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Title: A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil
Author: Addams, Jane, 1860-1935
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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A NEW CONSCIENCE AND AN ANCIENT EVIL

By JANE ADDAMS


HULL HOUSE, CHICAGO

Author of Democracy and Social Ethics, Newer Ideals of Peace
The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets
Twenty Years at Hull-House

New York
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
1912



To the Juvenile Protective Association of Chicago, whose superintendent and
field officers have collected much of the material for this book, and whose
president, Mrs. Joseph T. Bowen, has so ably and sympathetically collaborated in
its writing.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER I   As inferred from An Analogy
CHAPTER II  As indicated by Recent Legal Enactments
CHAPTER III As indicated by the Amelioration of Economic Conditions
CHAPTER IV  As indicated by the Moral Education and Legal Protection
            of Children
CHAPTER V   As indicated by Philanthropic Rescue and Prevention
CHAPTER VI  As indicated by Increased Social Control



PREFACE

The following material, much of which has been published in McClure's
Magazine, was written, not from the point of view of the expert, but
because of my own need for a counter-knowledge to a bewildering mass of
information which came to me through the Juvenile Protective Association
of Chicago. The reports which its twenty field officers daily brought to
its main office adjoining Hull House became to me a revelation of the
dangers implicit in city conditions and of the allurements which are
designedly placed around many young girls in order to draw them into an
evil life.

As head of the Publication Committee, I read the original documents in a
series of special investigations made by the Association on dance halls,
theatres, amusement parks, lake excursion boats, petty gambling, the
home surroundings of one hundred Juvenile Court children and the records
of four thousand parents who clearly contributed to the delinquency of
their own families. The Association also collected the personal
histories of two hundred department-store girls, of two hundred factory
girls, of two hundred immigrant girls, of two hundred office girls, and
of girls employed in one hundred hotels and restaurants.

While this experience was most distressing, I was, on the other hand,
much impressed and at times fairly startled by the large and diversified
number of people to whom the very existence of the white slave traffic
had become unendurable and who promptly responded to any appeal made on
behalf of its victims. City officials, policemen, judges, attorneys,
employers, trades unionists, physicians, teachers, newly arrived
immigrants, clergymen, railway officials, and newspaper men, as under a
profound sense of compunction, were unsparing of time and effort when
given an opportunity to assist an individual girl, to promote
legislation designed for her protection, or to establish institutions
for her rescue.

I therefore venture to hope that in serving my own need I may also serve
the need of a rapidly growing public when I set down for rational
consideration the temptations surrounding multitudes of young people and
when I assemble, as best I may, the many indications of a new
conscience, which in various directions is slowly gathering strength and
which we may soberly hope will at last successfully array itself against
this incredible social wrong, ancient though it may be.

Hull House, Chicago.



CHAPTER I

AN ANALOGY


In every large city throughout the world thousands of women are so set
aside as outcasts from decent society that it is considered an
impropriety to speak the very word which designates them. Lecky calls
this type of woman "the most mournful and the most awful figure in
history": he says that "she remains, while creeds and civilizations rise
and fall, the eternal sacrifice of humanity, blasted for the sins of the
people." But evils so old that they are imbedded in man's earliest
history have been known to sway before an enlightened public opinion and
in the end to give way to a growing conscience, which regards them first
as a moral affront and at length as an utter impossibility. Thus the
generation just before us, our own fathers, uprooted the enormous upas
of slavery, "the tree that was literally as old as the race of man,"
although slavery doubtless had its beginnings in the captives of man's
earliest warfare, even as this existing evil thus originated.

Those of us who think we discern the beginnings of a new conscience in
regard to this twin of slavery, as old and outrageous as slavery itself
and even more persistent, find a possible analogy between certain civic,
philanthropic and educational efforts directed against the very
existence of this social evil and similar organized efforts which
preceded the overthrow of slavery in America. Thus, long before slavery
was finally declared illegal, there were international regulations of
its traffic, state and federal legislation concerning its extension, and
many extra legal attempts to control its abuses; quite as we have the
international regulations concerning the white slave traffic, the state
and interstate legislation for its repression, and an extra legal power
in connection with it so universally given to the municipal police that
the possession of this power has become one of the great sources of
corruption in every American city.

Before society was ready to proceed against the institution of slavery
as such, groups of men and women by means of the underground railroad
cherished and educated individual slaves; it is scarcely necessary to
point out the similarity to the rescue homes and preventive associations
which every great city contains.

It is always easy to overwork an analogy, and yet the economist who for
years insisted that slave labor continually and arbitrarily limited the
wages of free labor and was therefore a detriment to national wealth was
a forerunner of the economist of to-day who points out the economic
basis of the social evil, the connection between low wages and despair,
between over-fatigue and the demand for reckless pleasure.

Before the American nation agreed to regard slavery as unjustifiable
from the standpoint of public morality, an army of reformers, lecturers,
and writers set forth its enormity in a never-ceasing flow of invective,
of appeal, and of portrayal concerning the human cruelty to which the
system lent itself. We can discern the scouts and outposts of a similar
army advancing against this existing evil: the physicians and
sanitarians who are committed to the task of ridding the race from
contagious diseases, the teachers and lecturers who are appealing to the
higher morality of thousands of young people; the growing literature,
not only biological and didactic, but of a popular type more closely
approaching "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

Throughout the agitation for the abolition of slavery in America, there
were statesmen who gradually became convinced of the political and moral
necessity of giving to the freedman the protection of the ballot. In
this current agitation there are at least a few men and women who would
extend a greater social and political freedom to all women if only
because domestic control has proved so ineffectual.

We may certainly take courage from the fact that our contemporaries are
fired by social compassions and enthusiasms, to which even our immediate
predecessors were indifferent. Such compunctions have ever manifested
themselves in varying degrees of ardor through different groups in the
same community. Thus among those who are newly aroused to action in
regard to the social evil are many who would endeavor to regulate it and
believe they can minimize its dangers, still larger numbers who would
eliminate all trafficking of unwilling victims in connection with it,
and yet others who believe that as a quasi-legal institution it may be
absolutely abolished. Perhaps the analogy to the abolition of slavery is
most striking in that these groups, in their varying points of view, are
like those earlier associations which differed widely in regard to
chattel slavery. Only the so-called extremists, in the first instance,
stood for abolition and they were continually told that what they
proposed was clearly impossible. The legal and commercial obstacles,
bulked large, were placed before them and it was confidently asserted
that the blame for the historic existence of slavery lay deep within
human nature itself. Yet gradually all of these associations reached the
point of view of the abolitionist and before the war was over even the
most lukewarm unionist saw no other solution of the nation's difficulty.
Some such gradual conversion to the point of view of abolition is the
experience of every society or group of people who seriously face the
difficulties and complications of the social evil. Certainly all the
national organizations--the National Vigilance Committee, the American
Purity Federation, the Alliance for the Suppression and Prevention of
the White Slave Traffic and many others--stand for the final abolition
of commercialized vice. Local vice commissions, such as the able one
recently appointed in Chicago, although composed of members of varying
beliefs in regard to the possibility of control and regulation, united
in the end in recommending a law enforcement looking towards final
abolition. Even the most sceptical of Chicago citizens, after reading
the fearless document, shared the hope of the commission that "the city,
when aroused to the truth, would instantly rebel against the social evil
in all its phases." A similar recommendation of ultimate abolition was
recently made unanimous by the Minneapolis vice commission after the
conversion of many of its members. Doubtless all of the national
societies have before them a task only less gigantic than that faced by
those earlier associations in America for the suppression of slavery,
although it may be legitimate to remind them that the best-known
anti-slavery society in America was organized by the New England
abolitionists in 1836, and only thirty-six years later, in 1872, was
formally disbanded because its object had been accomplished. The long
struggle ahead of these newer associations will doubtless claim its
martyrs and its heroes, has indeed already claimed them during the last
thirty years. Few righteous causes have escaped baptism with blood;
nevertheless, to paraphrase Lincoln's speech, if blood were exacted drop
by drop in measure to the tears of anguished mothers and enslaved girls,
the nation would still be obliged to go into the struggle.

Throughout this volume the phrase "social evil" is used to designate the
sexual commerce permitted to exist in every large city, usually in a
segregated district, wherein the chastity of women is bought and sold.
Modifications of legal codes regarding marriage and divorce, moral
judgments concerning the entire group of questions centring about
illicit affection between men and women, are quite other questions which
are not considered here. Such problems must always remain distinct from
those of commercialized vice, as must the treatment of an irreducible
minimum of prostitution, which will doubtless long exist, quite as
society still retains an irreducible minimum of murders. This volume
does not deal with the probable future of prostitution, and gives only
such historical background as is necessary to understand the present
situation. It endeavors to present the contributory causes, as they have
become registered in my consciousness through a long residence in a
crowded city quarter, and to state the indications, as I have seen them,
of a new conscience with its many and varied manifestations.

Nothing is gained by making the situation better or worse than it is,
nor in anywise different from what it is. This ancient evil is indeed
social in the sense of community responsibility and can only be
understood and at length remedied when we face the fact and measure the
resources which may at length be massed against it. Perhaps the most
striking indication that our generation has become the bearer of a new
moral consciousness in regard to the existence of commercialized vice is
the fact that the mere contemplation of it throws the more sensitive men
and women among our contemporaries into a state of indignant revolt. It
is doubtless an instinctive shrinking from this emotion and an
unconscious dread that this modern sensitiveness will be outraged, which
justifies to themselves so many moral men and women in their persistent
ignorance of the subject. Yet one of the most obvious resources at our
command, which might well be utilized at once, if it is to be utilized
at all, is the overwhelming pity and sense of protection which the
recent revelations in the white slave traffic have aroused for the
thousands of young girls, many of them still children, who are yearly
sacrificed to the "sins of the people." All of this emotion ought to be
made of value, for quite as a state of emotion is invariably the organic
preparation for action, so it is certainly true that no profound
spiritual transformation can take place without it.

After all, human progress is deeply indebted to a study of
imperfections, and the counsels of despair, if not full of seasoned
wisdom, are at least fertile in suggestion and a desperate spur to
action. Sympathetic knowledge is the only way of approach to any human
problem, and the line of least resistance into the jungle of human
wretchedness must always be through that region which is most thoroughly
explored, not only by the information of the statistician, but by
sympathetic understanding. We are daily attaining the latter through
such authors as Sudermann and Elsa Gerusalem, who have enabled their
readers to comprehend the so-called "fallen" woman through a skilful
portrayal of the reaction of experience upon personality. Their realism
has rescued her from the sentimentality surrounding an impossible
Camille quite as their fellow-craftsmen in realism have replaced the
weeping Amelias of the Victorian period by reasonable women transcribed
from actual life.

The treatment of this subject in American literature is at present in
the pamphleteering stage, although an ever-increasing number of short
stories and novels deal with it. On the other hand, the plays through
which Bernard Shaw constantly places the truth before the public in
England as Brieux is doing for the public in France, produce in the
spectators a disquieting sense that society is involved in
commercialized vice and must speedily find a way out. Such writing is
like the roll of the drum which announces the approach of the troops
ready for action.

Some of the writers who are performing this valiant service are related
to those great artists who in every age enter into a long struggle with
existing social conditions, until after many years they change the
outlook upon life for at least a handful of their contemporaries. Their
readers find themselves no longer mere bewildered spectators of a given
social wrong, but have become conscious of their own hypocrisy in regard
to it, and they realize that a veritable horror, simply because it was
hidden, had come to seem to them inevitable and almost normal.

Many traces of this first uneasy consciousness regarding the social evil
are found in contemporary literature, for while the business of
literature is revelation and not reformation, it may yet perform for the
men and women now living that purification of the imagination and
intellect which the Greeks believed to come through pity and terror.

Secure in the knowledge of evolutionary processes, we have learned to
talk glibly of the obligations of race progress and of the possibility
of racial degeneration. In this respect certainly we have a wider
outlook than that possessed by our fathers, who so valiantly grappled
with chattel slavery and secured its overthrow. May the new conscience
gather force until men and women, acting under its sway, shall be
constrained to eradicate this ancient evil!



CHAPTER II

RECENT LEGAL ENACTMENTS


At the present moment even the least conscientious citizens agree that,
first and foremost, the organized traffic in what has come to be called
white slaves must be suppressed and that those traffickers who procure
their victims for purely commercial purposes must be arrested and
prosecuted. As it is impossible to rescue girls fraudulently and
illegally detained, save through governmental agencies, it is naturally
through the line of legal action that the most striking revelations of
the white slave traffic have come. For the sake of convenience, we may
divide this legal action into those cases dealing with the international
trade, those with the state and interstate traffic, and the regulations
with which the municipality alone is concerned.

First in value to the white slave commerce is the girl imported from
abroad who from the nature of the case is most completely in the power
of the trader. She is literally friendless and unable to speak the
language and at last discouraged she makes no effort to escape. Many
cases of the international traffic were recently tried in Chicago and
the offenders convicted by the federal authorities. One of these cases,
which attracted much attention throughout the country, was of Marie, a
French girl, the daughter of a Breton stone mason, so old and poor that
he was obliged to take her from her convent school at the age of twelve
years. He sent her to Paris, where she became a little household drudge
and nurse-maid, working from six in the morning until eight at night,
and for three years sending her wages, which were about a franc a day,
directly to her parents in the Breton village. One afternoon, as she was
buying a bottle of milk at a tiny shop, she was engaged in conversation
by a young man who invited her into a little patisserie where, after
giving her some sweets, he introduced her to his friend, Monsieur Paret,
who was gathering together a theatrical troupe to go to America. Paret
showed her pictures of several young girls gorgeously arrayed and
announcements of their coming tour, and Marie felt much flattered when
it was intimated that she might join this brilliant company. After
several clandestine meetings to perfect the plan, she left the city with
Paret and a pretty French girl to sail for America with the rest of the
so-called actors. Paret escaped detection by the immigration authorities
in New York, through his ruse of the "Kinsella troupe," and took the
girls directly to Chicago. Here they were placed in a disreputable house
belonging to a man named Lair, who had advanced the money for their
importation. The two French girls remained in this house for several
months until it was raided by the police, when they were sent to
separate houses. The records which were later brought into court show
that at this time Marie was earning two hundred and fifty dollars a
week, all of which she gave to her employers. In spite of this large
monetary return she was often cruelly beaten, was made to do the
household scrubbing, and was, of course, never allowed to leave the
house. Furthermore, as one of the methods of retaining a reluctant girl
is to put her hopelessly in debt and always to charge against her the
expenses incurred in securing her, Marie as an imported girl had begun
at once with the huge debt of the ocean journey for Paret and herself.
In addition to this large sum she was charged, according to universal
custom, with exorbitant prices for all the clothing she received and
with any money which Paret chose to draw against her account. Later,
when Marie contracted typhoid fever, she was sent for treatment to a
public hospital and it was during her illness there, when a general
investigation was made of the white slave traffic, that a federal
officer visited her. Marie, who thought she was going to die, freely
gave her testimony, which proved to be most valuable.

The federal authorities following up her statements at last located
Paret in the city prison at Atlanta, Georgia, where he had been
convicted on a similar charge. He was brought to Chicago and on his
testimony Lair was also convicted and imprisoned.

Marie has since married a man who wishes to protect her from the
influence of her old life, but although not yet twenty years old and
making an honest effort, what she has undergone has apparently so far
warped and weakened her will that she is only partially successful in
keeping her resolutions, and she sends each month to her parents in
France ten or twelve dollars, which she confesses to have earned
illicitly. It is as if the shameful experiences to which this little
convent-bred Breton girl was forcibly subjected, had finally become
registered in every fibre of her being until the forced demoralization
has become genuine. She is as powerless now to save herself from her
subjective temptations as she was helpless five years ago to save
herself from her captors.

Such demoralization is, of course, most valuable to the white slave
trader, for when a girl has become thoroughly accustomed to the life and
testifies that she is in it of her own free will, she puts herself
beyond the protection of the law. She belongs to a legally degraded
class, without redress in courts of justice for personal outrages.

Marie, herself, at the end of her third year in America, wrote to the
police appealing for help, but the lieutenant who in response to her
letter visited the house, was convinced by Lair that she was there of
her own volition and that therefore he could do nothing for her. It is
easy to see why it thus becomes part of the business to break down a
girl's moral nature by all those horrible devices which are constantly
used by the owner of a white slave. Because life is so often shortened
for these wretched girls, their owners degrade them morally as quickly
as possible, lest death release them before their full profit has been
secured. In addition to the quantity of sacrificed virtue, to the bulk
of impotent suffering, which these white slaves represent, our
civilization becomes permanently tainted with the vicious practices
designed to accelerate the demoralization of unwilling victims in order
to make them commercially valuable. Moreover, a girl thus rendered more
useful to her owner, will thereafter fail to touch either the chivalry
of men or the tenderness of women because good men and women have become
convinced of her innate degeneracy, a word we have learned to use with
the unction formerly placed upon original sin. The very revolt of
society against such girls is used by their owners as a protection to
the business.

The case against the captors of Marie, as well as twenty-four other
cases, was ably and vigorously conducted by Edwin W. Sims, United States
District Attorney in Chicago. He prosecuted under a clause of the
immigration act of 1908, which was unfortunately declared
unconstitutional early the next year, when for the moment federal
authorities found themselves unable to proceed directly against this
international traffic. They could not act under the international white
slave treaty signed by the contracting powers in Paris in 1904, and
proclaimed by the President of the United States in 1908, because it was
found impossible to carry out its provisions without federal police. The
long consideration of this treaty by Congress made clear to the nation
that it is in matters of this sort that navies are powerless and that as
our international problems become more social, other agencies must be
provided, a point which arbitration committees have long urged. The
discussion of the international treaty brought the subject before the
entire country as a matter for immediate legislation and for executive
action, and the White Slave Traffic Act was finally passed by Congress
in 1910, under which all later prosecutions have since been conducted.
When the decision on the immigration clause rendered in 1909 threw the
burden of prosecution back upon the states, Mr. Clifford Roe, then
assistant State's Attorney, within one year investigated 348 such cases,
domestic and foreign, and successfully prosecuted 91, carrying on the
vigorous policy inaugurated by United States Attorney Sims. In 1908
Illinois passed the first pandering law in this country, changing the
offence from disorderly conduct to a misdemeanor, and greatly increasing
the penalty. In many states pandering is still so little defined as to
make the crime merely a breach of manners and to put it in the same
class of offences as selling a street-car transfer.

As a result of this vigorous action, Chicago became the first city to
look the situation squarely in the face, and to make a determined
business-like fight against the procuring of girls. An office was
established by public-spirited citizens where Mr. Roe was placed in
charge and empowered to follow up the clues of the traffic wherever
found and to bring the traffickers to justice; in consequence the white
slave traders have become so frightened that the foreign importation of
girls to Chicago has markedly declined. It is estimated by Mr. Roe that
since 1909 about one thousand white slave traders, of whom thirty or
forty were importers of foreign girls, have been driven away from the
city.

Throughout the Congressional discussions of the white slave traffic,
beginning with the Howell-Bennett Act in 1907, it was evident that the
subject was closely allied to immigration, and when the immigration
commission made a partial report to Congress in December, 1909, upon
"the importation and harboring of women for immoral purposes," their
finding only emphasized the report of the Commissioner General of
Immigration made earlier in the year. His report had traced the
international traffic directly to New York, Chicago, Boston, Buffalo,
New Orleans, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and
Butte. As the list of cities was comparatively small, it seemed not
unreasonable to hope that the international traffic might be rigorously
prosecuted, with the prospect of finally doing away with it in spite of
its subtle methods, its multiplied ramifications, and its financial
resources. Only officials of vigorous conscience can deal with this
traffic; but certainly there can be no nobler service for federal and
state officers to undertake than this protection of immigrant girls.

It is obvious that a foreign girl who speaks no English, who has not the
remotest idea in what part of the city her fellow-countrymen live, who
does not know the police station or any agency to which she may apply,
is almost as valuable to a white slave trafficker as a girl imported
directly for the trade. The trafficker makes every effort to intercept
such a girl before she can communicate with her relations. Although
great care is taken at Ellis Island, the girl's destination carefully
indicated upon her ticket and her friends communicated with, after she
boards the train the governmental protection is withdrawn and many
untoward experiences may befall a girl between New York and her final
destination. Only this year a Polish mother of the Hull House
neighborhood failed to find her daughter on a New York train upon which
she had been notified to expect her, because the girl had been induced
to leave the New York train at South Chicago, where she was met by two
young men, one of them well known to the police, and the other a young
Pole, purporting to have been sent by the girl's mother.

The immigrant girl also encounters dangers upon the very moment of her
arrival. The cab-men and expressmen are often unscrupulous. One of the
latter was recently indicted in Chicago upon the charge of regularly
procuring immigrant girls for a disreputable hotel. The non-English
speaking girl handing her written address to a cabman has no means of
knowing whither he will drive her, but is obliged to place herself
implicitly in his hands. The Immigrants' Protective League has brought
about many changes in this respect, but has upon its records some
piteous tales of girls who were thus easily deceived.

An immigrant girl is occasionally exploited by her own lover whom she
has come to America to marry. I recall the case of a Russian girl thus
decoyed into a disreputable life by a man deceiving her through a fake
marriage ceremony. Although not found until a year later, the girl had
never ceased to be distressed and rebellious. Many Slovak and Polish
girls, coming to America without their relatives, board in houses
already filled with their countrymen who have also preceded their own
families to the land of promise, hoping to earn money enough to send for
them later. The immigrant girl is thus exposed to dangers at the very
moment when she is least able to defend herself. Such a girl, already
bewildered by the change from an old world village to an American city,
is unfortunately sometimes convinced that the new country freedom does
away with the necessity for a marriage ceremony. Many others are told
that judgment for a moral lapse is less severe in America than in the
old country. The last month's records of the Municipal Court in Chicago,
set aside to hear domestic relation cases, show sixteen unfortunate
girls, of whom eight were immigrant girls representing eight different
nationalities. These discouraged and deserted girls become an easy prey
for the procurers who have sometimes been in league with their lovers.

