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The Devil's ChainProstitution and Social Control in Partitioned Poland$
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Keely Stauter-Halsted

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801454196

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801454196.001.0001

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Narratives of Entrapment

Narratives of Entrapment

Chapter:
(p.117) Chapter 4 Narratives of Entrapment
Source:
The Devil's Chain
Author(s):

Keely Stauter-Halsted

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801454196.003.0005

This chapter provides the context of the term, “white-slavery.” White slavery as a general reference for prostitution was popularized during Josephine Butler's antiregulation campaign of the 1870s. It described the low wages and intolerable working conditions that characterized early Anglo-American industrial settings. Its first usage in a sexual context was in an 1870 letter Victor Hugo wrote to Butler decrying the fact that “the slavery of black women is abolished in America,” whereas the “slavery of white women continues in Europe and laws are still made by men in order to tyrannize over women.” Butler quickly adopted the allusion, employing it in her 1875 description of the inherently oppressive relations she saw at the core of all prostitution.

Keywords:   white-slavery, prostitution, Josephine Butler, antiregulation campaign, Victor Hugo, slavery

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