An Analysis of "Prostitutes on Strike: the Women of Hotel Street Durin

Topics: World War II, Sexually transmitted disease, Syphilis Pages: 3 (842 words) Published: March 22, 2004
When most people hear the word "prostitute", they immediately envision a person who is a disease-ridden imbecile of society. However, if one researches the statistics and personal recollections of prostitutes, they will find that they may be very moral and great women. The reflection that Beth Bailey and David Farber recall in the essay called Prostitutes on Strike: The Women of Hotel Street During WW II shows what the prostitutes were actually like in the 1940's. In several cases of the women in Hawaii during World War II, their compassion is shown through their cooperation with organizations and with the public. Many of the things that they did, however, were not entirely as moral as they seem to appear to be. The events associated with the prostitutes that stayed in Hawaii during WWII can be thought of as both ethical and unethical, but nonetheless, they fought a war of their own to keep their occupations and ways of life.

Prostitutes in Hawaii thrived with business during the times surrounding the War to End All Wars. With the growth of men passing through the area on leave, grew the business of the prostitutes of the time. The brothels that the prostitutes worked in were aimed at the servicemen during the war. The men were lined up outside the buildings for sometimes hours at end, in front of everyone to see. On top of that, the women at the door would sometimes reject a man who they did not trust, or even those who appeared drunk. The brothels also brought peace to the area; if a man needed to fill a sexual desire, the use of a prostitute would prevent a rape or sexual assault from happening (432).

The status quo for prostitutes in Hawaii changed dramatically after the attack on Pearl Harbor. When they went to volunteer at hospitals to aid the wounded, many were turned down, due to fear of infection. Some women did what they could to help, even going as far to transform the brothels into living quarters for the wounded. Since their rooms...

Cited: Bailey, Beth, and David Farber. "Prostitutes on Strike: The Women of Hotel Street During WWII." Women 's America: Refocusing the Past. Ed. Linda K. Kerber. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. 431-440.
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