Even those girls who immigrate with their families and sustain an
affectionate relation with them are yet often curiously free from
chaperonage. The immigrant mothers do not know where their daughters
work, save that it is in a vague "over there" or "down town." They
themselves were guarded by careful mothers and they would gladly give
the same oversight to their daughters, but the entire situation is so
unlike that of their own peasant girlhoods that, discouraged by their
inability to judge it, they make no attempt to understand their
daughters' lives. The girls, realizing this inability on the part of
their mothers, elated by that sense of independence which the first
taste of self-support always brings, sheltered from observation during
certain hours, are almost as free from social control as is the
traditional young man who comes up from the country to take care of
himself in a great city. These immigrant parents are, of course, quite
unable to foresee that while a girl feels a certain restraint of public
opinion from the tenement house neighbors among whom she lives, and
while she also responds to the public opinion of her associates in a
factory where she works, there is no public opinion at all operating as
a restraint upon her in the hours which lie between the two, occupied in
the coming and going to work through the streets of a city large enough
to offer every opportunity for concealment. So much of the recreation
which is provided by commercial agencies, even in its advertisements,
deliberately plays upon the interest of sex because it is under such
excitement and that of alcohol that money is most recklessly spent. The
great human dynamic, which it has been the long effort of centuries to
limit to family life, is deliberately utilized for advertising purposes,
and it is inevitable that many girls yield to such allurements.

On the other hand, one is filled with admiration for the many immigrant
girls who in the midst of insuperable difficulties resist all
temptations. Such admiration was certainly due Olga, a tall, handsome
girl, a little passive and slow, yet with that touch of dignity which a
continued mood of introspection so often lends to the young. Olga had
been in Chicago for a year living with an aunt who, when she returned to
Sweden, placed her niece in a boarding-house which she knew to be
thoroughly respectable. But a friendless girl of such striking beauty
could not escape the machinations of those who profit by the sale of
girls. Almost immediately Olga found herself beset by two young men who
continually forced themselves upon her attention, although she refused
all their invitations to shows and dances. In six months the frightened
girl had changed her boarding-place four times, hoping that the men
would not be able to follow her. She was also obliged constantly to look
for a cheaper place, because the dull season in the cloak-making trade
came early that year. In the fifth boarding-house she finally found
herself so hopelessly in arrears that the landlady, tired of waiting for
the "new cloak making to begin," at length fulfilled a long-promised
threat, and one summer evening at nine o'clock literally put Olga into
the street, retaining her trunk in payment of the debt. The girl walked
the street for hours, until she fancied that she saw one of her
persecutors in the distance, when she hastily took refuge in a sheltered
doorway, crouching in terror. Although no one approached her, she sat
there late into the night, apparently too apathetic to move. With the
curious inconsequence of moody youth, she was not aroused to action by
the situation in which she found herself. The incident epitomized to her
the everlasting riddle of the universe to which she could see no
solution and she drearily decided to throw herself into the lake. As she
left the doorway at daybreak for this pitiful purpose, she attracted the
attention of a passing policeman. In response to his questions, kindly
at first but becoming exasperated as he was convinced that she was
either "touched in her wits" or "guying" him, he obtained a confused
story of the persecutions of the two young men, and in sheer
bewilderment he finally took her to the station on the very charge
against the thought of which she had so long contended.

The girl was doubtless sullen in court the next morning; she was
resentful of the policeman's talk, she was oppressed and discouraged and
therefore taciturn. She herself said afterwards that she "often got
still that way." She so sharply felt the disgrace of arrest, after her
long struggle for respectability, that she gave a false name and became
involved in a story to which she could devote but half her attention,
being still absorbed in an undercurrent of speculative thought which
continually broke through the flimsy tale she was fabricating.

With the evidence before him, the judge felt obliged to sustain the
policeman's charge, and as Olga could not pay the fine imposed, he
sentenced her to the city prison. The girl, however, had appeared so
strangely that the judge was uncomfortable and gave her in charge of a
representative of the Juvenile Protective Association in the hope that
she could discover the whole situation, meantime suspending the
sentence. It took hours of patient conversation with the girl and the
kindly services of a well-known alienist to break into her dangerous
state of mind and to gain her confidence. Prolonged medical treatment
averted the threatened melancholia and she was at last rescued from the
meaningless despondency so hostile to life itself, which has claimed
many young victims.

It is strange that we are so slow to learn that no one can safely live
without companionship and affection, that the individual who tries the
hazardous experiment of going without at least one of them is prone to
be swamped by a black mood from within. It is as if we had to build
little islands of affection in the vast sea of impersonal forces lest we
be overwhelmed by them. Yet we know that in every large city there are
hundreds of men whose business it is to discover girls thus hard pressed
by loneliness and despair, to urge upon them the old excuse that "no one
cares what you do," to fill them with cheap cynicism concerning the
value of virtue, all to the end that a business profit may be secured.

Had Olga yielded to the solicitations of bad men and had the immigration
authorities in the federal building of Chicago discovered her in the
disreputable hotel in which her captors wanted to place her, she would
have been deported to Sweden, sent home in disgrace from the country
which had failed to protect her. Certainly the immigration laws might do
better than to send a girl back to her parents, diseased and disgraced
because America has failed to safeguard her virtue from the machinations
of well-known but unrestrained criminals. The possibility of deportation
on the charge of prostitution is sometimes utilized by jealous husbands
or rejected lovers. Only last year a Russian girl came to Chicago to
meet her lover and was deceived by a fake marriage. Although the man
basely deserted her within a few weeks he became very jealous a year
later when he discovered that she was about to be married to a
prosperous fellow-countryman, and made charges against her to the
federal authorities concerning her life in Russia. It was with the
greatest difficulty that the girl was saved from deportation to Russia
under circumstances which would have compelled her to take out a red
ticket in Odessa, and to live forevermore the life with which her lover
had wantonly charged her.

May we not hope that in time the nation's policy in regard to immigrants
will become less negative and that a measure of protection will be
extended to them during the three years when they are so liable to
prompt deportation if they become criminals or paupers?

While it may be difficult for the federal authorities to accomplish this
protection and will doubtless require an extension of the powers of the
Department of Immigration, certainly no one will doubt that it is the
business of the city itself to extend much more protection to young
girls who so thoughtlessly walk upon its streets. Yet, in spite of the
grave consequences which lack of proper supervision implies, the
municipal treatment of commercialized vice not only differs in each city
but varies greatly in the same city under changing administrations.

The situation is enormously complicated by the pharisaic attitude of the
public which wishes to have the comfort of declaring the social evil to
be illegal, while at the same time it expects the police department to
regulate it and to make it as little obvious as possible. In reality the
police, as they themselves know, are not expected to serve the public in
this matter but to consult the desires of the politicians; for, next to
the fast and loose police control of gambling, nothing affords better
political material than the regulation of commercialized vice. First in
line is the ward politician who keeps a disorderly saloon which serves
both as a meeting-place for the vicious young men engaged in the traffic
and as a market for their wares. Back of this the politician higher up
receives his share of the toll which this business pays that it may
remain undisturbed. The very existence of a segregated district under
police regulation means, of course, that the existing law must be
nullified or at least rendered totally inoperative. When police
regulation takes the place of law enforcement a species of municipal
blackmail inevitably becomes intrenched. The police are forced to
regulate an illicit trade, but because the men engaged in an unlawful
business expect to pay money for its protection, the corruption of the
police department is firmly established and, as the Chicago vice
commission report points out, is merely called "protection to the
business." The practice of grafting thereafter becomes almost official.
On the other hand, any man who attempts to show mercy to the victims of
that business, or to regulate it from the victim's point of view, is
considered a traitor to the cause. Quite recently a former inspector of
police in Chicago established a requirement that every young girl who
came to live in a disreputable house within a prescribed district must
be reported to him within an hour after her arrival. Each one was
closely questioned as to her reasons for entering into the life. If she
was very young, she was warned of its inevitable consequences and urged
to abandon her project. Every assistance was offered her to return to
work and to live a normal life. Occasionally a girl was desperate and it
was sometimes necessary that she be forcibly detained in the police
station until her friends could be communicated with. More often she was
glad to avail herself of the chance of escape; practically always,
unless she had already become romantically entangled with a disreputable
young man, whom she firmly believed to be her genuine lover and
protector.

One day a telephone message came to Hull House from the inspector asking
us to take charge of a young girl who had been brought into the station
by an older woman for registration. The girl's youth and the innocence
of her replies to the usual questions convinced the inspector that she
was ignorant of the life she was about to enter and that she probably
believed she was simply registering her choice of a boarding-house. Her
story which she told at Hull House was as follows: She was a Milwaukee
factory girl, the daughter of a Bohemian carpenter. Ten days before she
had met a Chicago young man at a Milwaukee dance hall and after a brief
courtship had promised to marry him, arranging to meet him in Chicago
the following week. Fearing that her Bohemian mother would not approve
of this plan, which she called "the American way of getting married,"
the girl had risen one morning even earlier than factory work
necessitated and had taken the first train to Chicago. The young man met
her at the station, took her to a saloon where he introduced her to a
friend, an older woman, who, he said, would take good care of her. After
the young man disappeared, ostensibly for the marriage license, the
woman professed to be much shocked that the little bride had brought no
luggage, and persuaded her that she must work a few weeks in order to
earn money for her trousseau, and that she, an older woman who knew the
city, would find a boarding-house and a place in a factory for her. She
further induced her to write postal cards to six of her girl friends in
Milwaukee, telling them of the kind lady in Chicago, of the good chances
for work, and urging them to come down to the address which she sent.
The woman told the unsuspecting girl that, first of all, a newcomer must
register her place of residence with the police, as that was the law in
Chicago. It was, of course, when the woman took her to the police
station that the situation was disclosed. It needed but little
investigation to make clear that the girl had narrowly escaped a
well-organized plot and that the young man to whom she was engaged was
an agent for a disreputable house. Mr. Clifford Roe took up the case
with vigor, and although all efforts failed to find the young man, the
woman who was his accomplice was fined one hundred and fifty dollars and
costs.

The one impression which the trial left upon our minds was that all the
men concerned in the prosecution felt a keen sense of outrage against
the method employed to secure the girl, but took for granted that the
life she was about to lead was in the established order of things, if
she had chosen it voluntarily. In other words, if the efforts of the
agent had gone far enough to involve her moral nature, the girl, who
although unsophisticated, was twenty-one years old, could have remained,
quite unchallenged, in the hideous life. The woman who was prosecuted
was well known to the police and was fined, not for her daily
occupation, but because she had become involved in interstate white
slave traffic. One touch of nature redeemed the trial, for the girl
suffered much more from the sense that she had been deserted by her
lover than from horror over the fate she had escaped, and she was never
wholly convinced that he had not been genuine. She asserted constantly,
in order to account for his absence, that some accident must have
befallen him. She felt that he was her natural protector in this strange
Chicago to which she had come at his behest and continually resented any
imputation of his motives. The betrayal of her confidence, the playing
upon her natural desire for a home of her own, was a ghastly revelation
that even when this hideous trade is managed upon the most carefully
calculated commercial principles, it must still resort to the use of the
oldest of the social instincts as its basis of procedure.

This Chicago police inspector, whose desire to protect young girls was
so genuine and so successful, was afterward indicted by the grand jury
and sent to the penitentiary on the charge of accepting "graft" from
saloon-keepers and proprietors of the disreputable houses in his
district. His experience was a dramatic and tragic portrayal of the
position into which every city forces its police. When a girl who has
been secured for the life is dissuaded from it, her rescue represents a
definite monetary loss to the agency which has secured her and incurs
the enmity of those who expected to profit by her. When this enmity has
sufficiently accumulated, the active official is either "called down" by
higher political authority, or brought to trial for those illegal
practices which he shares with his fellow-officials. It is, therefore,
easy to make such an inspector as ours suffer for his virtues, which are
individual, by bringing charges against his grafting, which is general
and almost official. So long as the customary prices for protection are
adhered to, no one feels aggrieved; but the sentiment which prompts an
inspector "to side with the girls" and to destroy thousands of dollars'
worth of business is unjustifiable. He has not stuck to the rules of the
game and the pack of enraged gamesters, under full cry of "morality,"
can very easily run him to ground, the public meantime being gratified
that police corruption has been exposed and the offender punished. Yet
hundreds of girls, who could have been discovered in no other way, were
rescued by this man in his capacity of police inspector. On the other
hand, he did little to bring to justice those responsible for securing
the girls, and while he rescued the victim, he did not interfere with
the source of supply. Had he been brought to trial for this
indifference, it would have been impossible to find a grand jury to
sustain the indictment. He was really brought to trial because he had
broken the implied contract with the politicians; he had devised illicit
and damaging methods to express that instinct for protecting youth and
innocence, which every man on the police force doubtless possesses. Were
this instinct freed from all political and extra legal control, it would
in and of itself be a tremendous force against commercialized vice which
is so dependent upon the exploitation of young girls. Yet the fortunes
of the police are so tied up to those who profit by this trade and to
their friends, the politicians, that the most well-meaning man upon the
force is constantly handicapped. Several illustrations of this occur to
me. Two years ago, when very untoward conditions were discovered in
connection with a certain five-cent theatre, a young policeman arrested
the proprietor, who was later brought before the grand jury, indicted
and released upon bail for nine thousand dollars. The crime was a
heinous one, involving the ruin of fourteen little girls; but so much
political influence had been exerted on behalf of the proprietor, who
was a relative of the republican committeeman of his ward, that although
the license of the theatre was immediately revoked, it was reissued to
his wife within a very few days and the man continued to be a menace to
the community. When the young policeman who had made the arrest saw him
in the neighborhood of the theatre talking to little girls and reported
him, the officer was taken severely to task by the highest republican
authority in the city. He was reprimanded for his activity and ordered
transferred to the stockyards, eleven miles away. The policeman well
understood that this was but the first step in the process called
"breaking;" that after he had moved his family to the stockyards, in a
few weeks he would be transferred elsewhere, and that this change of
beat would be continued until he should at last be obliged to resign
from the force. His offence, as he was plainly told, had been his
ignorance of the fact that the theatre was under political protection.
In short, the young officer had naïvely undertaken to serve the public
without waiting for his instructions from the political bosses.

A flagrant example of the collusion of the police with vice is instanced
by United States District Attorney Sims, who recently called upon the
Chicago police to make twenty-four arrests on behalf of the United
States government for violations of the white slave law, when all of the
men liable to arrest left town two hours after the warrants were issued.
To quote Mr. Sims: "We sent the secret service men who had been working
in conjunction with the police back to Washington and brought in a fresh
supply. These men did not work with the police, and within two weeks
after the first set of secret service men had left Chicago, the men we
wanted were back in town, and without the aid of the city police we
arrested all of them."

When the legal control of commercialized vice is thus tied up with city
politics the functions of the police become legislative, executive and
judicial in regard to street solicitation: in a sense they also have
power of license, for it lies with them to determine the number of women
who are allowed to ply their trade upon the street. Some of these women
are young earthlings, as it were, hoping to earn money for much-desired
clothing or pleasure. Others are desperate creatures making one last
effort before they enter a public hospital to face a miserable end; but
by far the larger number are sent out under the protection of the men
who profit by their earnings, or they are utilized to secure patronage
for disreputable houses. The police regard the latter "as regular," and
while no authoritative order is ever given, the patrolman understands
that they are protected. On the other hand, "the straggler" is liable to
be arrested by any officer who chooses, and she is subjected to a fine
upon his unsupported word. In either case the police regard all such
women as literally "abandoned," deprived of ordinary rights, obliged to
live in specified residences, and liable to have their personal
liberties invaded in a way that no other class of citizens would
tolerate.

The recent establishment of the Night Court in New York registers an
advance in regard to the treatment of these wretched women. Not only
does the public gradually become cognizant of the treatment accorded
them, but some attempt at discrimination is made between the first
offenders and those hardened by long practice in that most hideous of
occupations. Furthermore, an adult probation system is gradually being
substituted for the system of fines which at present are levied in such
wise as to virtually constitute a license and a partnership with the
police department.

While American cities cannot be said to have adopted a policy either of
suppression or one of regulation, because the police consider the former
impracticable and the latter intolerable to public opinion, we may
perhaps claim for America a little more humanity in its dealing with
this class of women, a little less ruthlessness than that exhibited by
the continental cities where regimentation is relentlessly assumed.

The suggestive presence of such women on the streets is perhaps one of
the most demoralizing influences to be found in a large city, and such
vigorous efforts as were recently made by a former chief of police in
Chicago when he successfully cleared the streets of their presence,
demonstrates that legal suppression is possible. At least this obvious
temptation to young men and boys who are idly walking the streets might
be avoided, for in an old formula one such woman "has cast down many
wounded; yea, many strong men have been slain by her." Were the streets
kept clear, many young girls would be spared familiar knowledge that
such a method of earning money is open to them. I have personally known
several instances in which young girls have begun street solicitation
through sheer imitation. A young Polish woman found herself in dire
straits after the death of her mother. Her only friends in America had
moved to New York, she was in debt for her mother's funeral, and as it
was the slack season of the miserable sweat-shop sewing she had been
doing, she was unable to find work. One evening when she was quite
desperate with hunger, she stopped several men upon the street, as she
had seen other girls do, and in her broken English asked them for
something to eat. Only after a young man had given her a good meal at a
restaurant did she realize the price she was expected to pay and the
horrible things which the other girls were doing. Even in her shocked
revolt she could not understand, of course, that she herself epitomized
that hideous choice between starvation and vice which is perhaps the
crowning disgrace of civilization.

The legal suppression of street solicitation would not only protect
girls but would enormously minimize the risk and temptation to boys. The
entire system of recruiting for commercialized vice is largely dependent
upon boys who are scarcely less the victims of the system than are the
girls themselves. Certainly this aspect of the situation must be
seriously considered.

In 1908, when Mr. Clifford Roe conducted successful prosecutions against
one hundred and fifty of these disreputable young men in Chicago, nearly
all of them were local boys who had used their personal acquaintance to
secure their victims. The accident of a long acquaintance with one of
these boys, born in the Hull-House neighborhood, filled me with
questionings as to how far society may be responsible for these wretched
lads, many of them beginning a vicious career when they are but fifteen
or sixteen years of age. Because the trade constantly demands very young
girls, the procurers require the assistance of immature boys, for in
this game above all others "youth calls to youth." Such a boy is often
incited by the professional procurer to ruin a young girl, because the
latter's position is much safer if the character of the girl is
blackened before he sells her, and if he himself cannot be implicated in
her downfall. He thus keeps himself within the letter of the law, and
when he is even more cautious, he induces the boy to go through the
ceremony of a legal marriage by promising him a percentage of his wife's
first earnings.

Only yesterday I received a letter from a young man whom I had known
from his early boyhood, written in the state penitentiary, where he is
serving a life sentence. His father was a drunkard, but his mother was a
fine woman, devoted to her children, and she had patiently supported her
son Jim far beyond his school age. At the time of his trial, she pawned
all her personal possessions and mortgaged her furniture in order to get
three hundred dollars for his lawyer. Although Jim usually led the life
of a loafer and had never supported his mother, he was affectionately
devoted to her and always kindly and good-natured. Perhaps it was
because he had been so long dependent upon a self-sacrificing woman that
it became easy for him to be dependent upon his wife, a girl whom he met
when he was temporarily acting as porter in a disreputable hotel.
Through his long familiarity with vice, and the fact that many of his
companions habitually lived upon the earnings of "their girls," he
easily consented that his wife should continue her life, and he
constantly accepted the money which she willingly gave him. After his
marriage he still lived in his mother's house and refused to take more
money from her, but she had no idea of the source of his income. One day
he called at the hotel, as usual, to ask for his wife's earnings, and in
a quarrel over the amount with the landlady of the house, he drew a
revolver and killed her. Although the plea of self-defense was urged in
the trial, his abominable manner of life so outraged both judge and jury
that he received the maximum sentence. His mother still insists that he
sincerely loved the girl, whom he so impulsively married and that he
constantly tried to dissuade her from her evil life. Certain it is that
Jim's wife and mother are both filled with genuine sorrow for his fate
and that in some wise the educational and social resources in the city
of his birth failed to protect him from his own lower impulses and from
the evil companionship whose influence he could not withstand. He is but
one of thousands of weak boys, who are constantly utilized to supply the
white slave trafficker with young girls, for it has been estimated that
at any given moment the majority of the girls utilized by the trade are
under twenty years of age and that most of them were procured when
younger. We cannot assume that the youths who are hired to entice and
entrap these girls are all young fiends, degenerate from birth; the
majority of them are merely out-of-work boys, idle upon the streets, who
readily lend themselves to these base demands because nothing else is
presented to them.

All the recent investigations have certainly made clear that the bulk of
the entire traffic is conducted with the youth of the community, and
that the social evil, ancient though it may be, must be renewed in our
generation through its younger members. The knowledge of the youth of
its victims doubtless in a measure accounts for the new sense of
compunction which fills the community.



CHAPTER III

AMELIORATION OF ECONOMIC CONDITIONS



It may be possible to extract some small degree of comfort from the
recent revelations of the white slave traffic when we reflect that at
the present moment, in the midst of a freedom such as has never been
accorded to young women in the history of the world, under an economic
pressure grinding down upon the working girl at the very age when she
most wistfully desires to be taken care of, it is necessary to organize
a widespread commercial enterprise in order to procure a sufficient
number of girls for the white slave market.

Certainly the larger freedom accorded to woman by our changing social
customs and the phenomenal number of young girls who are utilized by
modern industry, taken in connection with this lack of supply, would
seem to show that the chastity of women is holding its own in that
slow-growing civilization which ever demands more self-control and
conscious direction on the part of the individuals sharing it.

Successive reports of the United States census indicate that
self-supporting girls are increasing steadily in number each decade,
until 59 per cent. of all the young women in the nation between the ages
of sixteen and twenty, are engaged in some gainful occupation. Year
after year, as these figures increase, the public views them with
complacency, almost with pride, and confidently depends upon the inner
restraint and training of this girlish multitude to protect it from
disaster. Nevertheless, the public is totally unable to determine at
what moment these safeguards, evolved under former industrial
conditions, may reach a breaking point, not because of economic freedom,
but because of untoward economic conditions.

For the first time in history multitudes of women are laboring without
the direct stimulus of family interest or affection, and they are also
unable to proportion their hours of work and intervals of rest according
to their strength; in addition to this for thousands of them the effort
to obtain a livelihood fairly eclipses the very meaning of life itself.
At the present moment no student of modern industrial conditions can
possibly assert how far the superior chastity of woman, so rigidly
maintained during the centuries, has been the result of her domestic
surroundings, and certainly no one knows under what degree of economic
pressure the old restraints may give way.

In addition to the monotony of work and the long hours, the small wages
these girls receive have no relation to the standard of living which
they are endeavoring to maintain. Discouraged and over-fatigued, they
are often brought into sharp juxtaposition with the women who are
obtaining much larger returns from their illicit trade. Society also
ventures to capitalize a virtuous girl at much less than one who has
yielded to temptation, and it may well hold itself responsible for the
precarious position into which, year after year, a multitude of frail
girls is placed.

The very valuable report recently issued by the vice commission of
Chicago leaves no room for doubt upon this point. The report estimates
the yearly profit of this nefarious business as conducted in Chicago to
be between fifteen and sixteen millions of dollars. Although these
enormous profits largely accrue to the men who conduct the business side
of prostitution, the report emphasizes the fact that the average girl
earns very much more in such a life than she can hope to earn by any
honest work. It points out that the capitalized value of the average
working girl is six thousand dollars, as she ordinarily earns six
dollars a week, which is three hundred dollars a year, or five per cent.
on that sum. A girl who sells drinks in a disreputable saloon, earning
in commissions for herself twenty-one dollars a week, is capitalized at
a value of twenty-two thousand dollars. The report further estimates
that the average girl who enters an illicit life under a protector or
manager is able to earn twenty-five dollars a week, representing a
capital of twenty-six thousand dollars. In other words, a girl in such a
life "earns more than four times as much as she is worth as a factor in
the social and industrial economy, where brains, intelligence, virtue
and womanly charm should bring a premium." The argument is specious in
that it does not record the economic value of the many later years in
which the honest girl will live as wife and mother, in contrast to the
premature death of the woman in the illicit trade, but the girl herself
sees only the difference in the immediate earning possibilities in the
two situations.

Nevertheless the supply of girls for the white slave traffic so far
falls below the demand that large business enterprises have been
developed throughout the world in order to secure a sufficient number of
victims for this modern market. Over and over again in the criminal
proceedings against the men engaged in this traffic, when questioned as
to their motives, they have given the simple reply "that more girls are
needed", and that they were "promised big money for them". Although
economic pressure as a reason for entering an illicit life has thus been
brought out in court by the evidence in a surprising number of cases,
there is no doubt that it is often exaggerated; a girl always prefers to
think that economic pressure is the reason for her downfall, even when
the immediate causes have been her love of pleasure, her desire for
finery, or the influence of evil companions. It is easy for her, as for
all of us, to be deceived as to real motives. In addition to this the
wretched girl who has entered upon an illicit life finds the experience
so terrible that, day by day, she endeavors to justify herself with the
excuse that the money she earns is needed for the support of some one
dependent upon her, thus following habits established by generations of
virtuous women who cared for feeble folk. I know one such girl living in
a disreputable house in Chicago who has adopted a delicate child
afflicted with curvature of the spine, whom she boards with respectable
people and keeps for many weeks out of each year in an expensive
sanitarium that it may receive medical treatment. The mother of the
child, an inmate of the house in which the ardent foster-mother herself
lives, is quite indifferent to the child's welfare and also rather
amused at such solicitude. The girl has persevered in her course for
five years, never however allowing the little invalid to come to the
house in which she and the mother live. The same sort of devotion and
self-sacrifice is often poured out upon the miserable man who in the
beginning was responsible for the girl's entrance into the life and who
constantly receives her earnings. She supports him in the luxurious life
he may be living in another part of the town, takes an almost maternal
pride in his good clothes and general prosperity, and regards him as the
one person in all the world who understands her plight.

Most of the cases of economic responsibility, however, are not due to
chivalric devotion, but arise from a desire to fulfill family
obligations such as would be accepted by any conscientious girl. This
was clearly revealed in conversations which were recently held with
thirty-four girls, who were living at the same time in a rescue home,
when twenty-two of them gave economic pressure as the reason for
choosing the life which they had so recently abandoned. One piteous
little widow of seventeen had been supporting her child and had been
able to leave the life she had been leading only because her married
sister offered to take care of the baby without the money formerly paid
her. Another had been supporting her mother and only since her recent
death was the girl sure that she could live honestly because she had
only herself to care for.

The following story, fairly typical of the twenty-two involving economic
reasons, is of a girl who had come to Chicago at the age of fifteen,
from a small town in Indiana. Her father was too old to work and her
mother was a dependent invalid. The brother who cared for the parents,
with the help of the girl's own slender wages earned in the country
store of the little town, became ill with rheumatism. In her desire to
earn more money the country girl came to the nearest large city,
Chicago, to work in a department store. The highest wage she could earn,
even though she wore long dresses and called herself "experienced," was
five dollars a week. This sum was of course inadequate even for her own
needs and she was constantly filled with a corroding worry for "the
folks at home." In a moment of panic, a fellow clerk who was "wise"
showed her that it was possible to add to her wages by making
appointments for money in the noon hour at down-town hotels. Having
earned money in this way for a few months, the young girl made an
arrangement with an older woman to be on call in the evenings whenever
she was summoned by telephone, thus joining that large clandestine group
of apparently respectable girls, most of whom yield to temptation only
when hard pressed by debt incurred during illness or non-employment, or
when they are facing some immediate necessity. This practice has become
so general in the larger American cities as to be systematically
conducted. It is perhaps the most sinister outcome of the economic
pressure, unless one cites its corollary--the condition of thousands of
young men whose low salaries so cruelly and unjustifiably postpone their
marriages. For a long time the young saleswoman kept her position in the
department store, retaining her honest wages for herself, but sending
everything else to her family. At length however, she changed from her
clandestine life to an openly professional one when she needed enough
money to send her brother to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where she maintained
him for a year. She explained that because he was now restored to health
and able to support the family once more, she had left the life "forever
and ever", expecting to return to her home in Indiana. She suspected
that her brother knew of her experience, although she was sure that her
parents did not, and she hoped that as she was not yet seventeen, she
might be able to make a fresh start. Fortunately the poor child did not
know how difficult that would be.

It is perhaps in the department store more than anywhere else that every
possible weakness in a girl is detected and traded upon. For while it is
true that "wherever many girls are gathered together more or less
unprotected and embroiled in the struggle for a livelihood, near by will
be hovering the procurers and evil-minded", no other place of employment
is so easy of access as the department store. No visitor is received in
a factory or office unless he has definite business there, whereas every
purchaser is welcome at a department store, even a notorious woman well
known to represent the demi-monde trade is treated with marked courtesy
if she spends large sums of money. The primary danger lies in the fact
that the comely saleswomen are thus easy of access. The disreputable
young man constantly passes in and out, making small purchases from
every pretty girl, opening an acquaintance with complimentary remarks;
or the procuress, a fashionably-dressed woman, buys clothing in large
amounts, sometimes for a young girl by her side, ostensibly her
daughter. She condoles with the saleswoman upon her hard lot and lack of
pleasure, and in the rôle of a kindly, prosperous matron invites her to
come to her own home for a good time. The girl is sometimes subjected to
temptation through the men and women in her own department, who tell her
how invitations to dinners and theatres may be procured. It is not
surprising that so many of these young, inexperienced girls are either
deceived or yield to temptation in spite of the efforts made to protect
them by the management and by the older women in the establishment.

The department store has brought together, as has never been done before
in history, a bewildering mass of delicate and beautiful fabrics,
jewelry and household decorations such as women covet, gathered
skilfully from all parts of the world, and in the midst of this bulk of
desirable possessions is placed an untrained girl with careful
instructions as to her conduct for making sales, but with no guidance in
regard to herself. Such a girl may be bitterly lonely, but she is
expected to smile affably all day long upon a throng of changing
customers. She may be without adequate clothing, although she stands in
an emporium where it is piled about her, literally as high as her head.
She may be faint for want of food but she may not sit down lest she
assume "an attitude of inertia and indifference," which is against the
rules. She may have a great desire for pretty things, but she must sell
to other people at least twenty-five times the amount of her own salary,
or she will not be retained. Because she is of the first generation of
girls which has stood alone in the midst of trade, she is clinging and
timid, and yet the only person, man or woman, in this commercial
atmosphere who speaks to her of the care and protection which she
craves, is seeking to betray her. Because she is young and feminine, her
mind secretly dwells upon a future lover, upon a home, adorned with the
most enticing of the household goods about her, upon a child dressed in
the filmy fabrics she tenderly touches, and yet the only man who
approaches her there acting upon the knowledge of this inner life of
hers, does it with the direct intention of playing upon it in order to
despoil her. Is it surprising that the average human nature of these
young girls cannot, in many instances, endure this strain? Of fifteen
thousand women employed in the down-town department stores of Chicago,
the majority are Americans. We all know that the American girl has grown
up in the belief that the world is hers from which to choose, that there
is ordinarily no limit to her ambition or to her definition of success.
She realizes that she is well mannered and well dressed and does not
appear unlike most of her customers. She sees only one aspect of her
countrywomen who come shopping, and she may well believe that the chief
concern of life is fashionable clothing. Her interest and ambition
almost inevitably become thoroughly worldly, and from the very fact that
she is employed down town, she obtains an exaggerated idea of the luxury
of the illicit life all about her, which is barely concealed.

The fifth volume of the report of "Women and Child Wage Earners" in the
United States gives the result of a careful inquiry into "the relation
of wages to the moral condition of department store women." In
connection with this, the investigators secured "the personal histories
of one hundred immoral women," of whom ten were or had been employed in
a department store. They found that while only one of the ten had been
directly induced to leave the store for a disreputable life, six of them
said that they had found "it was easier to earn money that way." The
report states that the average employee in a department store earns
about seven dollars a week, and that the average income of the one
hundred immoral women covered by the personal histories, ranged from
fifty dollars a week to one hundred dollars a week in exceptional cases.
It is of these exceptional cases that the department store girl hears,
and the knowledge becomes part of the unreality and glittering life that
is all about her.

Another class of young women which is especially exposed to this
alluring knowledge is the waitress in down-town cafés and restaurants. A
recent investigation of girls in the segregated district of a
neighboring city places waiting in restaurants and hotels as highest on
the list of "previous occupations." Many waitresses are paid so little
that they gratefully accept any fee which men may offer them. It is also
the universal habit for customers to enter into easy conversation while
being served. Some of them are lonely young men who have few
opportunities to speak to women. The girl often quite innocently accepts
an invitation for an evening, spent either in a theatre or dance hall,
with no evil results, but this very lack of social convention exposes
her to danger. Even when the proprietor means to protect the girls, a
certain amount of familiarity must be borne, lest their resentment
should diminish the patronage of the café. In certain restaurants,
moreover, the waitresses doubtless suffer because the patrons compare
them with the girls who ply their trade in disreputable saloons under
the guise of serving drinks.

The following story would show that mere friendly propinquity may
constitute a danger. Last summer an honest, straightforward girl from a
small lake town in northern Michigan was working in a Chicago café,
sending every week more than half of her wages of seven dollars to her
mother and little sister, ill with tuberculosis, at home. The mother
owned the little house in which she lived, but except for the vegetables
she raised in her own garden and an occasional payment for plain sewing,
she and her younger daughter were dependent upon the hard-working girl
in Chicago. The girl's heart grew heavier week by week as the mother's
letters reported that the sister was daily growing weaker. One hot day
in August she received a letter from her mother telling her to come at
once if she "would see sister before she died." At noon that day when
sickened by the hot air of the café, and when the clatter of dishes, the
buzz of conversation, the orders shouted through the slide seemed but a
hideous accompaniment to her tormented thoughts, she was suddenly
startled by hearing the name of her native town, and realized that one
of her regular patrons was saying to her that he meant to take a night
boat to M. at 8 o'clock and get out of this "infernal heat." Almost
involuntarily she asked him if he would take her with him. Although the
very next moment she became conscious what his consent implied, she did
not reveal her fright, but merely stipulated that if she went with him
he must agree to buy her a return ticket. She reached home twelve hours
before her sister died, but when she returned to Chicago a week later
burdened with the debt of an undertaker's bill, she realized that she
had discovered a means of payment.

All girls who work down town are at a disadvantage as compared to
factory girls, who are much less open to direct inducement and to the
temptations which come through sheer imitation. Factory girls also have
the protection of working among plain people who frankly designate an
irregular life, in harsh, old-fashioned terms. If a factory girl catches
sight of the vicious life at all, she sees its miserable victims in all
the wretchedness and sordidness of their trade in the poorer parts of
the city. As she passes the opening doors of a disreputable saloon she
may see for an instant three or four listless girls urging liquor upon
men tired out with the long day's work and already sodden with drink. As
she hurries along the street on a rainy night she may hear a sharp cry
of pain from a sick-looking girl whose arm is being brutally wrenched by
a rough man, and if she stops for a moment she catches his muttered
threats in response to the girl's pleading "that it is too bad a night
for street work." She sees a passing policeman shrug his shoulders as he
crosses the street, and she vaguely knows that the sick girl has put
herself beyond the protection of the law, and that the rough man has an
understanding with the officer on the beat. She has been told that
certain streets are "not respectable," but a furtive look down the
length of one of them reveals only forlorn and ill-looking houses, from
which all suggestion of homely domesticity has long since gone; a
slovenly woman with hollow eyes and a careworn face holding up the
lurching bulk of a drunken man is all she sees of its "denizens,"
although she may have known a neighbor's daughter who came home to die
of a mysterious disease said to be the result of a "fast life," and
whose disgraced mother "never again held up her head."

Yet in spite of all this corrective knowledge, the increasing nervous
energy to which industrial processes daily accommodate themselves, and
the speeding up constantly required of the operators, may at any moment
so register their results upon the nervous system of a factory girl as
to overcome her powers of resistance. Many a working girl at the end of
a day is so hysterical and overwrought that her mental balance is
plainly disturbed. Hundreds of working girls go directly to bed as soon
as they have eaten their suppers. They are too tired to go from home for
recreation, too tired to read and often too tired to sleep. A humane
forewoman recently said to me as she glanced down the long room in which
hundreds of young women, many of them with their shoes beside them, were
standing: "I hate to think of all the aching feet on this floor; these
girls all have trouble with their feet, some of them spend the entire
evening bathing them in hot water." But aching feet are no more usual
than aching backs and aching heads. The study of industrial diseases has
only this year been begun by the federal authorities, and doubtless as
more is known of the nervous and mental effect of over-fatigue, many
moral breakdowns will be traced to this source. It is already easy to
make the connection in definite cases: "I was too tired to care," "I was
too tired to know what I was doing," "I was dead tired and sick of it
all," "I was dog tired and just went with him," are phrases taken from
the lips of reckless girls, who are endeavoring to explain the situation
in which they find themselves.

Only slowly are laws being enacted to limit the hours of working women,
yet the able brief presented to the United States supreme court on the
constitutionality of the Oregon ten-hour law for women, based its plea
upon the results of overwork as affecting women's health, the grave
medical statement constantly broken into by a portrayal of the
disastrous effects of over-fatigue upon character. It is as yet
difficult to distinguish between the results of long hours and the
results of overstrain. Certainly the constant sense of haste is one of
the most nerve-racking and exhausting tests to which the human system
can be subjected. Those girls in the sewing industry whose mothers
thread needles for them far into the night that they may sew without a
moment's interruption during the next day; those girls who insert
eyelets into shoes, for which they are paid two cents a case, each case
containing twenty-four pairs of shoes, are striking victims of the
over-speeding which is so characteristic of our entire factory system.

Girls working in factories and laundries are also open to the
possibilities of accidents. The loss of only two fingers upon the right
hand, or a broken wrist, may disqualify an operator from continuing in
the only work in which she is skilled and make her struggle for
respectability even more difficult. Varicose veins and broken arches in
the feet are found in every occupation in which women are obliged to
stand for hours, but at any moment either one may develop beyond purely
painful symptoms into crippling incapacity. One such girl recently
returning home after a long day's work deliberately sat down upon the
floor of a crowded street car, explaining defiantly to the conductor and
the bewildered passengers that "her feet would not hold out another
minute." A young woman who only last summer broke her hand in a mangle
was found in a rescue home in January, explaining her recent experience
by the phrase that she was "up against it when leaving the hospital in
October."

In spite of many such heart-breaking instances the movement for
safeguarding machinery and securing indemnity for industrial accidents
proceeds all too slowly. At a recent exhibition in Boston the knife of a
miniature guillotine fell every ten seconds to indicate the rate of
industrial accidents in the United States. Grisly as was the device, its
hideousness might well have been increased had it been able to
demonstrate the connection between certain of these accidents and the
complete moral disaster which overtook their victims.

Yet factory girls who are subjected to this overstrain and overtime
often find their greatest discouragement in the fact that after all
their efforts they earn too little to support themselves. One girl said
that she had first yielded to temptation when she had become utterly
discouraged because she had tried in vain for seven months to save
enough money for a pair of shoes. She habitually spent two dollars a
week for her room, three dollars for her board, and sixty cents a week
for carfare, and she had found the forty cents remaining from her weekly
wage of six dollars inadequate to do more than re-sole her old shoes
twice. When the shoes became too worn to endure a third soling and she
possessed but ninety cents towards a new pair, she gave up her struggle;
to use her own contemptuous phrase, she "sold out for a pair of shoes."

Usually the phrases are less graphic, but after all they contain the
same dreary meaning: "Couldn't make both ends meet," "I had always been
used to having nice things," "Couldn't make enough money to live on," "I
got sick and ran behind," "Needed more money," "Impossible to feed and
clothe myself," "Out of work, hadn't been able to save." Of course a
girl in such a strait does not go out deliberately to find illicit
methods of earning money, she simply yields in a moment of utter
weariness and discouragement to the temptations she has been able to
withstand up to that moment. The long hours, the lack of comforts, the
low pay, the absence of recreation, the sense of "good times" all about
her which she cannot share, the conviction that she is rapidly losing
health and charm, rouse the molten forces within her. A swelling tide of
self-pity suddenly storms the banks which have hitherto held her and
finally overcomes her instincts for decency and righteousness, as well
as the habit of clean living, established by generations of her
forebears.

The aphorism that "morals fluctuate with trade" was long considered
cynical, but it has been demonstrated in Berlin, in London, in Japan, as
well as in several American cities, that there is a distinct increase in
the number of registered prostitutes during periods of financial
depression and even during the dull season of leading local industries.
Out of my own experience I am ready to assert that very often all that
is necessary to effectively help the girl who is on the edge of
wrong-doing is to lend her money for her board until she finds work,
provide the necessary clothing for which she is in such desperate need,
persuade her relatives that she should have more money for her own
expenditures, or find her another place at higher wages. Upon such
simple economic needs does the tried virtue of a good girl sometimes
depend.

Here again the immigrant girl is at a disadvantage. The average wage of
two hundred newly arrived girls of various nationalities, Poles,
Italians, Slovaks, Bohemians, Russians, Galatians, Croatians,
Lithuanians, Roumanians, Germans, and Swedes, who were interviewed by
the Immigrants' Protective League, was four dollars and a half a week
for the first position which they had been able to secure in Chicago. It
often takes a girl several weeks to find her first place. During this
period of looking for work the immigrant girl is subjected to great
dangers. It is at such times that immigrants often exhibit symptoms of
that type of disordered mind which alienists pronounce "due to conflict
through poor adaptation." I have known several immigrant young men as
well as girls who became deranged during the first year of life in
America. A young Russian who came to Chicago in the hope of obtaining
the freedom and self-development denied him at home, after three months
of bitter disillusionment, with no work and insufficient food, was sent
to the hospital for the insane. He only recovered after a group of his
young countrymen devotedly went to see him each week with promises of
work, the companionship at last establishing a sense of unbroken
association. I also recall a Polish girl who became utterly distraught
after weeks of sleeplessness and anxiety because she could not repay
fifty dollars which she had borrowed from a countryman in Chicago for
the purpose of bringing her sister to America. Her case was declared
hopeless, but when the creditor made reassuring visits to the patient
she began to mend and now, five years later, is not only free from debt,
but has brought over the rest of the family, whose united earnings are
slowly paying for a house and lot. Psychiatry is demonstrating the
after-effects of fear upon the minds of children, but little has yet
been done to show how far that fear of the future, arising from economic
insecurity in the midst of new surroundings, has superinduced insanity
among newly arrived immigrants. Such a state of nervous bewilderment and
fright, added to that sense of expectation which youth always carries
into new surroundings, often makes it easy to exploit the virtue of an
immigrant girl. It goes without saying that she is almost always
exploited industrially. A Russian girl recently took a place in a
Chicago clothing factory at twenty cents a day, without in the least
knowing that she was undercutting the wages of even that ill-paid
industry. This girl rented a room for a dollar a week and all that she
had to eat was given her by a friend in the same lodging house, who
shared her own scanty fare with the newcomer.

In the clothing industry trade unionism has already established a
minimum wage limit for thousands of women who are receiving the
protection and discipline of trade organization and responding to the
tonic of self-help. Low wages will doubtless in time be modified by
Minimum Wage Boards representing the government's stake in industry,
such as have been in successful operation for many years in certain
British colonies and are now being instituted in England itself. As yet
Massachusetts is the only state which has appointed a special commission
to consider this establishment for America, although the Industrial
Commission of Wisconsin is empowered to investigate wages and their
effect upon the standard of living.

