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the victims werent prostitutes

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  • #91
    Rubenhold's response

    I've enjoyed Hallie Rubenhold's other work and found it useful in my own. Her books are academic but accessible: clear, rigorous, scrupulous, and informed.

    But the publicity didn't sit right with me. So I spoke to her on Twitter earlier this week, using the example of Catharine Eddowes, who survived by any means necessary, including casual prostitution. The circumstances of her murder bear this out.

    Rubenhold replied that the press significantly twisted her intent and asked me to reserve judgment. She didn't elaborate, but I think she's earned that much.

    I doubt that Nichols, Chapman, Stride, and Eddowes, who all fell from relative heights, would have called themselves prostitutes. (Kelly, of course, was more up front about it.) They were desperate women, clinging to their pride, who lived hand-to-mouth without social recourse. *We* know this, but most people don't.

    The press/Hollywood/morality machine long ago turned the victims into sexed-up good time girls on the make, who lived dangerously and got their comeuppance. If Rubenhold's book is along this line -- how and why these women were backed into corners -- then more power to her elbow.

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Le Grand View Post
      I've enjoyed Hallie Rubenhold's other work and found it useful in my own. Her books are academic but accessible: clear, rigorous, scrupulous, and informed.

      But the publicity didn't sit right with me. So I spoke to her on Twitter earlier this week, using the example of Catharine Eddowes, who survived by any means necessary, including casual prostitution. The circumstances of her murder bear this out.

      Rubenhold replied that the press significantly twisted her intent and asked me to reserve judgment. She didn't elaborate, but I think she's earned that much.

      I doubt that Nichols, Chapman, Stride, and Eddowes, who all fell from relative heights, would have called themselves prostitutes. (Kelly, of course, was more up front about it.) They were desperate women, clinging to their pride, who lived hand-to-mouth without social recourse. *We* know this, but most people don't.

      The press/Hollywood/morality machine long ago turned the victims into sexed-up good time girls on the make, who lived dangerously and got their comeuppance. If Rubenhold's book is along this line -- how and why these women were backed into corners -- then more power to her elbow.
      Um, we kind of know how these women got into the position they were in, don't we? And I don't know what relevance there is in what four or them would have called themselves. The description of them as prostitutes is how others perceived them or what they knew them to be, isn't it?

      As already said, of course everyone should reserve judgement, but will they? Or will loads of people just read what Dr Rubenhold has flatly stated and believe it? Six months is an awfully long time for people to wait until they can check it out, don't you think?

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      • #93
        I don't think the general public does know. There is the caricature and the truth. If it helps bring the truth to a wider audience, then right on.

        But you're right in that if Rubenhold's intent has been twisted -- and I can only take her word -- she should do more now to set the record straight. And it's also wrong to portray focus on the victims as new. Your turning to them long ago changed my entire view of the case, Paul. Thank you.

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        • #94
          Originally posted by Le Grand View Post
          I don't think the general public does know. There is the caricature and the truth. If it helps bring the truth to a wider audience, then right on.

          The type of general public who believes the women were sexed-up goodtime girls aren't the type who are going to be reading social history tomes either.

          This book isn't going to do much to enlighten the general public. It's a niche book, for a niche audience.

          I'm in a book club, we read a wide variety of books, non-fiction and fiction and none of the women I know would consider this for one of their "Book of the Month" selections.

          Let all Oz be agreed;
          I'm Wicked through and through.

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          • #95
            Hi Paul -- -Slightly off-topic.

            I am paraphrasing, but you will no doubt recall Martin Fido, having interviewed several old timers in the East End, stating that when times got tough, 'mother' walked the streets, and 'no one thought the worse of her for it.'

            So, in other words, anyone viewing these women as immoral, were not part of the immediate community.

            The following will no doubt be met with howls of protest, but to me this suggests the average 'Ripperologist' is wrong. The murderer was not likely to be one of the 'normal' denizens of the East End. He is someone who is killing those (he believes) society deems it legitimate to kill: the sick, the homeless, the unemployed, the alcoholic. His view is from the 'outside in,' not the 'inside out.'

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            • #96
              Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
              Hi Paul -- -Slightly off-topic.

              I am paraphrasing, but you will no doubt recall Martin Fido, having interviewed several old timers in the East End, stating that when times got tough, 'mother' walked the streets, and 'no one thought the worse of her for it.'

              So, in other words, anyone viewing these women as immoral, were not part of the immediate community.

              The following will no doubt be met with howls of protest, but to me this suggests the average 'Ripperologist' is wrong. The murderer was not likely to be one of the 'normal' denizens of the East End. He is someone who is killing those (he believes) society deems it legitimate to kill: the sick, the homeless, the unemployed, the alcoholic. His view is from the 'outside in,' not the 'inside out.'
              Yes, it's pretty generally accepted that occasional prostitution was fairly widespread among certain classes and I recall reading someone like Cullen or Farson or someone observing that some people would be shocked at what their granny (or great-granny) had to do to live. It seems to me moot that locals may not have considered it immoral, but don't you think the idea that the Ripper was an outsider looking in assumes that the murderer was targeting prostitutes, rather than targeting women, prostitutes being the easiest prey?

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              • #97
                Originally posted by Le Grand View Post
                I don't think the general public does know. There is the caricature and the truth. If it helps bring the truth to a wider audience, then right on.

