and they could not give it away easily. For North it became ideological because they were already reaping the benefits of industrlized economy. Even in the modern world, prostitution is done by the poorest of the poor in the society.
In present day American society, despite all freedom no one considers prostitution a respectable and honourable way of life. In simple words, the women who practice this profession are doing it out of economic necessity. In modern day America, government is willing to accept the porn industry legally regardless of how women are exploited for sake of huge tax that reaches US$50 billion per year. Thus we can say it’s the market economics that is still ruling American society. Reference Stanely, Amy Dru. “From Bondage to Contract. “
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