Anyone who has lived among working people has been surprised at the
docility with which grown-up children give all of their earnings to
their parents. This is, of course, especially true of the daughters. The
fifth volume of the governmental report upon "Women and Child Wage
Earners in the United States," quoted earlier, gives eighty-four per
cent. as the proportion of working girls who turn in all of their wages
to the family fund. In most cases this is done voluntarily and
cheerfully, but in many instances it is as if the tradition of woman's
dependence upon her family for support held long after the actual fact
had changed, or as if the tyranny established through generations when
daughters could be starved into submission to a father's will, continued
even after the rôles had changed, and the wages of the girl child
supported a broken and dissolute father.

An over-restrained girl, from whom so much is exacted, will sometimes
begin to deceive her family by failing to tell them when she has had a
raise in her wages. She will habitually keep the extra amount for
herself, as she will any overtime pay which she may receive. All such
money is invariably spent upon her own clothing, which she, of course,
cannot wear at home, but which gives her great satisfaction upon the
streets.

The girl of the crowded tenements has no room in which to receive her
friends or to read the books through which she shares the lives of
assorted heroines, or, better still, dreams of them as of herself. Even
if the living-room is not full of boarders or children or washing, it is
comfortable neither for receiving friends nor for reading, and she finds
upon the street her entire social field; the shop windows with their
desirable garments hastily clothe her heroines as they travel the old
roads of romance, the street cars rumbling noisily by suggest a
delectable somewhere far away, and the young men who pass offer
possibilities of the most delightful acquaintance. It is not astonishing
that she insists upon clothing which conforms to the ideals of this
all-absorbing street and that she will unhesitatingly deceive an
uncomprehending family which does not recognize its importance.

One such girl had for two years earned money for clothing by filling
regular appointments in a disreputable saloon between the hours of six
and half-past seven in the evening. With this money earned almost daily
she bought the clothes of her heart's desire, keeping them with the
saloon-keeper's wife. She demurely returned to her family for supper in
her shabby working clothes and presented her mother with her unopened
pay envelope every Saturday night. She began this life at the age of
fourteen after her Polish mother had beaten her because she had
"elbowed" the sleeves and "cut out" the neck of her ungainly calico gown
in a vain attempt to make it look "American." Her mother, who had so
conscientiously punished a daughter who was "too crazy for clothes,"
could never of course comprehend how dangerous a combination is the girl
with an unsatisfied love for finery and the opportunities for illicit
earning afforded on the street. Yet many sad cases may be traced to such
lack of comprehension. Charles Booth states that in England a large
proportion of parents belonging to the working and even lower middle
classes, are unacquainted with the nature of the lives led by their own
daughters, a result doubtless of the early freedom of the street
accorded city children. Too often the mothers themselves are totally
ignorant of covert dangers. A few days ago I held in my hand a pathetic
little pile of letters written by a desperate young girl of fifteen
before she attempted to commit suicide. These letters were addressed to
her lover, her girl friends, and to the head of the rescue home, but
none to her mother towards whom she felt a bitter resentment "because
she did not warn me." The poor mother after the death of her husband had
gone to live with a married daughter, but as the son-in-law would not
"take in two" she had told the youngest daughter, who had already worked
for a year as an apprentice in a dressmaking establishment, that she
must find a place to live with one of her girl friends. The poor child
had found this impossible, and three days after the breaking up of her
home she had fallen a victim to a white slave trafficker, who had
treated her most cruelly and subjected her to unspeakable indignities.
It was only when her "protector" left the city, frightened by the
unwonted activity of the police, due to a wave of reform, that she found
her way to the rescue home, and in less than five months after the death
of her father she had purchased carbolic acid and deliberately "courted
death for the nameless child" and herself.

Another experience during which a girl faces a peculiar danger is when
she has lost one "job" and is looking for another. Naturally she loses
her place in the slack season and pursues her search at the very moment
when positions are hardest to find, and her un-employment is therefore
most prolonged. Perhaps nothing in our social order is so unorganized
and inchoate as our method, or rather lack of method, of placing young
people in industry. This is obvious from the point of view of their
first positions when they leave school at the unstable age of fourteen,
or from the innumerable places they hold later, often as high as ten a
year, when they are dismissed or change voluntarily through sheer
restlessness. Here again a girl's difficulty is often increased by the
lack of sympathy and understanding on the part of her parents. A girl is
often afraid to say that she has lost her place and pretends to go to
work each morning while she is looking for a new one; she postpones
telling them at home day by day, growing more frantic as the usual
pay-day approaches. Some girls borrow from loan sharks in order to take
the customary wages to their parents, others fall victims to
unscrupulous employment agencies in their eagerness to take the first
thing offered.

The majority of these girls answer the advertisements in the daily
papers as affording the cheapest and safest way to secure a position.
These out-of-work girls are found, sometimes as many as forty or fifty
at a time, in the rest rooms of the department stores, waiting for the
new edition of the newspapers after they have been the rounds of the
morning advertisements and have found nothing.

Of course such a possible field as these rest rooms is not overlooked by
the procurer, who finds it very easy to establish friendly relations
through the offer of the latest edition of the newspaper. Even pennies
are precious to a girl out of work and she is also easily grateful to
anyone who expresses an interest in her plight and tells her of a
position. Two representatives of the Juvenile Protective Association of
Chicago, during a period of three weeks, arrested and convicted
seventeen men and three women who were plying their trades in the rest
rooms of nine department stores. The managers were greatly concerned
over this exposure and immediately arranged both for more intelligent
matrons and greater vigilance. One of the less scrupulous stores
voluntarily gave up a method of advertising carried on in the rest room
itself where a demonstrator from "the beauty counter" made up the faces
of the patrons of the rest room with the powder and paint procurable in
her department below. The out-of-work girls especially availed
themselves of this privilege and hoped that their search would be easier
when their pale, woe-begone faces were "made beautiful." The poor girls
could not know that a face thus made up enormously increased their
risks.

A number of girls also came early in the morning as soon as the rest
rooms were open. They washed their faces and arranged their hair and
then settled to sleep in the largest and easiest chairs the room
afforded. Some of these were out-of-work girls also determined to take
home their wages at the end of the week, each pretending to her mother
that she had spent the night with a girl friend and was working all day
as usual. How much of this deception is due to parental tyranny and how
much to a sense of responsibility for younger children or invalids, it
is impossible to estimate until the number of such recorded cases is
much larger. Certain it is that the long habit of obedience, as well as
the feeling of family obligation established from childhood, is often
utilized by the white slave trafficker.

Difficult as is the position of the girl out of work when her family is
exigent and uncomprehending, she has incomparably more protection than
the girl who is living in the city without home ties. Such girls form
sixteen per cent. of the working women of Chicago. With absolutely every
penny of their meagre wages consumed in their inadequate living, they
are totally unable to save money. That loneliness and detachment which
the city tends to breed in its inhabitants is easily intensified in such
a girl into isolation and a desolating feeling of belonging nowhere. All
youth resents the sense of the enormity of the universe in relation to
the insignificance of the individual life, and youth, with that intense
self-consciousness which makes each young person the very centre of all
emotional experience, broods over this as no older person can possibly
do. At such moments a black oppression, the instinctive fear of
solitude, will send a lonely girl restlessly to walk the streets even
when she is "too tired to stand," and when her desire for companionship
in itself constitutes a grave danger. Such a girl living in a rented
room is usually without any place in which to properly receive callers.
An investigation was recently made in Kansas City of 411 lodging-houses
in which young girls were living; less than 30 per cent. were found with
a parlor in which guests might be received. Many girls quite innocently
permit young men to call upon them in their bedrooms, pitifully
disguised as "sitting-rooms," but the danger is obvious, and the
standards of the girl gradually become lowered.

Certainly during the trying times when a girl is out of work she should
have much more intelligent help than is at present extended to her; she
should be able to avail herself of the state employment agencies much
more than is now possible, and the work of the newly established
vocational bureaus should be enormously extended.

When once we are in earnest about the abolition of the social evil,
society will find that it must study industry from the point of view of
the producer in a sense which has never been done before. Such a study
with reference to industrial legislation will ally itself on one hand
with the trades-union movement, which insists upon a living wage and
shorter hours for the workers, and also upon an opportunity for
self-direction, and on the other hand with the efficiency movement,
which would refrain from over-fatiguing an operator as it would from
over-speeding a machine. In addition to legislative enactment and the
historic trade-union effort, the feebler and newer movement on the part
of the employers is being reinforced by the welfare secretary, who is
not only devising recreational and educational plans, but is placing
before the employer much disturbing information upon the cost of living
in relation to the pitiful wages of working girls. Certainly employers
are growing ashamed to use the worn-out, hypocritical pretence of
employing only the girl "protected by home influences" as a device for
reducing wages. Help may also come from the consumers, for an increasing
number of them, with compunctions in regard to tempted young employees,
are not only unwilling to purchase from the employer who underpays his
girls and thus to share his guilt, but are striving in divers ways to
modify existing conditions.

As working women enter fresh fields of labor which ever open up anew as
the old fields are submerged behind them, society must endeavor to
speedily protect them by an amelioration of the economic conditions
which are now so unnecessarily harsh and dangerous to health and morals.
The world-wide movement for establishing governmental control of
industrial conditions is especially concerned for working women.
Fourteen of the European countries prohibit all night work for women and
almost every civilized country in the world is considering the number of
hours and the character of work in which women may be permitted to
safely engage.

Although amelioration comes about so slowly that many young girls are
sacrificed each year under conditions which could so easily and
reasonably be changed, nevertheless it is apparently better to overcome
the dangers in this new and freer life, which modern industry has opened
to women, than it is to attempt to retreat into the domestic industry of
the past; for all statistics of prostitution give the largest number of
recruits for this life as coming from domestic service and the second
largest number from girls who live at home with no definite occupation
whatever. Therefore, although in the economic aspect of the social evil
more than in any other, do we find ground for despair, at the same time
we discern, as nowhere else, the young girl's stubborn power of
resistance. Nevertheless, the most superficial survey of her
surroundings shows the necessity for ameliorating, as rapidly as
possible, the harsh economic conditions which now environ her.

That steadily increasing function of the state by which it seeks to
protect its workers from their own weakness and degradation, and insists
that the livelihood of the manual laborer shall not be beaten down below
the level of efficient citizenship, assumes new forms almost daily. From
the human as well as the economic standpoint there is an obligation
resting upon the state to discover how many victims of the white slave
traffic are the result of social neglect, remedial incapacity, and the
lack of industrial safeguards, and how far discontinuous employment and
non-employment are factors in the breeding of discouragement and
despair.

Is it because our modern industrialism is so new that we have been slow
to connect it with the poverty and vice all about us? The socialists
talk constantly of the relation of economic law to destitution and point
out the connection between industrial maladjustment and individual
wrongdoing, but certainly the study of social conditions, the obligation
to eradicate vice, cannot belong to one political party or to one
economic school. It must be recognized as a solemn obligation of
existing governments, and society must realize that economic conditions
can only be made more righteous and more human by the unceasing devotion
of generations of men.



CHAPTER IV

MORAL EDUCATION AND LEGAL PROTECTION OF CHILDREN


No great wrong has ever arisen more clearly to the social consciousness
of a generation than has that of commercialized vice in the
consciousness of ours, and that we are so slow to act is simply another
evidence that human nature has a curious power of callous indifference
towards evils which have been so entrenched that they seem part of that
which has always been. Educators of course share this attitude; at
moments they seem to intensify it, although at last an educational
movement in the direction of sex hygiene is beginning in the schools and
colleges. Primary schools strive to satisfy the child's first
questionings regarding the beginnings of human life and approach the
subject through simple biological instruction which at least places this
knowledge on a par with other natural facts. Such teaching is an
enormous advance for the children whose curiosity would otherwise have
been satisfied from poisonous sources and who would have learned of
simple physiological matters from such secret undercurrents of corrupt
knowledge as to have forever perverted their minds. Yet this first
direct step towards an adequate educational approach to this subject has
been surprisingly difficult owing to the self-consciousness of grown-up
people; for while the children receive the teaching quite simply, their
parents often take alarm. Doubtless co-operation with parents will be
necessary before the subject can fall into its proper place in the
schools. In Chicago, the largest women's club in the city has
established normal courses in sex hygiene attended both by teachers and
mothers, the National and State Federations of Women's Clubs are
gradually preparing thousands of women throughout America for fuller
co-operation with the schools in this difficult matter. In this, as in
so many other educational movements, Germany has led the way. Two
publications are issued monthly in Berlin, which promote not only more
effective legislation but more adequate instruction in the schools on
this basic subject. These journals are supported by men and women
anxious for light for the sake of their children. Some of them were
first stirred to action by Wedekind's powerful drama "The Awakening of
Spring," which, with Teutonic grimness, thrusts over the footlights the
lesson that death and degradation may be the fate of a group of gifted
school-children, because of the cowardly reticence of their parents.

A year ago the Bishop of London gathered together a number of
influential people and laid before them his convictions that the root of
the social evil lay in so-called "parental modesty," and that in the
quickening of the parental conscience lay the hope for the "lifting up
of England's moral tone which has for so long been the despair of
England's foremost men."

In America the eighth year-book of the National Society for the
Scientific Study of Education treats of this important subject with
great ability, massing the agencies and methods in impressive array.
Many other educational journals and organized societies could be cited
as expressing a new conscience in regard to this world-old evil. The
expert educational opinion which they represent is practically agreed
that for older children the instruction should not be confined to
biology and hygiene, but may come quite naturally in history and
literature, which record and portray the havoc wrought by the sexual
instinct when uncontrolled, and also show that, when directed and
spiritualized, it has become an inspiration to the loftiest devotions
and sacrifices. The youth thus taught sees this primal instinct not only
as an essential to the continuance of the race, but also, when it is
transmuted to the highest ends, as a fundamental factor in social
progress. The entire subject is broadened out in his mind as he learns
that his own struggle is a common experience. He is able to make his own
interpretations and to combat the crude inferences of his patronizing
companions. After all, no young person will be able to control his
impulses and to save himself from the grosser temptations, unless he has
been put under the sway of nobler influences. Perhaps we have yet to
learn that the inhibitions of character as well as its reinforcements
come most readily through idealistic motives.

Certainly all the great religions of the world have recognized youth's
need of spiritual help during the trying years of adolescence. The
ceremonies of the earliest religions deal with this instinct almost to
the exclusion of others, and all later religions attempt to provide the
youth with shadowy weapons for the struggle which lies ahead of him, for
the wise men in every age have known that only the power of the spirit
can overcome the lusts of the flesh. In spite of this educational
advance, courses of study in many public and private schools are still
prepared exactly as if educators had never known that at fifteen or
sixteen years of age, the will power being still weak, the bodily
desires are keen and insistent. The head master of Eton, Mr. Lyttleton,
who has given much thought to this gap in the education of youth says,
"The certain result of leaving an enormous majority of boys unguided and
uninstructed in a matter where their strongest passions are concerned,
is that they grow up to judge of all questions connected with it, from a
purely selfish point of view." He contends that this selfishness is due
to the fact that any single suggestion or hint which boys receive on the
subject comes from other boys or young men who are under the same potent
influences of ignorance, curiosity and the claims of self. No wholesome
counter-balance of knowledge is given, no attempt is made to invest the
subject with dignity or to place it in relation to the welfare of others
and to universal law. Mr. Lyttleton contends that this alone can explain
the peculiarly brutal attitude towards "outcast" women which is a
sustained cruelty to be discerned in no other relation of English life.
To quote him again: "But when the victims of man's cruelty are not birds
or beasts but our own countrywomen, doomed by the hundred thousand to a
life of unutterable shame and hopeless misery, then and then only the
general average tone of young men becomes hard and brutally callous or
frivolous with a kind of coarse frivolity not exhibited in relation to
any other form of human suffering." At the present moment thousands of
young people in our great cities possess no other knowledge of this
grave social evil which may at any moment become a dangerous personal
menace, save what is imparted to them in this brutal flippant spirit. It
has been said that the child growing up in the midst of civilization
receives from its parents and teachers something of the accumulated
experience of the world on all other subjects save upon that of sex. On
this one subject alone each generation learns little from its
predecessors.

An educator has lately pointed out that it is an old lure of vice to
pretend that it alone deals with manliness and reality, and he complains
that it is always difficult to convince youth that the higher planes of
life contain anything but chilly sentiments. He contends that young
people are therefore prone to receive moralizing and admonitions with
polite attention, but when it comes to action, they carefully observe
the life about them in order to conduct themselves in such wise as to be
part of the really desirable world inhabited by men of affairs. Owing to
this attitude, many young people living in our cities at the present
moment have failed to apprehend the admonitions of religion and have
never responded to its inner control. It is as if the impact of the
world had stunned their spiritual natures, and as if this had occurred
at the very time that a most dangerous experiment is being tried. The
public gaieties formerly allowed in Catholic countries where young
people were restrained by the confessional, are now permitted in cities
where this restraint is altogether unknown to thousands of young people,
and only faintly and traditionally operative upon thousands of others.
The puritanical history of American cities assumes that these gaieties
are forbidden, and that the streets are sober and decorous for
conscientious young men and women who need no external protection. This
ungrounded assumption, united to the fact that no adult has the
confidence of these young people, who are constantly subjected to a
multitude of imaginative impressions, is almost certain to result
disastrously.

The social relationships in a modern city are so hastily made and often
so superficial, that the old human restraints of public opinion, long
sustained in smaller communities, have also broken down. Thousands of
young men and women in every great city have received none of the
lessons in self-control which even savage tribes imparted to their
children when they taught them to master their appetites as well as
their emotions. These young people are perhaps further from all
community restraint and genuine social control than the youth of the
community have ever been in the long history of civilization. Certainly
only the modern city has offered at one and the same time every possible
stimulation for the lower nature and every opportunity for secret vice.
Educators apparently forget that this unrestrained stimulation of young
people, so characteristic of our cities, although developing very
rapidly, is of recent origin, and that we have not yet seen the outcome.
The present education of the average young man has given him only the
most unreal protection against the temptations of the city. Schoolboys
are subjected to many lures from without just at the moment when they
are filled with an inner tumult which utterly bewilders them and
concerning which no one has instructed them save in terms of empty
precept and unintelligible warning.

We are authoritatively told that the physical difficulties are
enormously increased by uncontrolled or perverted imaginations, and all
sound advice to young men in regard to this subject emphasizes a clean
mind, exhorts an imagination kept free from sensuality and insists upon
days filled with wholesome athletic interests. We allow this régime to
be exactly reversed for thousands of young people living in the most
crowded and most unwholesome parts of the city. Not only does the stage
in its advertisements exhibit all the allurements of sex to such an
extent that a play without a "love interest" is considered foredoomed to
failure, but the novels which form the sole reading of thousands of
young men and girls deal only with the course of true or simulated love,
resulting in a rose-colored marriage, or in variegated misfortunes.

Often the only recreation possible for young men and young women
together is dancing, in which it is always easy to transgress the
proprieties. In many public dance halls, however, improprieties are
deliberately fostered. The waltzes and two-steps are purposely slow, the
couples leaning heavily on each other barely move across the floor, all
the jollity and bracing exercise of the peasant dance is eliminated, as
is all the careful decorum of the formal dance. The efforts to obtain
pleasure or to feed the imagination are thus converged upon the senses
which it is already difficult for young people to understand and to
control. It is therefore not remarkable that in certain parts of the
city groups of idle young men are found whose evil imaginations have
actually inhibited their power for normal living. On the streets or in
the pool-rooms where they congregate their conversation, their tales of
adventure, their remarks upon women who pass by, all reveal that they
have been caught in the toils of an instinct so powerful and primal that
when left without direction it can easily overwhelm its possessor and
swamp his faculties. These young men, who do no regular work, who expect
to be supported by their mothers and sisters and to get money for the
shows and theatres by any sort of disreputable undertaking, are in
excellent training for the life of the procurer, and it is from such
groups that they are recruited. There is almost a system of
apprenticeship, for boys when very small act as "look-outs" and are
later utilized to make acquaintances with girls in order to introduce
them to professionals. From this they gradually learn the method of
procuring girls and at last do an independent business. If one boy is
successful in such a life, throughout his acquaintance runs the rumor
that a girl is an asset that will bring a larger return than can
possibly be earned in hard-working ways. Could the imaginations of these
young men have been controlled and cultivated, could the desire for
adventure have been directed into wholesome channels, could these idle
boys have been taught that, so far from being manly they were losing all
virility, could higher interests have been aroused and standards given
them in relation to this one aspect of life, the entire situation of
commercialized vice would be a different thing.

The girls with a desire for adventure seem confined to this one dubious
outlet even more than the boys, although there are only one-eighth as
many delinquent girls as boys brought into the juvenile court in
Chicago, the charge against the girls in almost every instance involves
a loss of chastity. One of them who was vainly endeavoring to formulate
the causes of her downfall, concentrated them all in the single
statement that she wanted the other girls to know that she too was a
"good Indian." Such a girl, while she is not an actual member of a gang
of boys, is often attached to one by so many loyalties and friendships
that she will seldom testify against a member, even when she has been
injured by him. She also depends upon the gang when she requires bail in
the police court or the protection that comes from political influence,
and she is often very proud of her quasi-membership. The little girls
brought into the juvenile court are usually daughters of those poorest
immigrant families living in the worst type of city tenements, who are
frequently forced to take boarders in order to pay the rent. A
surprising number of little girls have first become involved in
wrong-doing through the men of their own households. A recent inquiry
among 130 girls living in a sordid red light district disclosed the fact
that a majority of them had thus been victimized and the wrong had come
to them so early that they had been despoiled at an average age of eight
years. Looking upon the forlorn little creatures, who are often brought
into the Chicago juvenile court to testify against their own relatives,
one is seized with that curious compunction Goethe expressed in the now
hackneyed line from "Mignon:"

"Was hat Man dir, du armes Kind, gethan?"