                But you're right in that if Rubenhold's intent has been twisted -- and I can only take her word -- she should do more now to set the record straight. And it's also wrong to portray focus on the victims as new. Your turning to them long ago changed my entire view of the case, Paul. Thank you.
                Anything that sheds more light on the lives of the victims is very welcome indeed, of course, but will Rubenhold's book make any significant impact on public perceptions? I don't know how big an interested market there is outside the traditional market for Ripper books.

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by harry View Post
                  Varqm,
                  I cannot be as sure as you are,but I would be interested in your,or anyone else's,description of a prostitute.I understand the simple definition of sex for money,but is it that simple?Can we be certain that when Nichols stated she had earned money the previous day,it was through prostitution,or her quest that night was in search of money for sex.?Were there alternate means of acquiring fourpence? Stride it has been stated earned sixpence for cleaning.

                  Nonsense,is not a very dismissive answer.I expect better from you.
                  Yes it's simple,no beating around the bush,just looking at the facts.It is nonsense because it's simple.You are making it more complicated than it was/is.

                  ---
                  Last edited by Varqm; 09-19-2018, 12:43 PM.
                  Clearly the first human laws (way older and already established) spawned organized religion's morality - from which it's writers only copied/stole,ex. you cannot kill,rob,steal (forced, otherwise people run back to the hills,no towns).
                  M. Pacana

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                  • #99
                    The Oxford Dictionary defines the term 'prostitute' as:

                    "A person, in particular a woman, who engages in sexual activity for payment."

                    That's, to my mind, Nichols definitely; Chapman definitely; Kelly definitely; Eddowes probably and Stride possibly. I don't think that's why they were killed though - more likely that was because they were vulnerable rather than any 'down on whores' thing.

                    In many cases there simply wasn't a choice - it was prostitution or starvation.
                    Regards, Bridewell.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Bridewell View Post
                      The Oxford Dictionary defines the term 'prostitute' as:

                      "A person, in particular a woman, who engages in sexual activity for payment."

                      That's, to my mind, Nichols definitely; Chapman definitely; Kelly definitely; Eddowes probably and Stride possibly. I don't think that's why they were killed though - more likely that was because they were vulnerable rather than any 'down on whores' thing.

                      In many cases there simply wasn't a choice - it was prostitution or starvation.
                      I think you are right on both counts.

                      Prostitution or starvation (hyperthermia)

                      And vulnerable, or even available as victims at a time of day when “good women” were home with hubby.
                      G U T

                      There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                      Comment


                      • My dictionary states sex in exchange for money,but accepting that the word payment is also used,and that word,according to my dictionaty,is the act of paying,amount payed;reward,it rather broadens the range and number of women that can be classed as prostitutes.
                        Not that it affects my understanding,and I do not have to twist anything.What I do say is that there were alternnatives,on the nights those women in Whitechapel were killed,as to how rewards could be obtained or offered,and that didn't include prostitution.

                        My great grandmother was an unfortunate in the county of Dorset.She,along with her two daughters,one of whom was my grandmother,didn't starve or turn to prostitution.

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                        • Harry I'm a bit sceptical that Nichols, Chapman and Eddowes were trying to find cleaning jobs when they were killed.

                          There is, however, a curious thing about Kelly : according to GH, after she tried and failed to get sixpence out of him, Kelly walked up the road and Mr A tapped her on the shoulder. He approached her, apparently, and not the other way round.

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                          • Robert,
                            You have a right to be skeptical on that count.My comment about Stride earning sixpence for cleaning is a reported occurance,I haven't applied it to anyone else.Your observatiom about aman approaching Kelly,and not the other way round might have a meaning,if it happened.

                            The offence of prostitution was a condition imposed by an act of parliament,and the words prostitute and prostitution were given a meaning.While the wording cannot be changed,the interpretation can,and it seems that is what the author is considering. I could be wrong.

                            Comment


                            • I have to say that if a woman sells her body for sex then she is, by definition, a prostitute. We can of course speculate on whether this was her sole source of income or, as it undoubtedly was for many, something that was resorted to in desperate times. We can also speculate on how often this situation occurred. By making these distinctions though we are not saying that a full-time prostitute was less of a person than a part time or occasional one. Of course they were women first and prostitutes second and should be treated with respect.

                              That said, it’s difficult to see what point Rubenhold is making (yes we have to wait for the book but she has made comments therefore she has to expect opinions and responses.) We know that books, articles and essays have been written about the victims. We know that research is ongoing into their lives. We all have sympathy for the unimaginable hardship of their lives and the horrible ways that their lives ended. I’m afraid though from Rubenhold’s comments it appears that she is suggesting otherwise. That we’ve collectively labelled them as mere ‘prostitutes’ and so unworthy of attention. This is plainly untrue. She implies that Ripperologist tend to ‘glorify’ the ripper. This is plainly untrue. She apparently holds anyone who has an interest in the case (that’s all of us) in such low esteem that she preemptively assumes that Paul Begg would give her an unfair review.

                              I agree that we should read her book. I certainly hope to. But I still say that her comments so far have not painted her in a very positive light. In fact I’d say that her comments so far have simply been controversy for publicity’s sake.
                              Last edited by Herlock Sholmes; 09-20-2018, 01:07 PM.
                              Regards

                              Herlock






                              "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact!"

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                              • Jack spent probably only a few hours out of his entire life killing and mutilating women. Would anyone argue that "murderer" would be an inappropriate way to describe him because his life wasn't confined only to murder?
                                - Ginger

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