View Single Post
Old 09-19-2018, 03:37 AM
Ginger Ginger is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 536

Originally Posted by miss marple View Post
They were not described as prostitutes in the press.
I don't think that any of them (with the possible exception of Kelly, and even with her I doubt it) practiced prostitution because they thought it an agreeable way to earn a living. Their status as prostitutes, or not, seems to me a rather important point, though. It's in the nature of that line of work to accompany men whom one has just met into secluded locations. That's why to this day so many of them end up murdered - they're an easy target for serial killers. If they *weren't* "on the job" when murdered, then the case becomes much stranger and more intriguing, and we have to wonder if the victims knew Jack, and went willingly with him for some other purpose than sex. That's been the basis of speculation as long as there have been Ripperologists.

FWIW, I think that Stride, despite her prior conviction, was outside the club hoping to be paid to help clean up after the meeting. She'd obviously be inclined to chat and be agreeable to anyone she thought connected with the club under those circumstances. It was her misfortune to chat up the murderer (who may well have picked her because he thought that she was "on the game", standing around a stable yard entrance at one in the morning).

So far as the papers not using the word "prostitute", Google Ngrams shows 1884 as the lowest year since 1800 for the use of that word. 1888 wasn't much higher. It was simply an unfashionable (or perhaps embarassing) word in the LVP. The word "unfortunate", which has been in constant decline since 1800, sees its use stabilize, and even slightly rise, between 1880 and 1900 ( 0). Sadly, there's no way to find what appearances of "unfortunate" were as a noun, rather than an adjective, or if there is, I don't know how to make Ngrams show that. I tend to suspect, though, that between 1865 and 1905, "unfortunate" as a noun was quite often a euphemism for "prostitute".
- Ginger
Quick reply to this message Reply With Quote