One is also inclined to reproach educators for neglecting to give
children instruction in play when one sees the unregulated amusement
parks which are apparently so dangerous to little girls twelve or
fourteen years old. Because they are childishly eager for amusement and
totally unable to pay for a ride on the scenic railway or for a ticket
to an entertainment, these disappointed children easily accept many
favors from the young men who are standing near the entrances for the
express purpose of ruining them. The hideous reward which is demanded
from them later in the evening, after they have enjoyed the many
"treats" which the amusement park offers, apparently seems of little
moment. Their childish minds are filled with the memory of the lurid
pleasures to the oblivion of the later experience, and they eagerly tell
their companions of this possibility "of getting in to all the shows."
These poor little girls pass unnoticed amidst a crowd of honest people
seeking recreation after a long day's work, groups of older girls
walking and talking gaily with young men of their acquaintance, and
happy children holding their parents' hands. This cruel exploitation of
the childish eagerness for pleasure is, of course, possible only among a
certain type of forlorn city children who are totally without standards
and into whose colorless lives a visit to the amusement park brings the
acme of delirious excitement. It is possible that these children are the
inevitable product of city life; in Paris, little girls at local fêtes
wishing to ride on the hobby horse frequently buy the privilege at a
fearful price from the man directing the machinery, and a physician
connected with the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Children writes: "It is horribly pathetic to learn how far a nickel or a
quarter will go towards purchasing the virtue of these children."

The home environment of such children has been similar to that of many
others who come to grief through the five-cent theatres. These eager
little people, to whom life has offered few pleasures, crowd around the
door hoping to be taken in by some kind soul and, when they have been
disappointed over and over again and the last performance is about to
begin, a little girl may be induced unthinkingly to barter her chastity
for an entrance fee.

Many children are also found who have been decoyed into their first
wrong-doing through the temptation of the saloon, in spite of the fact
that one of the earliest regulations in American cities for the
protection of children was the prohibition of the sale of liquor to
minors. That children may be easily demoralized by the influence of a
disorderly saloon was demonstrated recently in Chicago; one of these
saloons was so situated that the pupils of a public school were obliged
to pass it and from the windows of the schoolhouse itself could see much
of what was passing within the place. An effort was made by the Juvenile
Protective Association to have it closed by the chief of police, but
although he did so, it was opened again the following day. The
Association then took up the matter with the mayor, who refused to
interfere, insisting that the objectionable features had been
eliminated. Through months of effort, during which time the practices of
the place remained quite unchanged, one group after another of
public-spirited citizens endeavored to suppress what had become a public
scandal, only to find that the place was protected by brewery interests
which were more powerful, both financially and politically, than
themselves. At last, after a peculiarly flagrant case involving a little
girl, the mothers of the neighborhood arranged a mass meeting in the
schoolhouse itself, inviting local officials to be present. The mothers
then produced a mass of testimony which demonstrated that dozens and
hundreds of children had been directly or indirectly affected by the
place whose removal they demanded. A meeting so full of genuine anxiety
and righteous indignation could not well be disregarded, and the
compulsory education department was at last able to obtain a revocation
of the license. The many people who had so long tried to do away with
this avowedly disreputable saloon received a fresh impression of the
menace to children who became sophisticated by daily familiarity with
vice. Yet many mothers, hard pressed by poverty, are obliged to rent
houses next to vicious neighborhoods and their children very early
become familiar with all the outer aspects of vice. Among them are the
children of widows who make friends with their dubious neighbors during
the long days while their mothers are at work. I recall two sisters in
one family whose mother had moved her household to the borders of a
Chicago segregated district, apparently without knowing the character of
the neighborhood. The little sisters, twelve and eight years old,
accepted many invitations from a kind neighbor to come into her house to
see her pretty things. The older girl was delighted to be "made up" with
powder and paint and to try on long dresses, while the little one who
sang very prettily was taught some new songs, happily without
understanding their import. The tired mother knew nothing of what the
children did during her absence, until an honest neighbor who had seen
the little girls going in and out of the district, interfered on their
behalf. The frightened mother moved back to her old neighborhood which
she had left in search of cheaper rent, her pious soul stirred to its
depths that the children for whom she patiently worked day by day had so
narrowly escaped destruction.

Who cannot recall at least one of these desperate mothers, overworked
and harried through a long day, prolonged by the family washing and
cooking into the evening, followed by a night of foreboding and
misgiving because the very children for whom her life is sacrificed are
slowly slipping away from her control and affection? Such a spectacle
forces one into an agreement with Wells, that it is a "monstrous
absurdity" that women who are "discharging their supreme social
function, that of rearing children, should do it in their spare time, as
it were, while they 'earn their living' by contributing some
half-mechanical element to some trivial industrial product."
Nevertheless, such a woman whose wages are fixed on the basis of
individual subsistence, who is quite unable to earn a family wage, is
still held by a legal obligation to support her children with the
desperate penalty of forfeiture if she fail.

I can recall a very intelligent woman who long brought her children to
the Hull House day nursery with this result at the end of ten years of
devotion: the little girl is almost totally deaf owing to neglect
following a case of measles, because her mother could not stop work in
order to care for her; the youngest boy has lost a leg flipping cars;
the oldest boy has twice been arrested for petty larceny; the twin boys,
in spite of prolonged sojourns in the parental school, have been such
habitual truants that their natural intelligence has secured little aid
from education. Of the five children three are now in semi-penal
institutions, supported by the state. It would not therefore have been
so un-economical to have boarded them with their own mother, requiring a
standard of nutrition and school attendance at least up to that national
standard of nurture which the more advanced European governments are
establishing.

The recent Illinois law, providing that the children of widows may be
supported by public funds paid to the mother upon order of the juvenile
court, will eventually restore a mother's care to these poor children;
but in the meantime, even the poor mother who is receiving such aid, in
her forced search for cheap rent may be continually led nearer to the
notoriously evil districts. Many appeals made to landlords of
disreputable houses in Chicago on behalf of the children living adjacent
to such property have never secured a favorable response. It is
apparently difficult for the average property owner to resist the high
rents which houses in certain districts of the city can command if
rented for purposes of vice. I recall two small frame houses identical
in type and value standing side by side. One which belonged to a citizen
without scruples was rented for $30.00 a month, the other belonging to a
conscientious man was rented for $9.00 a month. The supposedly
respectable landlords defend themselves behind the old sophistry: "If I
did not rent my house for such a purpose, someone else would," and the
more hardened ones say that "It is all in the line of business." Both of
them are enormously helped by the secrecy surrounding the ownership of
such houses, although it is hoped that the laws requiring the name of
the owner and the agent of every multiple house to be posted in the
public hallway will at length break through this protection, and the
discovered landlords will then be obliged to pay the fine to which the
law specifically states they have made themselves liable. In the
meantime, women forced to find cheap rents are subjected to one more
handicap in addition to the many others poverty places upon them. Such
experiences may explain the fact that English figures show a very large
proportion of widows and deserted women among the prostitutes in those
large towns which maintain segregated districts.

The deprivation of a mother's care is most frequently experienced by the
children of the poorest colored families who are often forced to live in
disreputable neighborhoods because they literally cannot rent houses
anywhere else. Both because rents are always high for colored people and
because the colored mothers are obliged to support their children, seven
times as many of them, in proportion to their entire number, as of the
white mothers, the actual number of colored children neglected in the
midst of temptation is abnormally large. So closely is child life
founded upon the imitation of what it sees that the child who knows all
evil is almost sure in the end to share it. Colored children seldom roam
far from their own neighborhoods: in the public playgrounds, which are
theoretically open to them, they are made so uncomfortable by the
slights of other children that they learn to stay away, and, shut out
from legitimate recreation, are all the more tempted by the careless,
luxurious life of a vicious neighborhood. In addition to the colored
girls who have thus from childhood grown familiar with the outer aspects
of vice, are others who are sent into the district in the capacity of
domestic servants by unscrupulous employment agencies who would not
venture to thus treat a white girl. The community forces the very people
who have confessedly the shortest history of social restraint, into a
dangerous proximity with the vice districts of the city. This results,
as might easily be predicted, in a very large number of colored girls
entering a disreputable life. The negroes themselves believe that the
basic cause for the high percentage of colored prostitutes is the recent
enslavement of their race with its attendant unstable marriage and
parental status, and point to thousands of slave sales that but two
generations ago disrupted the negroes' attempts at family life. Knowing
this as we do, it seems all the more unjustifiable that the nation which
is responsible for the broken foundations of this family life should
carelessly permit the negroes, making their first struggle towards a
higher standard of domesticity, to be subjected to the most flagrant
temptations which our civilization tolerates.

The imaginations of even very young children may easily be forced into
sensual channels. A little girl, twelve years old, was one day brought
to the psychopathic clinic connected with the Chicago juvenile court.
She had been detained under police surveillance for more than a week,
while baffled detectives had in vain tried to verify the statements she
had made to her Sunday-school teacher in great detail of certain
horrible experiences which had befallen her. For at least a week no one
concerned had the remotest idea that the child was fabricating. The
police thought that she had merely grown confused as to the places to
which she had been "carried unconscious." The mother gave the first clue
when she insisted that the child had never been away from her long
enough to have had these experiences, but came directly home from school
every afternoon for her tea, of which she habitually drank ten or twelve
cups. The skilful questionings at the clinic, while clearly establishing
the fact of a disordered mind, disclosed an astonishing knowledge of the
habits of the underworld.

Even children who live in respectable neighborhoods and are guarded by
careful parents so that their imaginations are not perverted, but only
starved, constantly conduct a search for the magical and impossible
which leads them into moral dangers. An astonishing number of them
consult palmists, soothsayers, and fortune tellers. These dealers in
futurity, who sell only love and riches, the latter often dependent upon
the first, are sometimes in collusion with disreputable houses, and at
the best make the path of normal living more difficult for their eager
young patrons. There is something very pathetic in the sheepish, yet
radiant, faces of the boy and girl, often together, who come out on the
street from a dingy doorway which bears the palmist's sign of the
spread-out hand. This remnant of primitive magic is all they can find
with which to feed their eager imaginations, although the city offers
libraries and galleries, crowned with man's later imaginative
achievements. One hard-working girl of my acquaintance, told by a
palmist that "diamonds were coming to her soon," afterwards accepted
without a moment's hesitation a so-called diamond ring from a man whose
improper attentions she had hitherto withstood.

In addition to these heedless young people, pulled into a sordid and
vicious life through their very search for romance, are many little
children ensnared by means of the most innocent playthings and pleasures
of childhood. Perhaps one of the saddest aspects of the social evil as
it exists to-day in the modern city, is the procuring of little girls
who are too young to have received adequate instruction of any sort and
whose natural safeguard of modesty and reserve has been broken down by
the overcrowding of tenement house life. Any educator who has made a
careful study of the children from the crowded districts is impressed
with the numbers of them whose moral natures are apparently unawakened.
While there are comparatively few of these non-moral children in any one
neighborhood, in the entire city their number is far from negligible.
Such children are used by disreputable people to invite their more
normal playmates to house parties, which they attend again and again,
lured by candy and fruit, until they gradually learn to trust the
vicious hostess. The head of one such house, recently sent to the
penitentiary upon charges brought against her by the Juvenile Protective
Association, founded her large and successful business upon the
activities of three or four little girls who, although they had
gradually come to understand her purpose, were apparently so chained to
her by the goodies and favors which they received, that they were quite
indifferent to the fate of their little friends. Such children, when
brought to the psychopathic clinic attached to the Chicago juvenile
court, are sometimes found to have incipient epilepsy or other physical
disabilities from which their conduct may be at least partially
accounted for. Sometimes they come from respectable families, but more
often from families where they have been mistreated and where dissolute
parents have given them neither affection nor protection. Many of these
children whose relatives have obviously contributed to their delinquency
are helped by the enforcement of the adult delinquency law.

One looks upon these hardened little people with a sense of apology that
educational forces have not been able to break into their first
ignorance of life before it becomes toughened into insensibility, and
one knows that, whatever may be done for them later, because of this
early neglect, they will probably always remain impervious to the
gentler aspects of life, as if vice seared their tender minds with
red-hot irons. Our public-school education is so nearly universal, that
if the entire body of the teachers seriously undertook to instruct all
American youth in regard to this most important aspect of life, why
should they not in time train their pupils to continence and
self-direction, as they already discipline their minds with knowledge in
regard to many other matters? Certainly the extreme youth of the victims
of the white slave traffic, both boys and girls, places a great
responsibility upon the educational forces of the community.

The state which supports the public school is also coming to the rescue
of children through protective legislation. This is another illustration
that the beginnings of social advance have often resulted from the
efforts to defend the weakest and least-sheltered members of the
community. The widespread movement which would protect children from
premature labor, also prohibits them from engaging in occupations in
which they are subjected to moral dangers. Several American cities have
of late become much concerned over the temptations to which messenger
boys, delivery boys, and newsboys are constantly subjected when their
business takes them into vicious districts. The Chicago vice commission
makes a plea for these "children of the night" that they shall be
protected by law from those temptations which they are too young and too
untrained to withstand. New York and Wisconsin are the only states which
have raised the legal age of messenger boys employed late at night to
twenty-one years. Under the inadequate sixteen-year limit, which
regulates night work for children in Illinois, boys constantly come to
grief through their familiarity with the social evil. One of these, a
delicate boy of seventeen, had been put into the messenger service by
his parents when their family doctor had recommended out-of-door work.
Because he was well-bred and good-looking, he became especially popular
with the inmates of disreputable houses. They gave him tips of a dollar
and more when he returned from the errands which he had executed for
them, such as buying candy, cocaine or morphine. He was inevitably
flattered by their attentions and pleased with his own popularity.
Although his mother knew that his duties as a messenger boy occasionally
took him to disreputable houses, she fervently hoped his early training
might keep him straight, but in the end realized the foolhardiness of
subjecting an immature youth to these temptations. The vice commission
report gives various detailed instances of similar experiences on the
part of other lads, one of them being a high-school boy who was merely
earning extra money as a messenger boy during the rush of Christmas
week.

The regulations in Boston, New York, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and St. Louis
for the safeguarding of these children may be but a forecast of the care
which the city will at last learn to devise for youth under special
temptations. Because the various efforts made in Chicago to obtain
adequate legislation for the protection of street-trading children have
not succeeded, incidents like the following have not only occurred once,
but are constantly repeated: a pretty little girl, the only child of a
widowed mother, sold newspapers after school hours from the time she was
seven years old. Because her home was near a vicious neighborhood and
because the people in the disreputable hotels seldom asked for change
when they bought a paper and good-naturedly gave her many little
presents, her mother permitted her to gain a clientele within the
district on the ground that she was too young to understand what she
might see. This continued familiarity, in spite of her mother's
admonitions, not to talk to her customers, inevitably resulted in so
vitiating the standard of the growing girl, that at the age of fourteen
she became an inmate of one of the houses. A similar instance concerns
three little girls who habitually sold gum in one of the segregated
districts. Because they had repeatedly been turned away by kind-hearted
policemen who felt that they ought not to be in such a neighborhood,
each one of these children had obtained a special permit from the mayor
of the city in order to protect herself from "police interference."
While the mayor had no actual authority to issue such permits, naturally
the piece of paper bearing his name, when displayed by a child, checked
the activity of the police officer. The incident was but one more
example of the old conflict between mistaken kindness to the individual
child in need of money, and the enforcement of those regulations which
may seem to work a temporary hardship upon one child, but save a hundred
others from entering occupations which can only lead into blind alleys.
Because such occupations inevitably result in increasing the number of
unemployables, the educational system itself must be challenged.

A royal commission has recently recommended to the English Parliament
that "the legally permissible hours for the employment of boys be
shortened, that they be required to spend the hours so set free, in
physical and technological training, that the manufacturing of the
unemployable may cease." Certainly we are justified in demanding from
our educational system, that the interest and capacity of each child
leaving school to enter industry, shall have been studied with reference
to the type of work he is about to undertake. When vocational bureaus
are properly connected with all the public schools, a girl will have an
intelligent point of departure into her working life, and a place to
which she may turn in time of need, for help and advice through those
long and dangerous periods of unemployment which are now so inimical to
her character.

This same British commission divided all of the unemployed, the
under-employed, and the unemployable as the results of three types of
trades: first, the subsidized labor trades, wherein women and children
are paid wages insufficient to maintain them at the required standard of
health and industrial efficiency, so that their wages must be
supplemented by relatives or charity; second, labor deteriorating
trades, which have sapped the energy, the capacity, the character, of
workers; third, bare subsistence trades, where the worker is forced to
such a low level in his standard of life that he continually falls below
self-support. We have many trades of these three types in America, all
of them demanding the work of young and untrained girls. Yet, in spite
of the obvious dangers surrounding every girl who enters one of them,
little is done to guide the multitude of children who leave school
prematurely each year into reasonable occupations.

Unquestionably the average American child has received a more expensive
education than has yet been accorded to the child of any other nation.
The girls working in department stores have been in the public schools
on an average of eight years, while even the factory girls, who so often
leave school from the lower grades, have yet averaged six and two-tenths
years of education at the public expense, before they enter industrial
life. Certainly the community that has accomplished so much could afford
them help and oversight for six and a half years longer, which is the
average length of time that a working girl is employed. The state might
well undertake this, if only to secure its former investment and to save
that investment from utter loss.

Our generation, said to have developed a new enthusiasm for the
possibilities of child life, and to have put fresh meaning into the
phrase "children's rights," may at last have the courage to insist upon
a child's right to be well born and to start in life with its tiny body
free from disease. Certainly allied to this new understanding of child
life and a part of the same movement is the new science of eugenics with
its recently appointed university professors. Its organized societies
publish an ever-increasing mass of information as to that which
constitutes the inheritance of well-born children. When this new science
makes clear to the public that those diseases which are a direct outcome
of the social evil are clearly responsible for race deterioration,
effective indignation may at last be aroused, both against the
preventable infant mortality for which these diseases are responsible,
and against the ghastly fact that the survivors among these afflicted
children infect their contemporaries and hand on the evil heritage to
another generation. Public societies for the prevention of blindness are
continually distributing information on the care of new-born children
and may at length answer that old, confusing question "Did this man sin
or his parents, that he was born blind?" Such knowledge is becoming more
widespread every day and the rising interest in infant welfare must in
time react upon the very existence of the social-evil itself.

This new public concern for the welfare of little children in certain
American cities has resulted in a municipal milk supply; in many German
cities, in free hospitals and nurseries. New York, Chicago, Boston and
other large towns, employ hundreds of nurses each summer to instruct
tenement-house mothers upon the care of little children. Doubtless all
of this enthusiasm for the nurture of children will at last arouse
public opinion in regard to the transmission of that one type of disease
which thousands of them annually inherit, and which is directly
traceable to the vicious living of their parents or grandparents. This
slaughter of the innocents, this infliction of suffering upon the
new-born, is so gratuitous and so unfair, that it is only a question of
time until an outraged sense of justice shall be aroused on behalf of
these children. But even before help comes through chivalric sentiments,
governmental and municipal agencies will decline to spend the
tax-payers' money for the relief of suffering infants, when by the
exertion of the same authority they could easily provide against the
possibility of the birth of a child so afflicted. It is obvious that the
average tax-payer would be moved to demand the extermination of that
form of vice which has been declared illegal, although it still
flourishes by official connivance, did he once clearly apprehend that it
is responsible for the existence of these diseases which cost him so
dear. It is only his ignorance which makes him remain inert until each
victim of the white slave traffic shall be avenged unto the third and
fourth generation of them that bought her. It is quite possible that the
tax-payer will himself contend that, as the state does not legalize a
marriage without a license officially recorded, that the status of
children may be clearly defined, so the state would need to go but one
step further in the same direction, to insist upon health certificates
from the applicant for a marriage license, that the health of future
children might in a certain measure, be guaranteed. Whether or not this
step may be predicted, the mere discussion of this matter in itself, is
an indication of the changing public opinion, as is the fact that such
legislation has already been enacted in two states, which are only now
putting into action the recommendation made centuries ago by such social
philosophers as Plato and Sir Thomas More. A sense of justice outraged
by the wanton destruction of new-born children, may in time unite with
that ardent tide of rising enthusiasm for the nurture of the young,
until the old barriers of silence and inaction, behind which the social
evil has so long intrenched itself, shall at last give way.

Certainly it will soon be found that the sentiment of pity, so recently
aroused throughout the country on behalf of the victims of the white
slave traffic, will be totally unable to afford them protection unless
it becomes incorporated in government. It is possible that we are on the
eve of a series of legislative enactments similar to those which
resulted from the attempts to regulate child labor. Through the entire
course of the last century, in that anticipation of coming changes which
does so much to bring changes about, the friends of the children were
steadily engaged in making a new state, from the first child labor law
passed in the English parliament in 1803 to the final passage of the
so-called children's charter in 1909. During the long century of
transforming pity into political action there was created that social
sympathy which has become one of the greatest forces in modern
legislation, and to which we may confidently appeal in this new crusade
against the social evil.

Another point of similarity to the child labor movement is obvious, for
the friends of the children early found that they needed much
statistical information and that the great problem of the would-be
reformer is not so much overcoming actual opposition--the passing of
time gradually does that for him--as obtaining and formulating accurate
knowledge and fitting that knowledge into the trend of his time. From
this point of view and upon the basis of what has already been
accomplished for "the protection of minors," the many recent
investigations which have revealed the extreme youth of the victims of
the white slave traffic, should make legislation on their behalf all the
more feasible. Certainly no reformer could ever more legitimately make
an emotional appeal to the higher sensibility of the public.

