Compromised Positions: Prostitution, