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A Petticoat Parley: Women in Ripperology

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  • Pcdunn
    replied
    That explains the seeming contradiction in terms, Kattrup. Good observation. Sloppy work, again, on HR's part.

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  • Kattrup
    replied
    Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post


    Then she adds the notion that prostitution is also a somewhat normal form of work. Okay. . But don't "deviance" and "normalized" mean opposite things? How can they be both at the same time??
    Yes, as I pointed out earlier I think she slips up when writing "reconceptualised" because the sentence ends up implying that she thinks it actually should be conceptualised as "gendered and pathologized form of sexual deviance"

    I think her intention is clear: she intended to write that prostitution, instead of being understood as pseudo-Victorian concept involving deviant sexuality, could in fact be understood as an accepted and partially normalised form of labour. I.e. it was actually more socially accepted in Victorian times for "unfortunates" to engage in prostitution than we traditionally have thought.

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  • Pcdunn
    replied
    Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
    This gem comes from ‘Dr’ Katherine Crooks.

    ‘Newspapers identified the Ripper victims as members of the same class of vagrants from which Scotland Yard drew the majority of their Ripper suspects.’

    Is that right? Were the majority of Scotland Yard’s suspects ‘vagrants’?


    As for this sentence:

    ’Victorians’ conflation of this group of prostitutes with the men who also engaged in unconventional and unreliable forms of work suggests that Victorian prostitution might be reconceptualised not only as a gendered and pathologized form of sexual deviance, but also as a partially normalized form of labour.’


    What on earth does it mean?

    What, indeed. Quite a lot of academic-speak. I'll try to translate, though I'm only a retired academic librarian.

    She thinks the Victorians confused and mingled together the idea of homeless prostitutes ( I think we call them "casual sex-workers") with the lower class of men doing odd jobs, day work, and possible criminal work. Because of this, she suggests scholars change how they look at Victorian prostitution into a view that it was separated in type by gender and always considered to be "sexual deviant behavior."
    Then she adds the notion that prostitution is also a somewhat normal form of work. Okay. . But don't "deviance" and "normalized" mean opposite things? How can they be both at the same time??

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  • Varqm
    replied
    Yes Holland offered to take Nichols, they used to live together. Wilkinson, Eddowes deputy, said he would have taken them even if short since they were regulars.Eddowes was probably trying to go home soon and would get a "fine hiding", PC Hutt believed she was going home.. Which went against the "vagrancy" argument.

    Nichols pawning/selling the bonnet, there was nobody in Bucks Row except PC Neil on his beat .Until 2 witnesses saw her on the floor. And where were the witnesses she did. Chapman and Eddowes was seen with a man minutes before they were killed. So they were not yet asleep ,if vagrants, where they were found, and would have heard a man approaching. There would have been commotion, but instead they were killed in a controlled manner, most likely the killer from behind, the victim unaware.

    The early morning was the time to earn money as daylight would expose them on the act. It would not have been surprisong if they wanted more drink when daylight came, like Prater. They did what they had to do, no judgement.
    Last edited by Varqm; 11-12-2021, 02:14 AM.

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  • harry
    replied
    Nichols was offered accomodation by her friend about 2.30 am,so the neccessity to prostitute for money for shelter ceased at that time.Eddowes could have remained at the police station till a later hour.Stride had accomodation and friends to go to.Kelly had accomodation.Only Chapman really needed accomodation,and by the early hours,that need had diminished.Now I understand there were other needs.There were also other means of obtaining money.I do not know enough about their day to day existence,but I do presume there were thousands living in poverty who did not resort to prostitution to get by.While we cannot overlook the information given by friends and aquaintances,each of the victims also had their good side spoken of,so when I read,'Another prostitute murdered' I wonder whether the writers are giving a balanced view,or using the word to simply degrade the victims.

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  • Herlock Sholmes
    replied
    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

    Hi Herlock,

    setting aside Rubenhold, would it not be important from an investigative angle?

    Some, including a recent author, have aimed suspicion in the directions of James Hardiman and/or John Richardson.

    Neither are my cup of tea, but it would mean that the murderer need not have been randomly trying doorknobs along Hanbury Street to have encountered a woman in the hall or the backyard.
    Hi Roger,

    In the case of Harriman or Richardson I see what you mean.

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  • rjpalmer
    replied
    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
    The question about whether the victims were actively soliciting or not at the time of the murders isn’t really important.
    Hi Herlock,

    setting aside Rubenhold, would it not be important from an investigative angle?

    Some, including a recent author, have aimed suspicion in the directions of James Hardiman and/or John Richardson.

    Neither are my cup of tea, but it would mean that the murderer need not have been randomly trying doorknobs along Hanbury Street to have encountered a woman in the hall or the backyard.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ally
    replied
    Originally posted by jmenges View Post
    What are the odds that the Ripper would have explored the backyards along Hanbury Street looking for someone sleeping -and found someone-when, according to Rubenhold, people were sleeping rough nearly everywhere?

    JM
    I would say about as likely as Polly going off to pawn a bonnet at 1:30 in the A.M.

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  • Trevor Marriott
    replied
    Originally posted by jmenges View Post
    What are the odds that the Ripper would have explored the backyards along Hanbury Street looking for someone sleeping -and found someone-when, according to Rubenhold, people were sleeping rough nearly everywhere?

    JM
    If Chapman was looking for somewhere to sleep, she could have slept on the stairs inside, or on the landing why sleep outside where it is open to the elements when you can sllep inside out of the elements

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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  • jmenges
    replied
    It’s like someone claiming that the victims found in the Green River were swimming when they were murdered.
    Why pick that hill to die on?

    JM

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  • Herlock Sholmes
    replied
    Originally posted by jmenges View Post
    What are the odds that the Ripper would have explored the backyards along Hanbury Street looking for someone sleeping -and found someone-when, according to Rubenhold, people were sleeping rough nearly everywhere?

    JM
    Exactly Jon. Do we envision the Ripper walking along Hanbury Street trying doors to find one unlocked then going inside to luckily find another unlocked door then….bingo… a women sleeping by the steps in a backyard with an outside loo? How could anyone give this a seconds consideration? And yet she did and her followers swallowed it. Let’s face it, no one needs knowledge of ripperology to see through this.

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  • jmenges
    replied
    What are the odds that the Ripper would have explored the backyards along Hanbury Street looking for someone sleeping -and found someone-when, according to Rubenhold, people were sleeping rough nearly everywhere?

    JM

    Leave a comment:


  • PaulB
    replied
    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
    The question about whether the victims were actively soliciting or not at the time of the murders isn’t really important. We know from evidence though that they all resorted to prostitution when they needed money and there were no other options. The ripper might simply have seen a woman who wasn’t actively soliciting, made the assumption, then approached her and she took the opportunity of earning some money. It’s not a difficult leap when seeing a poorly dressed woman walking those rough streets in the early hours when, according to Victorian’s ‘no respectable woman would have been out and about.’ And let’s face it, the suggestion that Polly was intending to pawn her hat, or earn some money in other ways, at 2am in Whitechapel is hardly convincing.
    The old adage about it looking like a dog and barking like a dog applies very well in this case. It doesn't have to have been a dog, of course, but since we don't and can't ever know what they were actually doing, it's conjecture. However, what we can be reasonably be certain about is that they hadn't gone to where they were found to sleep. People slept rough, but they sought some kind of shelter. They didn't just lay down on the pavement in a frequently police-patrolled street, or in the middle of Mitre Square, so if they didn't go to where they were found to sleep, Rubenhold is left with the difficult job of fitting the known facts into a more reasonable conjecture than did the police in 1888.

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  • Herlock Sholmes
    replied
    The question about whether the victims were actively soliciting or not at the time of the murders isn’t really important. We know from evidence though that they all resorted to prostitution when they needed money and there were no other options. The ripper might simply have seen a woman who wasn’t actively soliciting, made the assumption, then approached her and she took the opportunity of earning some money. It’s not a difficult leap when seeing a poorly dressed woman walking those rough streets in the early hours when, according to Victorian’s ‘no respectable woman would have been out and about.’ And let’s face it, the suggestion that Polly was intending to pawn her hat, or earn some money in other ways, at 2am in Whitechapel is hardly convincing.

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  • PaulB
    replied
    Originally posted by harry View Post
    By Victorian definition,to me,means the rulings of the church and the law.Was every woman walking the streets in the early hours to be considered as someone seeking a customer for sex.No one knows what Nichols meant by her remarks about earning money.Stride and Eddowes cannot be shown to have been soliciting,and Kelly's movements the day and night of her death seem more of a person spending money than earning it.Which leaves Chapman,and no one has any idea of what she was doingin the early hours.
    But then to some a prostitute will always ,and at all times, be a prostitute.Will an occassional drunk always be a drunk?
    You are missing the point. We don't know and nobody ever knew what the victims were doing before they were murdered, so we are working on probabilities. You should know that. But people who knew the victims said they were active prostitutes when the occasion demanded, the women were found dead in dark and lonely places, the sort of places a prostitute might take a customer, and they had no money and they had gone off with the stated intention of getting some. On the basis of that evidence, one is not likely to conclude that they'd been standing on a corner selling copies of the War Cry, but rather make the reasonable conjecture that they were soliciting.

    Is an occasional drunk always be a drunk, you ask? No, of course not. But ask yourself if a boxer is always a boxer? Some might argue that at heart a boxer is always a boxer, but more pertinently one might suppose that a competent boxer might defend himself if called upon to do so. And if a boxer's body was found among the bins at the back of a gym, one might suppose that he was killed after or before working out. The point is that although someone may have left the ring years before, they still have the capacity to box and the instinct to defend themselves and fight back. A boxer arguably is always a boxer. It is having demonstrated the ability to do something that matters in this case.

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