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  #91  
Old 09-19-2018, 09:16 AM
Le Grand Le Grand is offline
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Default 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  
Old 09-19-2018, 10:26 AM
PaulB PaulB is offline
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Quote:
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  
Old 09-19-2018, 10:46 AM
Le Grand Le Grand is offline
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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  
Old 09-19-2018, 11:22 AM
Ally Ally is offline
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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.
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  #95  
Old 09-19-2018, 11:39 AM
rjpalmer rjpalmer is offline
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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  
Old 09-19-2018, 11:58 AM
PaulB PaulB is offline
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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  
Old 09-19-2018, 12:11 PM
PaulB PaulB is offline
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Quote:
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  
Old 09-19-2018, 12:39 PM
Varqm Varqm is offline
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Quote:
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.

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Last edited by Varqm : 09-19-2018 at 12:43 PM.
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  #99  
Old 09-19-2018, 02:52 PM
Bridewell Bridewell is offline
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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.
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  #100  
Old 09-19-2018, 02:59 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Quote:
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.
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