In the rescue homes recently opened in Chicago by the White Slave
Traffic Committee of the League of Cook County Clubs, the tender ages of
the little girls who were brought there horrified the good clubwomen
more than any other aspect of the situation. A number of the little
inmates in the home wanted to play with dolls and several of them
brought dolls of their own, which they had kept with them through all
their vicissitudes. There is something literally heart-breaking in the
thought of these little children who are ensnared and debauched when
they are still young enough to have every right to protection and care.
Quite recently I visited a home for semi-delinquent girls against each
one of whom stood a grave charge involving the loss of her chastity.
Upon each of the little white beds or on one of the stiff chairs
standing by its side was a doll belonging to a delinquent owner still
young enough to love and cherish this supreme toy of childhood. I had
come to the home prepared to "lecture to the inmates." I remained to
dress dolls with a handful of little girls who eagerly asked questions
about the dolls I had once possessed in a childhood which seemed to them
so remote. Looking at the little victims who supply the white slave
trade, one is reminded of the burning words of Dr. Howard Kelly uttered
in response to the demand that the social evil be legalized and its
victims licensed. He says: "Where shall we look to recruit the
ever-failing ranks of these poor creatures as they die yearly by the
tens of thousands? Which of the little girls of our land shall we
designate for this traffic? Mark their sweet innocence to-day as they
run about in our streets and parks prattling and playing, ever busy
about nothing; which of them shall we snatch as they approach maturity,
to supply this foul mart?"

It is incomprehensible that a nation whose chief boast is its free
public education, that a people always ready to respond to any moral or
financial appeal made in the name of children, should permit this infamy
against childhood to continue! Only the protection of all children from
the menacing temptations which their youth is unable to withstand, will
prevent some of them from falling victims to the white slave traffic;
only when moral education is made effective and universal will there be
hope for the actual abolition of commercialized vice. These are
illustrations perhaps of that curious solidarity of which society is so
rapidly becoming conscious.



CHAPTER V

PHILANTHROPIC RESCUE AND PREVENTION


There is no doubt that philanthropy often reflects and dramatizes the
modern sensitiveness of the community in relation to a social wrong,
because those engaged in the rescue of the victims are able to
apprehend, through their daily experiences, many aspects of a recognized
evil concerning which the public are ignorant and therefore indifferent.
However ancient a wrong may be, in each generation it must become newly
embodied in living people and the social custom into which it has
hardened through the years, must be continued in individual lives.
Unless the contemporaries of such unhappy individuals are touched to
tenderness or stirred to indignation by the actual embodiments of the
old wrong in their own generation, effective action cannot be secured.

The social evil has, on the whole, received less philanthropic effort
than any other well-recognized menace to the community, largely because
there is something peculiarly distasteful and distressing in personal
acquaintance with its victims; a distaste and distress that sometimes
leads to actual nervous collapse. A distinguished Englishman has
recently written "that sober-minded people who, from motives of pity,
have looked the hideous evil full in the face, have often asserted that
nothing in their experience has seemed to threaten them so nearly with a
loss of reason."

Nevertheless, this comparative lack of philanthropic effort is the more
remarkable because the average age of the recruits to prostitution is
between sixteen and eighteen years, the age at which girls are still
minors under the law in respect to all matters of property. We allow a
minor to determine for herself whether or not she will live this most
abominable life, although if she resolve to be a thief she will, if
possible, be apprehended and imprisoned; if she become a vagrant she
will be restrained; even if she become a professional beggar, she will
be interfered with; but the decision to lead this evil life, disastrous
alike to herself and the community, although well known to the police,
is openly permitted. If a man has seized upon a moment of weakness in a
girl and obtained her consent, although she may thereafter be in dire
need of help she is put outside all protection of the law. The courts
assume that such a girl has deliberately decided for herself and that
because she is not "of previous chaste life and character," she is lost
to all decency. Yet every human being knows deep down in his heart that
his own moral energy ebbs and flows, that he could not be judged fairly
by his hours of defeat, and that after revealing moments of weakness,
although shocked and frightened, he is the same human being, struggling
as he did before. Nevertheless in some states, a little girl as young as
ten years of age may make this irrevocable decision for herself.

Modern philanthropy, continually discovering new aspects of prostitution
through the aid of economics, sanitary science, statistical research,
and many other agencies, finds that this increase of knowledge
inevitably leads it from the attempt to rescue the victims of white
slavery to a consideration of the abolition of the monstrous wrong
itself. At the present moment philanthropy is gradually impelled to a
consideration of prostitution in relation to the welfare and the orderly
existence of society itself. If the moral fire seems at times to be
dying out of certain good old words, such as charity, it is filling with
new warmth such words as social justice, which belong distinctively to
our own time. It is also true that those for whom these words contain
most of hope and warmth are those who have been long mindful of the old
tasks and obligations, as if the great basic emotion of human compassion
had more than held its own. Certainly the youth of many of the victims
of the white slave traffic, and the helplessness of the older girls who
find themselves caught in the grip of an enormous force which they
cannot comprehend, make a most pitiful appeal. Philanthropy moreover
discovers many young girls, who if they had not been rescued by
protective agencies would have become permanent outcasts, although they
would have entered a disreputable life through no fault of their own.

The illustrations in this chapter are all taken from the Juvenile
Protective Association of Chicago in connection with its efforts to save
girls from overwhelming temptation. Doubtless many other associations
could offer equally convincing testimony, for in recent years the number
of people to whom the very existence of the white slave traffic has
become unendurable and who are determinedly working against it, has
enormously increased.

A surprising number of country girls have been either brought to Chicago
under false pretences, or have been decoyed into an evil life very soon
after their arrival in the city. Mr. Clifford Roe estimates that more
than half of the girls who have been recruited into a disreputable life
in Chicago have come from the farms and smaller towns in Illinois and
from neighboring states. This estimate is borne out by the records of
Paris and other metropolitan cities in which it is universally estimated
that a little less than one-third of the prostitutes found in them, at
any given moment, are city born.

The experience of a pretty girl who came to the office of the Juvenile
Protective Association, a year ago, is fairly typical of the argument
many of these country girls offer in their own defense. This girl had
been a hotel chambermaid in an Iowa town where many of the traveling
patrons of the hotel had made love to her, one of them occasionally
offering her protection if she would leave with him. At first she
indignantly refused, but was at length convinced that the acceptance of
such offers must be a very general practice and that, whatever might be
the custom in the country, no one in a city made personal inquiries. She
finally consented to accompany a young man to Seattle, both because she
wanted to travel and because she was discouraged in her attempts to "be
good." A few weeks later, when in Chicago, she had left the young man,
acting from what she considered a point of honor, as his invitation had
been limited to the journey which was now completed. Feeling too
disgraced to go home and under the glamour of the life of idleness she
had been leading, she had gone voluntarily into a disreputable house, in
which the police had found her and sent her to the Association. She
could not be persuaded to give up her plan, but consented to wait for a
few days to "think it over." As she was leaving the office in company
with a representative of the Association, they met the young man, who
had been distractedly searching for her and had just discovered her
whereabouts. She was married the very same day and of course the
Association never saw her again.

From the point of view of the traffickers in white slaves, it is much
cheaper and safer to procure country girls after they have reached the
city. Such girls are in constant danger because they are much more
easily secreted than girls procured from the city. A country girl
entering a vicious life quickly feels the disgrace and soon becomes too
broken-spirited and discouraged to make any effort to escape into the
unknown city which she believes to be full of horrors similar to those
she has already encountered. She desires above all things to deceive her
family at home, often sending money to them regularly and writing
letters describing a fictitious life of hard work. Perhaps the most
flagrant case with which the Association ever dealt, was that of two
young girls who had come to Chicago from a village in West Virginia,
hoping to earn large wages in order to help their families. They arrived
in the city penniless, having been robbed en route of their one slender
purse. As they stood in the railway station, utterly bewildered, they
were accosted by a young man who presented the advertising card of a
boarding-house and offered to take them there. They quite innocently
accepted his invitation, but an hour later, finding themselves in a
locked room, they became frightened and realized they had been duped.
Fortunately the two agile country girls had no difficulty in jumping
from a second-story window, but upon the street they were of course much
too frightened to speak to anyone again and wandered about for hours.
The house from which they had escaped bore the sign "rooms to rent," and
they therefore carefully avoided all houses whose placards offered
shelter. Finally, when they were desperate with hunger, they went into a
saloon for a "free lunch," not in the least realizing that they were
expected to take a drink in order to receive it. A policeman, seeing two
young girls in a saloon "without escort," arrested them and took them to
the nearest station where they spent the night in a wretched cell.

At the hearing the next morning, where, much frightened, they gave a
very incoherent account of their adventures, the judge fined them each
fifteen dollars and costs, and as they were unable to pay the fine, they
were ordered sent to the city prison. When they were escorted from the
court room, another man approached them and offered to pay their fines
if they would go with him. Frightened by their former experience, they
stoutly declined his help, but were over-persuaded by his graphic
portrayal of prison horrors and the disgrace that their imprisonment
would bring upon "the folks at home." He also made clear that when they
came out of prison, thirty days later, they would be no better off than
they were now, save that they would have the added stigma of being
jail-birds. The girls at last reluctantly consented to go with him, when
a representative of the Juvenile Protective Association, who had
followed them from the court room and had listened to the conversation,
insisted upon the prompt arrest of the white slave trader. When the
entire story, finally secured from the girls, was related to the judge,
he reversed his decision, fined the man $100.00, which he was abundantly
able to pay, and insisted that the girls be sent back to their mothers
in Virginia. They were farmers' daughters, strong and capable of taking
care of themselves in an environment that they understood, but in
constant danger because of their ignorance of city life.

The methods employed to secure city girls must be much more subtle and
complicated than those employed with the less sophisticated country
girl. Although the city girl, once procured, is later allowed more
freedom than is accorded either to a country girl or to an immigrant
girl, every effort is made to demoralize her completely before she
enters the life. Because she may, at any moment, escape into the city
which she knows so well, it is necessary to obtain her inner consent.
Those whose profession it is to procure girls for the white slave trade
apparently find it possible to decoy and demoralize most easily that
city girl whose need for recreation has led her to the disreputable
public dance hall or other questionable places of amusement.

Gradually those philanthropic agencies that are endeavoring to be of
service to the girls learn to know the dangers in these places. Many
parents are utterly indifferent or ignorant of the pleasures that their
children find for themselves. From the time these children were five
years old, such parents were accustomed to see them take care of
themselves on the street and at school, and it seems but natural that
when the children are old enough to earn money, they should be able to
find their own amusements.

The girls are attracted to the unregulated dance halls not only by a
love of pleasure but by a sense of adventure, and it is in these places
that they are most easily recruited for a vicious life. Unfortunately
there are three hundred and twenty-eight public dance halls in Chicago,
one hundred and ninety of them connect directly with saloons, while
liquor is openly sold in most of the others. This consumption of liquor
enormously increases the danger to young people. A girl after a long
day's work is easily induced to believe that a drink will dispel her
lassitude. There is plenty of time between the dances to persuade her,
as the intermissions are long, fifteen to twenty minutes, and the dances
short, occupying but four or five minutes; moreover the halls are hot
and dusty and it is almost impossible to obtain a drink of water. Often
the entire purpose of the dance hall, with its carefully arranged
intermissions, is the selling of liquor to the people it has brought
together. After the girl has begun to drink, the way of the procurer,
who is often in league with the "spieler" who frequents the dance hall,
is comparatively easy. He assumes one of two rôles, that of the
sympathetic older man or that of the eager young lover. In the character
of the former, he tells "the down-trodden working girl" that her wages
are a mere pittance and that he can procure a better place for her with
higher wages if she will trust him. He often makes allusions to the
shabbiness or cheapness of her clothing and considers it "a shame that
such a pretty girl cannot dress better." In the second rôle he
apparently falls in love with her, tells of his rich parents,
complaining that they want him to marry, "a society swell," but that he
really prefers a working girl like herself. In either case he
establishes friendly relations, exalted in the girl's mind, through the
excitement of the liquor and the dance, into a new sense of intimate
understanding and protection.

Later in the evening, she leaves the hall with him for a restaurant
because, as he truthfully says, she is exhausted and in need of food. At
the supper, however, she drinks much more, and it is not surprising that
she is at last persuaded that it is too late to go home and in the end
consents to spend the rest of the night in a nearby lodging house. Six
young girls, each accompanied by a "spieler" from a dance hall, were
recently followed to a chop suey restaurant and then to a lodging-house,
which the police were instigated to raid and where the six girls, more
or less intoxicated, were found. If no one rescues the girl after such
an experience, she sometimes does not return home at all, or if she
does, feels herself initiated into a new world where it is possible to
obtain money at will, to easily secure the pleasures it brings, and she
comes at length to consider herself superior to her less sophisticated
companions. Of course this latter state of mind is untenable for any
length of time and the girl is soon found openly leading a disreputable
life.

The girls attending the cheap theatres and the vaudeville shows are most
commonly approached through their vanity. They readily listen to the
triumphs of a stage career, sure to be attained by such a "good looker,"
and a large number of them follow a young man to the woman with whom he
is in partnership, under the promise of being introduced to a theatrical
manager. There are also theatrical agencies in league with disreputable
places, who advertise for pretty girls, promising large salaries. Such
an agency operating with a well-known "near theatre" in the state
capital was recently prosecuted in Chicago and its license revoked. In
this connection the experience of two young English girls is not
unusual. They were sisters possessed of an extraordinary skill in
juggling, who were brought to this country by a relative acting as their
manager. Although he exploited them for his own benefit for three years,
paying them the most meager salaries and supplying them with the
simplest living in the towns which they "toured," he had protected them
from all immorality, and they had preserved the clean living of the
family of acrobats to which they belonged. Last October, when appearing
in San Francisco, the girls, then sixteen and seventeen years of age,
demanded more pay than the dollar and twenty cents a week each had been
receiving, representing the five shillings with which they had started
from home. The manager, who had become discouraged with his American
experience, refused to accede to their demands, gave them each a ticket
for Chicago, and heartlessly turned them adrift. Arriving in the city,
they quite naturally at once applied to a theatrical agency, through
which they were sent to a disreputable house where a vaudeville program
was given each night. Delighted that they had found work so quickly,
they took the position in good faith. During the very first performance,
however, they became frightened by the conduct of the girls who preceded
them on the program and by the hilarity of the audience. They managed to
escape from the dressing-room, where they were waiting their turn, and
on the street appealed to the first policeman, who brought them to the
Juvenile Protective Association. They were detained for several days as
witnesses against the theatrical agency, entering into the legal
prosecution with that characteristic British spirit which is ever ready
to protest against an imposition, before they left the city with a
travelling company, each on a weekly salary of twenty dollars.

The methods pursued on excursion boats are similar to those of the dance
halls, in that decent girls are induced to drink quantities of liquor to
which they are unaccustomed. On the high seas, liquor is sold usually in
original packages, which enormously increases the amount consumed. It is
not unusual to see a boy and girl drinking between them an entire bottle
of whiskey. Some of these excursion boats carry five thousand people and
in the easy breakdown of propriety which holiday-making often implies,
and the absence of police, to which city young people are unaccustomed,
the utmost freedom and license is often indulged in. Thus the lake
excursions, one of the most delightful possibilities for recreation in
Chicago, through lack of proper policing and through the sale of liquor,
are made a menace to thousands of young people to whom they should be a
great resource.

When a philanthropic association, with a knowledge of the commercial
exploitation of youth's natural response to gay surroundings, attempts
to substitute innocent recreation, it finds the undertaking most
difficult. In Chicago the Juvenile Protective Association, after a
thorough investigation of public dance halls, amusement parks, five-cent
theatres, and excursion boats, is insisting upon more vigorous
enforcement of the existing legislation, and is also urging further
legal regulation; Kansas City has instituted a Department of Public
Welfare with power to regulate places of amusement; a New York committee
has established model dance halls; Milwaukee is urging the appointment
of commissions on public recreation, while New York and Columbus have
already created them.

Perhaps nothing in actual operation is more valuable than the small
parks of Chicago in which the large halls are used every evening for
dancing and where outdoor sports, swimming pools and gymnasiums daily
attract thousands of young people. Unless cities make some such
provision for their youth, those who sell the facilities for amusement
in order to make a profit will continue to exploit the normal desire of
all young people for recreation and pleasure. The city of Chicago
contains at present eight hundred and fourteen thousand minors, all
eager for pleasure. It is not surprising that commercial enterprise
undertakes to supply this demand and that penny arcades, slot machines,
candy stores, ice-cream parlors, moving-picture shows, skating rinks,
cheap theatres and dance halls are trying to attract young people with
every device known to modern advertising. Their promoters are, of
course, careless of the moral effect upon their young customers if they
can but secure their money. Until municipal provisions adequately meet
this need, philanthropic and social organizations must be committed to
the establishment of more adequate recreational facilities.

Although many dangers are encountered by the pleasure-loving girl who
demands that each evening shall bring her some measure of recreation, a
large number of girls meet with difficulties and temptations while
soberly at work. Many of these tempted girls are newly-arrived immigrant
girls between the ages of sixteen and twenty, who find their first work
in hotels. Polish girls especially are utilized in hotel kitchens and
laundries, and for the interminable scrubbing of halls and lobbies where
a knowledge of the English language is not necessary, but where their
peasant strength is in demand. The work is very heavy and fatiguing and
until the Illinois law limited the work of women to ten hours a day, it
often lasted late into the night. Even now the girls report themselves
so tired that at the end of the day, they crowd into the dormitories and
fall upon their beds undressed. When food and shelter is given them,
their wages are from $14.00 to $18.00 a month, most of which is usually
sent back to the old country, that the remaining members of the family
may be brought to America. Such positions are surrounded by temptations
of every sort. Even the hotel housekeepers, who are honestly trying to
protect the girls, admit that it is impossible to do it adequately. One
of these housekeepers recently said "that it takes a girl who knows the
world to work in any hotel," and regretted that the sophisticated
English-speaking girl who might protect herself, was unable to endure
the hard work. She added that as soon as a girl learned English she
promoted her from the laundry to the halls and from there to the
position of chambermaid, but that the latter position was the most
dangerous of all, as the girls were constantly exposed to insults from
the guests. In the less respectable hotels these newly-arrived immigrant
girls, inevitably seeing a great deal of the life of the underworld and
the apparent ease with which money may be earned in illicit ways, find
their first impression of the moral standards of life in America most
bewildering. One young Polish girl had worked for two years in a
down-town hotel, and had steadfastly resisted all improper advances even
sometimes by the aid of her own powerful fist. She yielded at last to
the suggestions of the life about her when she received a telegram from
Ellis Island stating that her mother had arrived in New York, but was
too ill to be sent on to Chicago. All of her money had gone for the
steamer ticket and as the thought of her old country mother, ill and
alone among strangers, was too much for her long fortitude, she made the
best bargain possible with the head waiter whose importunities she had
hitherto resisted, accepted the little purse the other Polish girls in
the hotel collected for her and arrived in New York only to find that
her mother had died the night before.

The simple obedience to parents on the part of these immigrant girls,
working in hotels and restaurants, often miscarries pathetically. Their
unspoiled human nature, not yet immune to the poisons of city life, when
thrust into the midst of that unrelieved drudgery which lies at the
foundation of all complex luxury, often results in the most fatal
reactions. A young German woman, the proprietor of what is considered a
successful "house" in the most notorious district in Chicago, traces her
career directly to a desperate attempt to conform to the standard of
"bringing home good wages" maintained by her numerous brothers and
sisters. One requirement of her home was rigid: all money earned by a
child must be paid into the family income until "legal age" was
attained. The slightly neurotic, very pretty girl of seventeen heartily
detested the dish-washing in a restaurant, which constituted her first
place in America, and quite honestly declared that the heavy lifting was
beyond her strength. Such insubordination was not tolerated at home, and
every Saturday night when her meager wages, reduced by sick days "off,"
were compared with what the others brought in, she was regularly
scolded, "sometimes slapped," by her parents, jeered at by her more
vigorous sisters and bullied by her brothers. She tried to shorten her
hours by doing "rush-work" as a waitress at noon, but she found this
still beyond her strength, and worst of all, the pay of two dollars and
a half insufficient to satisfy her mother. Confiding her troubles to the
other waitresses, one of them good-naturedly told her how she could make
money through appointments in a nearby disreputable hotel, and so take
home an increased amount of money easily called "a raise in wages." So
strong was the habit of obedience, that the girl continued to take money
home every Saturday night until her eighteenth birthday, in spite of the
fact that she gave up the restaurant in less than six weeks after her
first experience. Although all of this happened ten years ago and the
German mother is long since dead, the daughter bitterly ended the story
with the infamous hope that "the old lady was now suffering the torments
of the lost, for making me what I am." Such a girl was subjected to
temptations to which society has no right to expose her.

A dangerous cynicism regarding the value of virtue, a cynicism never so
unlovely as in the young, sometimes seizes a girl who, because of long
hours and overwork, has been unable to preserve either her health or
spirits and has lost all measure of joy in life. That this premature
cynicism may be traced to an unhappy and narrow childhood is suggested
by the fact that a large number of these girls come from families in
which there has been little affection and the poor substitute of
parental tyranny.

A young Italian girl who earned four dollars a week in a tailor shop
pulling out hastings, when asked why she wore a heavy woolen gown on one
of the hottest days of last summer, replied that she was obliged to earn
money for her clothes by scrubbing for the neighbors after hours; that
she had found no such work lately and that her father would not allow
her anything from her wages for clothes or for carfare, because he was
buying a house.

This parental control sometimes exercised in order to secure all of a
daughter's wages, is often established with the best intentions in the
world. I recall a French dressmaker who had frugally supported her two
daughters until they were of working age, when she quite naturally
expected them to conform to the careful habits of living necessary
during her narrow years. In order to save carfare, she required her
daughters to walk a long distance to the department store in which one
was a bundle wrapper and the other a clerk at the ribbon counter. They
dressed in black as being the most economical color and a penny spent in
pleasure was never permitted. One day a young man who was buying ribbon
from the older girl gave her a yard with the remark that she was much
too young and pretty to be so somberly dressed. She wore the ribbon at
work, never of course at home, but it opened a vista of delightful
possibilities and she eagerly accepted a pair of gloves the following
week from the same young man, who afterwards asked her to dine with him.
This was the beginning of a winter of surreptitious pleasures on the
part of the two sisters. They were shrewd enough never to be out later
than ten o'clock and always brought home so-called overtime pay to their
mother. In the spring the older girl, finding herself worn out by her
dissipation and having resolved to cut loose from her home, came to the
office of the Juvenile Protective Association to ask help for her
younger sister. It was discovered that the mother was totally ignorant
of the semi-professional life her daughters had been leading. She
reiterated over and over again that she had always guarded them
carefully and had given them no money to spend. It took months of
constant visiting on the part of a representative of the Association
before she was finally persuaded to treat the younger girl more
generously.

While this family is fairly typical of those in which over-restraint is
due to the lack of understanding, it is true that in most cases the
family tyranny is exercised by an old-country father in an honest
attempt to guard his daughter against the dangers of a new world. The
worst instances, however, are those in which the father has fallen into
the evil ways of drink, and not only demands all of his daughter's
wages, but treats her with great brutality when those wages fall below
his expectations. Many such daughters have come to grief because they
have been afraid to go home at night when their wage envelopes contained
less than usual, either because a new system of piece work had reduced
the amount or because, in a moment of weakness, they had taken out five
cents with which to attend a show, or ten cents for the much-desired
pleasure of riding back and forth the full length of an elevated
railroad, or because they had in a thirsty moment taken out a nickel for
a drink of soda water, or worst of all, had fallen a victim to the
installment plan of buying a new hat or a pair of shoes. These girls, in
their fear of beatings and scoldings, although they are sure of shelter
and food and often have a mother who is trying to protect them from
domestic storms, have almost no money for clothing, and are inevitably
subject to moments of sheer revolt, their rebellion intensified by the
fact that after a girl earns her own money and is accustomed to come and
go upon the streets as an independent wage earner, she finds
unsympathetic control much harder to bear than do schoolgirls of the
same age who have never broken the habits of their childhood and are
still economically dependent upon their parents.

In spite of the fact that domestic service is always suggested by the
average woman as an alternative for the working girl whose life is beset
with danger, the federal report on "Women and Child Wage Earners in the
United States" gives the occupation of the majority of girls who go
wrong as that of domestic service, and in this it confirms the
experience of every matron in a rescue home and the statistics in the
maternity wards of the public hospitals. The report suggests that the
danger comes from the general conditions of work: "These general
conditions are the loneliness of the life, the lack of opportunities for
making friends and securing recreation and amusement in safe
surroundings, the monotonous and uninteresting nature of the work done
as these untrained girls do it, the lack of external stimulus to pride
and self-respect, and the absolutely unguarded state of the girl, except
when directly under the eye of her mistress."

In addition to these reasons, the girls realize that the opportunities
for marriage are less in domestic service than in other occupations, and
after all, the great business of youth is securing a mate, as the young
instinctively understand. Unlike the working girl who lives at home and
constantly meets young men of her own neighborhood and factory life, the
girl in domestic service is brought into contact with very few possible
lovers. Even the men of her former acquaintance, however slightly
Americanized, do not like to call on a girl in someone else's kitchen,
and find the entire situation embarrassing. The girl's mistress knows
that for her own daughters mutual interests and recreation are the
natural foundations for friendship with young men, which may or may not
lead to marriage, but which is the prerogative of every young girl. The
mistress does not, however, apply this worldly wisdom to the maid in her
service, only eighteen or nineteen years old, utterly dependent upon her
for social life save during one afternoon and evening a week.

The majority of domestics are employed in families where there is only
one, and the tired and dispirited girl, often without a taste for
reading, spends many lonely hours. That most fundamental and powerful of
all instincts has therefore no chance for diffusion or social expression
and like all confined forces, tends to degenerate. The girl is equipped
with no weapon with which to contend with those poisonous images which
arise from the senses, and these images, bred of fatigue and loneliness,
make a girl an easy victim. This is especially true of the colored girl,
who because of her traditions, is often treated with so little respect
by white men, that she is constantly subjected to insult. Even the
colored servants in the New York apartment houses, who live at home and
thus avoid this loneliness, because their hours extend until nine in the
evening, are obliged to seek their pleasures late into the night.
American cities offer occupation to more colored women than colored men
and this surplus of women, in some cities as large as one hundred and
thirty or forty women to one hundred men, affords an opportunity to the
procurer which he quickly seizes. He is often in league with certain
employment bureaus, who make a business of advancing the railroad or
boat fare to colored girls coming from the South to enter into domestic
service. The girl, in debt and unused to the city, is often put into a
questionable house and kept there until her debt is paid many times
over. In some respects her position is not unlike that of the imported
white slave, for although she has the inestimable advantage of speaking
the language, she finds it even more difficult to have her story
credited. This contemptuous attitude places her at a disadvantage, for
so universally are colored girls in domestic service suspected of
blackmail that the average court is slow to credit their testimony when
it is given against white men. The field of employment for colored girls
is extremely limited. They are seldom found in factories and workshops.
They are not wanted in department stores nor even as waitresses in
hotels. The majority of them therefore are engaged in domestic service
and often find the position of maid in a house of prostitution or of
chambermaid in a disreputable hotel, the best-paying position open to
them.

When a girl who has been in domestic service loses her health, or for
any other reason is unable to carry on her occupation, she is often
curiously detached and isolated, because she has had so little
opportunity for normal social relationships and friendships. One of the
saddest cases ever brought to my personal knowledge was that of an
orphan Norwegian girl who, coming to America at the age of seventeen,
had been for three years in one position as general housemaid, during
which time she had drawn only such part of her wages as was necessary
for her simple clothing. At the end of three years, when she was sent to
a public hospital with nervous prostration, her employer refused to pay
her accumulated wages, on the ground that owing to her ill health she
had been of little use during the last year. When she left the hospital,
practically penniless, advised by the physician to find some outdoor
work, she sold a patented egg-beater for six months, scarcely earning
enough for her barest necessities and in constant dread lest she could
not "keep respectable." When she was found wandering upon the street she
not only had no capital with which to renew her stock, but had been
without food for two days and had resolved to drown herself. Every
effort was made to restore the half-crazed girl, but unfortunately
hospital restraint was not considered necessary, and a month later, in
spite of the vigilance of her new employer, her body was taken from the
lake. One more of those gentle spirits who had found the problem of life
insoluble, had sought refuge in death.

A surprising number of suicides occur among girls who have been in
domestic service, when they discover that they have been betrayed by
their lovers. Perhaps nothing is more astonishing than the attitude of
the mistress when the situation of such a forlorn girl is discovered,
and it would be interesting to know how far this attitude has influenced
these girls either to suicide or to their reckless choice of a
disreputable life, which statistics show so many of their number have
elected. The mistress almost invariably promptly dismisses such a girl,
assuring her that she is disgraced forever and too polluted to remain
for another hour in a good home. In full command of the situation, she
usually succeeds in convincing the wretched girl that she is irreparably
ruined. Her very phraseology, although unknown to herself, is a remnant
of that earlier historic period when every woman was obliged in her own
person to protect her home and to secure the status of her children. The
indignant woman is trying to exercise alone that social restraint which
should have been exercised by the community and which would have
naturally protected the girl, if she had not been so withdrawn from it,
in order to serve exclusively the interests of her mistress's family.
Such a woman seldom follows the ruined girl through the dreary weeks
after her dismissal; her difficulty in finding any sort of work, the
ostracism of her former friends added to her own self-accusation, the
poverty and loneliness, the final ten days in the hospital, and the
great temptation which comes after that, to give away her child. The
baby farmer who haunts the public hospitals for such cases tells her
that upon the payment of forty or fifty dollars, he will take care of
the child for a year and that "maybe it won't live any longer than
that," and unless the hospital is equipped with a social service
department, such as the one at the Massachusetts General, the girl
leaves it weak and low-spirited and too broken to care what becomes of
her. It is in moments such as these that many a poor girl, convinced
that all the world is against her, decides to enter a disreputable
house. Here at least she will find food and shelter, she will not be
despised by the other inmates and she can earn money for the support of
her child. Often she has received the address of such a house from one
of her companions in the maternity ward where, among the fifty per cent,
of the unmarried mothers, at least two or three sophisticated girls are
always to be found, eager to "put wise" the girls who are merely
unfortunate. Occasionally a girl who follows such baneful advice still
insists upon keeping her child. I recall a pathetic case in the juvenile
court of Chicago when such a mother of a five-year-old child was
pronounced by the judge to be an "improper guardian." The agonized woman
was told that she might retain her child if she would completely change
her way of life; but she insisted that such a requirement was
impossible, that she had no other means of earning her living, and that
she had become too idle and broken for regular work. The child clung
piteously to the mother, and, having gathered from the evidence that she
was considered "bad," assured the judge over and over again that she was
"the bestest mother in the world." The poor mother, who had begun her
wretched mode of life for her child's sake, found herself so demoralized
by her hideous experiences that she could not leave the life, even for
the sake of the same child, still her most precious possession. Only six
years before, this mother had been an honest girl cheerfully working in
the household of a good woman, whose sense of duty had expressed itself
in dismissing "the outcast."

These discouraged girls, who so often come from domestic service to
supply the vice demands of the city, are really the last representatives
of those thousands of betrayed girls who for many years met the entire
demand of the trade; for, while a procurer of some sort has performed
his office for centuries, only in the last fifty years has the white
slave market required the services of extended business enterprises in
order to keep up the supply. Previously the demand had been largely met
by the girls who had voluntarily entered a disreputable life because
they had been betrayed. While the white slave traffic was organized
primarily for profit it could of course never have flourished unless
there had been a dearth of these discouraged girls. Is it not also
significant that the surviving representatives of the girls who formerly
supplied the demand are drawn most largely from the one occupation which
is farthest from the modern ideal of social freedom and self-direction?
Domestic service represents, in the modern world, more nearly than any
other of the gainful occupations open to women, the ancient labor
conditions under which woman's standard of chastity was developed and
for so long maintained. It would seem obvious that both the girl
over-restrained at home, as well as the girl in domestic service, had
been too much withdrawn from the healthy influence of public opinion,
and it is at least significant that domestic control has so broken down
that the girls most completely under its rule are shown to be those in
the greatest danger. Such a statement undoubtedly needs the modification
that the girls in domestic service are frequently those who are
unadapted to skilled labor and are least capable of taking care of
themselves, yet the fact remains that they are belated morally as well
as industrially. As they have missed the industrial discipline that
comes from regular hours of systematized work, so they have missed the
moral training of group solidarity, the ideals and restraints which the
friendships and companionships of other working girls would have brought
them.

When the judgment of her peers becomes not less firm but more kindly,
the self-supporting girl will have a safeguard and restraint many times
more effective than the individual control which has become so
inadequate, or the family discipline that, with the best intentions in
the world, cannot cope with existing social conditions.

The most perplexing case that comes before the philanthropic
organizations trying to aid and rescue the victims of the white slave
traffic, is of the type which involves a girl who has been secured by
the trafficker when so lonely, detached and discouraged that she
greedily seized whatever friendship was offered her. Such a girl has
been so eager for affection that she clings to even the wretched
simulacrum of it, afforded by the man who calls himself her "protector,"
and she can only be permanently detached from the life to which he holds
her, when she is put under the influence of more genuine affections and
interests. That is doubtless one reason it is always more possible to
help the girl who has become the mother of a child. Although she
unjustly faces a public opinion much more severe than that encountered
by the childless woman who also endeavors to "reform," the mother's
sheer affection and maternal absorption enables her to overcome the
greater difficulties more easily than the other woman, without the new
warmth of motive, overcomes the lesser ones. The Salvation Army in their
rescue homes have long recognized this need for an absorbing interest,
which should involve the Magdalen's deepest affections and emotions, and
therefore often utilize the rescued girl to save others.

Certainly no philanthropic association, however rationalistic and
suspicious of emotional appeal, can hope to help a girl once overwhelmed
by desperate temptation, unless it is able to pull her back into the
stream of kindly human fellowship and into a life involving normal human
relations. Such an association must needs remember those wise words of
Count Tolstoy: "We constantly think that there are circumstances in
which a human being can be treated without affection, and there are no
such circumstances."



CHAPTER VI

INCREASED SOCIAL CONTROL


When certain groups in a community, to whom a social wrong has become
intolerable, prepare for definite action against it, they almost
invariably discover unexpected help from contemporaneous social
movements with which they later find themselves allied. The most
immediate help in this new campaign against the social evil will
probably come thus indirectly from those streams of humanitarian effort
which are ever widening and which will in time slowly engulf into their
rising tide of enthusiasm for human betterment, even the victims of the
white slave traffic.

Foremost among them is the world-wide movement to preserve and prolong
the term of human life, coupled with the determination on the part of
the medical profession to eliminate all forms of germ diseases. The same
physicians and sanitarians who have practically rid the modern city of
small-pox and cholera and are eliminating tuberculosis, well know that
the social evil is directly responsible for germ diseases more prevalent
than any of the others, and also communicable. Over and over again in
the history of large cities, Vienna, Paris, St. Louis, the medical
profession has been urged to control the diseases resulting from the
commercialized vice which the municipal authorities themselves
permitted. But the experiments in segregation, in licensed systems, and
certification have not been considered successful. The medical
profession, hitherto divided in opinion as to the feasibility of such
undertakings, is virtually united in the conclusion that so long as
commercialized vice exists, physicians cannot guarantee a city against
the spread of the contagious poison generated by it, which is fatal
alike to the individual and to his offspring. The medical profession
agrees that, as the victims of the social evil inevitably become the
purveyors of germ diseases of a very persistent and incurable type,
safety in this regard lies only in the extinction of commercialized
vice. They point out the indirect ways in which this contagion can
spread exactly as any other can, but insist that its control is
enormously complicated by the fact that the victims of these diseases
are most unwilling to be designated and quarantined. The medical
profession is at last taking the position that the community wishing to
protect itself against this contagion will in the end be driven to the
extermination of the very source itself. A well-known authority states
the one breeding-place of these disease germs, without exception, is the
social institution designated as prostitution, but, once bred and
cultivated there, they then spread through the community, attacking
alike both the innocent and the guilty.

We can imagine, after a dozen years of vigorous and able propaganda of
this opinion on the part of public-spirited physicians and sanitarians,
that a city might well appeal to the medical profession to exterminate
prostitution on the very ground that it is a source of constant danger
to the health and future of the community. Such a city might readily
give to the board of health ordered to undertake this extermination more
absolute authority than is now accorded to it in a small-pox epidemic.
Of course, no city could reach such a view unless the education of the
public proceeded much more rapidly than at present, although the
newly-established custom of careful medical examination of
school-children and of employees in factories and commercial
establishments must result in the discovery of many such cases, and in
the end adequate provision must be made for their isolation. A child was
recently discovered in a Chicago school with an open sore upon her lip,
which made her a most dangerous source of infection. She was just
fourteen years of age, too old to be admitted into that most pathetic
and most unlovely of all children's wards, where children must suffer
for "the sins of their fathers," and too young and innocent to be put
into the women's ward in which the public takes care of those wrecks of
dissolute living who are no longer valuable to the commerce which once
secured them, and have become merely worthless stock which pays no
dividend. The disease of the little girl was in too virulent a stage to
admit her to that convalescent home lately established in Chicago for
those infected children who are dismissed from the county hospital, but
whom it is impossible to return to their old surroundings. A
philanthropic association was finally obliged to pay her board for weeks
to a woman who carefully followed instructions as to her treatment. This
is but one example of a child who was discovered and provided for, but
it is evident that the public cannot long remain indifferent to the care
of such cases when it has already established the means for detecting
them. In twenty-seven months over six hundred children passed through
this most piteous children's ward in Chicago's public hospital. All but
twenty-nine of these children were under ten years of age, and doubtless
a number of them had been victims of that wretched tradition that a man
afflicted with this incurable disease might cure himself at the expense
of innocence.

Crusades against other infectious diseases, such as small-pox and
cholera, imply well-considered sanitary precautions, dependent upon
widespread education and an aroused public opinion. To establish such
education and to arouse the public in regard to this present menace
apparently presents insuperable difficulties. Many newspapers, so ready
to deal with all other forms of vice and misery, never allow these evils
to be mentioned in their columns except in the advertisements of quack
remedies; the clergy, unlike the founder of the Christian religion and
the early apostles, seldom preach against the sin of which these
contagions are an inevitable consequence: the physicians, bound by a
rigorous medical etiquette, tell nothing of the prevalence of these
maladies, use a confusing nomenclature in the hospitals, and write only
contributory causes upon the very death certificates of the victims.

Yet it is easy to predict that a society committed to the abolition of
infectious germs, to a higher degree of public health, and to a better
standard of sanitation will not forever permit these highly communicable
diseases to spread unchecked in its midst, and that a public, convinced
that sanitary science, properly supported, might rid our cities of this
type of disease, will at length insist upon its accomplishment. When we
consider the many things undertaken in the name of health and sanitation
it becomes easy to make the prediction, for public health is a magic
word which ever grows more potent, as society realizes that the very
existence of the modern city would be an impossibility had it not been
discovered that the health of the individual is largely controlled by
the hygienic condition of his surroundings. Since the first commission
to inquire into the conditions of great cities was appointed in
Manchester in 1844, sanitary science, both in knowledge and municipal
authority, has progressed until advocates of the most advanced measures
in city hygiene and preventive sanitary science boldly state that
neglected childhood and neglected disease are the most potent causes of
social insufficiency.

Certainly a plea could be made for the women and children who are often
the innocent victims of these diseases. Quite recently in Chicago there
was brought to my attention the incredibly pathetic plight of a widow
with four children who was in such constant fear of spreading the
infection for which her husband had been responsible, that she
touchingly offered to leave her children forevermore, if there was no
other way to save them from the horrible suffering she herself was
enduring. In spite of thousands of such cases Utah is the pioneer and
only state with a law which requires that this infection shall be
reported and controlled, as are other contagious maladies, and which
also authorizes boards of health to take adequate measures in order to
secure protection.

Another humanitarian movement from which assistance will doubtless come
to the crusade against the social evil, is the great movement against
alcoholism with its recent revival in every civilized country of the
world. A careful scientist has called alcohol the indispensable vehicle
of the business transacted by the white slave traders, and has asserted
that without its use this trade could not long continue. Whoever has
tried to help a girl making an effort to leave the irregular life she
has been leading, must have been discouraged by the victim's attempts to
overcome the habit of using alcohol and drugs. Such a girl has commonly
been drawn into the life in the first place when under the influence of
liquor and has continued to drink that she might be able to live through
each day. Furthermore, the drinking habit grows upon her because she is
constantly required to sell liquor and to be "treated."

It is estimated that the liquor sold by such girls nets a profit to the
trade of two hundred and fifty per cent. over and above the girl's own
commission. Chicago made at least one honest effort to divorce the sale
of liquor from prostitution, when the superintendent of police last year
ruled that no liquor should be sold in any disreputable house. The
difficulty of enforcing such an order is greatly increased because such
houses, as well as the questionable dance halls, commonly obtain a
special permit to sell liquor under a federal license, which is not only
cheaper than the saloon license obtained from the city, but has the
added advantage to the holder that he can sell after one o'clock in the
morning, at which time the city closes all saloons.

The aggregate annual profit of the two hundred and thirty-six disorderly
saloons recently investigated in Chicago by the Vice Commission was
$4,307,000. This profit on the sale of liquor can be traced all along
the line in connection with the white slave traffic and is no less
disastrous from the point of view of young men than of the girls. Even a
slight exhilaration from alcohol relaxes the moral sense and throws a
sentimental or adventurous glamor over an aspect of life from which a
decent young man would ordinarily recoil, and its continued use
stimulates the senses at the very moment when the intellectual and moral
inhibitions are lessened. May we not conclude that both chastity and
self-restraint are more firmly established in the modern city than we
realize, when the white slave traders find it necessary both forcibly to
detain their victims and to ply young men with alcohol that they may
profit thereby? General Bingham, who as Police Commissioner of New York
certainly knew whereof he spoke, says: "There is not enough depravity in
human nature to keep alive this very large business. The immorality of
women and the brutishness of men have to be persuaded, coaxed and
constantly stimulated in order to keep the social evil in its present
state of business prosperity."

We may soberly hope that some of the experiments made by governmental
and municipal authorities to control and regulate the sale of liquor
will at last meet with such a measure of success that the existence of
public prostitution, deprived of its artificial stimulus of alcohol,
will in the end be imperilled. The Chicago Vice Commission has made a
series of valuable suggestions for the regulation of saloons and for the
separation of the sale of liquor from dance halls and from all other
places known as recruiting grounds for the white slave traffic. There is
still need for a much wider and more thorough education of the public in
regard to the historic connection between commercialized vice and
alcoholism, of the close relation between politics and the liquor
interests, behind which the social evil so often entrenches itself.

In addition to the movements against germ diseases and the suppression
of alcoholism, both of which are mitigating the hard fate of the victims
of the white slave traffic, other public movements mysteriously
affecting all parts of the social order will in time threaten the very
existence of commercialized vice. First among these, perhaps, is the
equal suffrage movement. On the horizon everywhere are signs that woman
will soon receive the right to exercise political power, and it is
believed that she will show her efficiency most conspicuously in finding
means for enhancing and preserving human life, if only as the result of
her age-long experiences. That primitive maternal instinct, which has
always been as ready to defend as it has been to nurture, will doubtless
promptly grapple with certain crimes connected with the white slave
traffic; women with political power would not brook that men should live
upon the wages of captured victims, should openly hire youths to ruin
and debase young girls, should be permitted to transmit poison to unborn
children. Life is full of hidden remedial powers which society has not
yet utilized, but perhaps nowhere is the waste more flagrant than in the
matured deductions and judgments of the women, who are constantly forced
to share the social injustices which they have no recognized power to
alter. If political rights were once given to women, if the situation
were theirs to deal with as a matter of civic responsibility, one cannot
imagine that the existence of the social evil would remain unchallenged
in its semi-legal protection. Those women who are already possessed of
political power have in many ways registered their conscience in regard
to it. The Norwegian women, for instance, have guaranteed to every
illegitimate child the right of inheritance to its father's name and
property by a law which also provides for the care of its mother. This
is in marked contrast to the usual treatment of the mother of an
illegitimate child, who even when the paternity of her child is
acknowledged receives from the father but a pitiful sum for its support;
moreover, if the child dies before birth and the mother conceals this
fact, although perfectly guiltless of its death, she can be sent to jail
for a year.

The age of consent is eighteen years in all of the states in which women
have had the ballot, although in only eight of the others is it so high.
In the majority of the latter the age of consent is between fourteen and
sixteen, and in some of them it is as low as ten. These legal
regulations persist in spite of the well-known fact that the mass of
girls enter a disreputable life below the age of eighteen. In equal
suffrage states important issues regarding women and children, whether
of the sweat-shop or the brothel, have always brought out the women
voters in great numbers.

Certainly enfranchised women would offer some protection to the white
slaves themselves who are tolerated and segregated, but who, because
their very existence is illegal, may be arrested whenever any police
captain chooses, may be brought before a magistrate, fined and
imprisoned. A woman so arrested may be obliged to answer the most
harassing questions put to her by a city attorney with no other woman
near to protect her from insult. She may be subjected to the most trying
examinations in the presence of policemen with no matron to whom to
appeal. These things constantly happen everywhere save in Scandinavian
countries, where juries of women sit upon such cases and offer the
protection of their presence to the prisoners. Without such protection
even an innocent woman, made to appear a member of this despised class,
receives no consideration. A girl of fifteen recently acting in a South
Chicago theatre attracted the attention of a milkman who gradually
convinced her that he was respectable. Walking with him one evening to
the door of her lodging-house, the girl told him of her difficulties and
quite innocently accepted money for the payment of her room rent. The
following morning as she was leaving the house the milkman met her at
the door and asked her for the five dollars he had given her the night
before. When she said she had used it to pay her debt to the landlady,
he angrily replied that unless she returned the money at once he would
call a policeman and arrest her on a charge of theft. The girl, helpless
because she had already disposed of the money, was taken to court,
where, frightened and confused, she was unable to give a convincing
account of the interview the night before; except for the prompt
intervention on the part of a woman, she would either have been obliged
to put herself in the power of the milkman, who offered to pay her fine,
or she would have been sent to the city prison, not because the proof of
her guilt was conclusive, but because her connection with a cheap
theatre and the hour of the so-called offence had convinced the court
that she belonged to a class of women who are regarded as no longer
entitled to legal protection.

Several years ago in Colorado the disreputable women of Denver appealed
to a large political club of women against the action of the police who
were forcing them to register under the threat of arrest in order later
to secure their votes for a corrupt politician. The disreputable women,
wishing to conceal their real names and addresses, did not want to be
registered, in this respect at least differing from the lodging-house
men whose venal votes play such an important part in every municipal
election. The women's political club responded to this appeal, and not
only stopped the coercion, but finally turned out of office the chief of
police responsible for it.

The very fact that the conditions and results of the social evil lie so
far away from the knowledge of good women is largely responsible for the
secrecy and hypocrisy upon which it thrives. Most good women will
probably never consent to break through their ignorance save under a
sense of duty which has ever been the incentive to action to which even
timid women have responded. At least a promising beginning would be made
toward a more effective social control, if the mass of conscientious
women were once thoroughly convinced that a knowledge of local vice
conditions was a matter of civic obligation, if the entire body of
conventional women, simply because they held the franchise, felt
constrained to inform themselves concerning the social evil throughout
the cities of America. Perhaps the most immediate result would be a
change in the attitude toward prostitution on the part of elected
officials, responding to that of their constituency. Although good and
bad men alike prize chastity in women, and although good men require it
of themselves, almost all men are convinced that it is impossible to
require it of thousands of their fellow-citizens, and hence connive at
the policy of the officials who permit commercialized vice to flourish.

As the first organized Women's Rights movement was inaugurated by the
women who were refused seats in the world's Anti-Slavery convention held
in London in 1840, although they had been the very pioneers in the
organization of the American Abolitionists, so it is quite possible that
an equally energetic attempt to abolish white slavery will bring many
women into the Equal Suffrage movement, simply because they too will
discover that without the use of the ballot they are unable to work
effectively for the eradication of a social wrong.

Women are said to have been historically indifferent to social
injustices, but it may be possible that, if they once really comprehend
the actual position of prostitutes the world over, their sense of
justice will at last be freed, and become forevermore a new force in the
long struggle for social righteousness. The wind of moral aspiration now
dies down and now blows with unexpected force, urging on the movements
of social destiny; but never do the sails of the ship of state push
forward with such assured progress as when filled by the mighty hopes of
a newly enfranchised class. Those already responsible for existing
conditions have come to acquiesce in them, and feel obliged to adduce
reasons explaining the permanence and so-called necessity of the most
evil conditions. On the other hand, the newly enfranchised view existing
conditions more critically, more as human beings and less as
politicians.

After all, why should the woman voter concur in the assumption that
every large city must either set aside well-known districts for the
accommodation of prostitution, as Chicago does, or continually permit it
to flourish in tenement and apartment houses, as is done in New York?
Smaller communities and towns throughout the land are free from at least
this semi-legal organization of it, and why should it be accepted as a
permanent aspect of city life? The valuable report of the Chicago Vice
Commission estimates that twenty thousand of the men daily responsible
for this evil in Chicago live outside of the city. They are the men who
come from other towns to Chicago in order to see the sights. They are
supposedly moral at home, where they are well known and subjected to the
constant control of public opinion. The report goes on to state that
during conventions or "show" occasions the business of commercialized
vice is enormously increased. The village gossip with her vituperative
tongue after all performs a valuable function both of castigation and
retribution; but her fellow-townsman, although quite unconscious of her
restraint, coming into a city hotel often experiences a great sense of
relief which easily rises to a mood of exhilaration. In addition to this
he holds an exaggerated notion of the wickedness of the city. A visiting
countryman is often shown museums and questionable sights reserved
largely for his patronage, just as tourists are conducted to lurid
Parisian revels and indecencies sustained primarily for their horrified
contemplation. Such a situation would indicate that, because control is
much more difficult in a large city than in a small town, the city
deliberately provides for its own inability in this direction.

During a recent military encampment in Chicago large numbers of young
girls were attracted to it by that glamour which always surrounds the
soldier. On the complaint of several mothers, investigators discovered
that the girls were there without the knowledge of their parents, some
of them having literally climbed out of windows after their parents had
supposed them asleep. A thorough investigation disclosed not only an
enormous increase of business in the restricted districts, but the
downfall of many young girls who had hitherto been thoroughly
respectable and able to resist the ordinary temptations of city life,
but who had completely lost their heads over the glitter of a military
camp. One young girl was seen by an investigator in the late evening
hurrying away from the camp. She was so absorbed in her trouble and so
blinded by her tears that she fairly ran against him and he heard her
praying, as she frantically clutched the beads around her neck, "Oh,
Mother of God, what have I done! What have I done!" The Chicago
encampment was finally brought under control through the combined
efforts of the park commissioners, the city police, and the military
authorities, but not without a certain resentment from the last toward
"civilian interference." Such an encampment may be regarded as an
historic survival representing the standing armies sustained in Europe
since the days of the Roman Empire. These large bodies of men, deprived
of domestic life, have always afforded centres in which contempt for the
chastity of women has been fostered. The older centres of militarism
have established prophylactic measures designed to protect the health of
the soldiers, but evince no concern for the fate of the ruined women. It
is a matter of recent history that Josephine Butler and the men and
women associated with her, subjected themselves to unspeakable insult
for eight years before they finally induced the English Parliament to
repeal the infamous Contagious Disease Acts relating to the garrison
towns of Great Britain, through which the government itself not only
permitted vice, but legally provided for it within certain specified
limits.

The primary difficulty of military life lies in the withdrawal of large
numbers of men from normal family life, and hence from the domestic
restraints and social checks which are operative upon the mass of human
beings. The great peace propagandas have emphasized the unjustifiable
expense involved in the maintenance of the standing armies of Europe,
the social waste in the withdrawal of thousands of young men from
industrial, commercial and professional pursuits into the barren
negative life of the barracks. They might go further and lay stress upon
the loss of moral sensibility, the destruction of romantic love, the
perversion of the longing for wife and child. The very stability and
refinement of the social order depend upon the preservation of these
basic emotions.

Social customs are instituted so slowly and even imperceptibly, so far
as the conforming individual is concerned, that the mass of men submit
to control in spite of themselves, and it is therefore always difficult
to determine how far the average upright living is the result of
external props, until they are suddenly withdrawn. This is especially
true of domestic life. Even the sordid marriages in which the senses
have forestalled the heart almost always end in some form of family
affection. The young couple who may have been brought together in
marriage upon the most primitive plane, after twenty years of hard work
in meagre, unlovely surroundings, in spite of stupidity and many
mistakes, in the face of failure and even wrongdoing, will have unfolded
lives of unassuming affection and family devotion to a group of
children. They will have faithfully fulfilled that obligation which
falls to the lot of the majority of men and women, with its high rewards
and painful sacrifices. These rewards as well as the restraints of
family life are denied to the soldier. A somewhat similar situation is
found in every large construction camp, and in the crowded city
tenements occupied by thousands of immigrant men who have preceded their
families to America.

In the light of the history of prostitution in relation to militarism,
nothing could be more absurd than the familiar statement that virtuous
women could not safely walk the streets unless opportunity for secret
vice were offered to the men of the city. It is precisely the men who
have not submitted to self-control who are dangerous and they only, as
the court records themselves make clear.

In addition to the large social movements for the betterment of Public
Health, for the establishment of Temperance, for the promotion of Equal
Suffrage, and for the hastening of Peace and Arbitration is the
world-wide organization and active propaganda of International
Socialism. It has always included the abolition of this ancient evil in
its program of social reconstruction, and since the publication of
Bebel's great book, nearly thirty years ago, the leaders of the
Socialist party have never ceased to discuss the economics of
prostitution with its psychological and moral resultants. The Socialists
contend that commercialized vice is fundamentally a question of poverty,
a by-product of despair, which will disappear only with the abolition of
poverty itself; that it persists not primarily from inherent weakness in
human nature, but is a vice arising from a defective organization of
social life; that with a reorganization of society, at least all of
prostitution which is founded upon the hunger of the victims and upon
the profits of the traffickers, will disappear.

Whether we are Socialists or not, we will all admit that every level of
culture breeds its own particular brand of vice and uncovers new
weaknesses as well as new nobilities in human nature; that a given
social development--such, for instance as the conditions of life for
thousands of young people in crowded city quarters--may produce such
temptations and present such snares to virtue, that average human nature
cannot withstand them.

The very fact that the existence of the social evil is semi-legal in
large cities is an admission that our individual morality is so
uncertain that it breaks down when social control is withdrawn and the
opportunity for secrecy is offered. The situation indicates either that
the best conscience of the community fails to translate itself into
civic action or that our cities are too large to be civilized in a
social sense. These difficulties have been enormously augmented during
the past century so marked by the rapid growth of cities, because the
great principle of liberty has been translated not only into the
unlovely doctrine of commercial competition, but also has fostered in
many men the belief that personal development necessitates a rebellion
against existing social laws. To the opportunity for secrecy which the
modern city offers, such men are able to add a high-sounding
justification for their immoralities. Fortunately, however, for our
moral progress, the specious and illegitimate theories of freedom are
constantly being challenged, and a new form of social control is slowly
establishing itself on the principle, so widespread in contemporary
government, that the state has a responsibility for conditions which
determine the health and welfare of its own members; that it is in the
interest of social progress itself that hard-won liberties must be
restrained by the demonstrable needs of society.

This new and more vigorous development of social control, while
reflecting something of that wholesome fear of public opinion which the
intimacies of a small community maintain, is much more closely allied to
the old communal restraints and mutual protections to which the human
will first yielded. Although this new control is based upon the
voluntary co-operation of self-directed individuals, in contrast to the
forced submission that characterized the older forms of social
restraint, nevertheless in predicting the establishment of adequate
social control over the instinct which the modern novelists so often
describe as "uncontrollable," there is a certain sanction in this old
and well-nigh forgotten history.

The most superficial student of social customs quickly discovers the
practically unlimited extent to which public opinion has always
regulated marriage. If the traditions of one tribe were endogamous, all
the men dutifully married within it; but if the customs of another
decreed that wives must be secured by capture or purchase, all the men
of that tribe fared forth in order to secure their mates. From the
primitive Australian who obtains his wives in exchange for his sisters
or daughters, and never dreams of obtaining them in any other way, to
the sophisticated young Frenchman, who without objection marries the
bride his careful parents select for him; from the ancient Hebrew, who
contentedly married the widow of his deceased brother because it was
according to the law, to the modern Englishman who refused to marry his
deceased wife's sister because the law forbade it, the entire pathway of
the so-called uncontrollable instinct has been gradually confined
between carefully clipped hedges and has steadily led up to a house of
conventional domesticity. Men have fallen in love with their cousins or
declined to fall in love with them, very much as custom declared
marriages between cousins to be desirable or undesirable, as they
formerly married their sisters and later absolutely ceased to desire to
marry them. In fact, regulation of this great primitive instinct goes
back of the human race itself. All the higher tribes of monkeys are
strictly monogamous, and many species of birds are faithful to one mate,
season after season. According to the great authority, Forel,
prostitution never became established among primitive peoples. Even
savage tribes designated the age at which their young men were permitted
to assume paternity because feeble children were a drag upon their
communal resources. As primitive control lessened with the disappearance
of tribal organization and later of the patriarchal family, a social
control, not less binding, was slowly established, until throughout the
centuries, in spite of many rebellious individuals, the mass of men have
lived according to the dictates of the church, the legal requirements of
the state, and the surveillance of the community, if only because they
feared social ostracism. It is easy, however, to forget these men and
their prosaic virtues because history has so long busied herself in
recording court amours and the gentle dalliances of the overlord.

The great primitive instinct, so responsive to social control as to be
almost an example of social docility, has apparently broken with all the
restraints and decencies under two conditions: first and second, when
the individual felt that he was above social control and when the
individual has had an opportunity to hide his daily living. Prostitution
upon a commercial basis in a measure embraces the two conditions, for it
becomes possible only in a society so highly complicated that social
control may be successfully evaded and the individual thus feels
superior to it. When a city is so large that it is extremely difficult
to fix individual responsibility, that which for centuries was
considered the luxury of the king comes within the reach of every
office-boy, and that lack of community control which belonged only to
the overlord who felt himself superior to the standards of the people,
may be seized upon by any city dweller who can evade his acquaintances.
Against such moral aggression, the old types of social control are
powerless.

Fortunately, the same crowded city conditions which make moral isolation
possible, constantly tend to develop a new restraint founded upon the
mutual dependences of city life and its daily necessities. The city
itself socializes the very instruments that constitute the apparatus of
social control--Law, Publicity, Literature, Education and Religion.
Through their socialization, the desirability of chastity, which has
hitherto been a matter of individual opinion and decision, comes to be
regarded, not only as a personal virtue indispensable in women and
desirable in men, but as a great basic requirement which society has
learned to demand because it has been proven necessary for human
welfare. To the individual restraints is added the conviction of social
responsibility and the whole determination of chastity is reinforced by
social sanctions. Such a shifting to social grounds is already obviously
taking place in regard to the chastity of women. Formerly all that the
best woman possessed was a negative chastity which had been carefully
guarded by her parents and duennas. The chastity of the modern woman of
self-directed activity and of a varied circle of interests, which gives
her an acquaintance with many men as well as women, has therefore a new
value and importance in the establishment of social standards. There was
a certain basis for the belief that if a woman lost her personal virtue,
she lost all; when she had no activity outside of domestic life, the
situation itself afforded a foundation for the belief that a man might
claim praise for his public career even when his domestic life was
corrupt. As woman, however, fulfills her civic obligations while still
guarding her chastity, she will be in position as never before to uphold
the "single standard," demanding that men shall add the personal virtues
to their performance of public duties. Women may at last force men to do
away with the traditional use of a public record as a cloak for a
wretched private character, because society will never permit a woman to
make such excuses for herself.

Every movement therefore which tends to increase woman's share of civic
responsibility undoubtedly forecasts the time when a social control will
be extended over men, similar to the historic one so long established
over women. As that modern relationship between men and women, which the
Romans called "virtue between equals" increases, while it will continue
to make women freer and nobler, less timid of reputation and more human,
will also inevitably modify the standards of men.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that this new freedom from domestic
and community control, with the opportunity for escaping observation
which the city affords, is often utilized unworthily by women. The
report of the Chicago vice commission tells of numerous girls living in
small cities and country towns, who come to Chicago from time to time
under arrangements made with the landlady of a seemingly respectable
apartment. They remain long enough to earn money for a spring or fall
wardrobe and return to their home towns, where their acquaintances are
quite without suspicion of the methods they have employed to secure the
much-admired costumes brought from the city. Often an unattached country
girl, who has come to live in a city, has gradually fallen into a
vicious life from sheer lack of social restraint. Such a girl, when
living in a smaller community, realized that good behavior was a
protective measure and that any suspicion of immorality would quickly
ruin her social standing; but when removed from such surveillance, she
hopes to be able to pass from her regular life to an irregular one and
back again before the fact has been noted, quite as many young men are
trying to do.

Perhaps no young woman is more exposed to temptation of this sort than
the one who works in an office where she may be the sole woman employed
and where the relation to her employer and to her fellow-clerks is
almost on a social basis. Many office girls have taken "business
courses" in their native towns and have come to the city in search of
the large salaries which have no parallels at home. Such a position is
not only new to the individual, but it is so recent an outcome of modern
business methods, that it has not yet been conventionalized. The girl is
without the wholesome social restraint afforded by the companionship of
other working-women and her isolation in itself constitutes a danger. An
investigation disclosed that a startling number of Chicago girls had
found their positions through advertisements and had no means of
ascertaining the respectability of their employers. In addition to this,
the girls who seek such positions are sometimes vain and pretentious,
and will take any sort of office work because it seems to them "more
ladylike." A girl of this sort came to Chicago from the country three
years ago at the age of seventeen and secured a position as a
stenographer with a large firm of lawyers. She was pretty and
attractive, and in her desire to see more of the wonderful city to which
she had come, she accepted many invitations to dinners and theatres from
a younger member of the firm. The other girls in the office,
representing the more capable type of business women, among whom a
careful code of conduct is developing, although at present it is often
manifested only by the social ostracism of the one of their number who
has broken the conventions, protested against her conduct, first to the
girl and then to the head of the office. The usual story developed
rapidly, the girl lost her position, her brother-in-law, learning the
cause, refused her a home and she became absolutely dependent upon the
man. As their relations became notorious, he at length was requested to
withdraw from the firm. When brought to my knowledge she had already
been deserted for a year. The only people she had known during that time
were those in the disreputable hotel in which she had been living when
her lover disappeared, and it was through their mistaken kindness in
making an opportunity for her in the only life with which they were
familiar, that she had been drawn into the worst vice of the city.

She was but one of thousands of young women whose undisciplined minds
are fatally assailed by the subtleties and sophistries of city life, and
who have lost their bearings in the midst of a multitude of new
imaginative impressions. It is hard for a girl, thrilled by the mere
propinquity of city excitements and eager to share them, to keep to the
gray and monotonous path of regular work. Almost every such girl of the
hundreds who have come to grief, "begins" by accepting invitations to
dinners and places of amusement. She is always impressed with the ease
for concealment which the city affords, although at the same time
vaguely resentful that it is so indifferent to her individual existence.
It is impossible to estimate the amount of clandestine prostitution
which the modern city contains, but there is no doubt that the growth of
the social evil at the present moment, lies in this direction. Another
of its less sinister developments is perhaps a contemporary
manifestation of that break, long considered necessary, between
established morality and artistic freedom represented by the hetaira in
Athens, the gifted actress in Paris, the geisha in Japan. Insofar as
such women have been treated as independent human beings and prized for
their mental and social charm, even although they are on a commercial
basis, it makes for a humanization of this most sordid business. Such
open manifestations of prostitution hasten social control, because
publicity has ever been the first step toward community understanding
and discipline.

Doubtless the attitude toward the victims of commercialized vice will be
modified by many reactions upon the public consciousness, through a
thousand manifestations of the great democratic movement which is
developing all about us. Certainly we are safe in predicting that when
the solidarity of human interest is actually realized, it will become
unthinkable that one class of human beings should be sacrificed to the
supposed needs of another; when the rights of human life have
successfully asserted themselves in contrast to the rights of property,
it will become impossible to sell the young and heedless into
degradation. An age marked by its vigorous protests against slavery and
class tyranny, will not continue to ignore the multitudes of women who
are held in literal bondage; nor will an age characterized by a new
tenderness for the losers in life's race, always persist in denying
forgiveness to the woman who has lost all. A voice which has come across
the centuries, filled with pity for her who has "sinned much," must at
last be joined by the forgiving voices of others, to whom it has been
revealed that it is hardness of heart which has ever thwarted the divine
purposes of religion. A generation which has gone through so many
successive revolts against commercial aggression and lawlessness, will
at last lead one more revolt on behalf of the young girls who are the
victims of the basest and vilest commercialism. As that consciousness of
human suffering, which already hangs like a black cloud over thousands
of our more sensitive contemporaries, increases in poignancy, it must
finally include the women who for so many generations have received
neither pity nor consideration; as the sense of justice fast widens to
encircle all human relations, it must at length reach the women who have
so long been judged without a hearing.

In that vast and checkered undertaking of its own moralization to which
the human race is committed, it must constantly free itself from the
survivals and savage infections of the primitive life from which it
started. Now one and then another of the ancient wrongs and uncouth
customs which have been so long familiar as to seem inevitable, rise to
the moral consciousness of a passing generation; first for uneasy
contemplation and then for gallant correction.

May America bear a valiant part in this international crusade of the
compassionate, enlisting under its banner not only those sensitive to
the wrongs of others, but those conscious of the destruction of the race
itself, who form the standing army of humanity's self-pity, which is
becoming slowly mobilized for a new conquest!





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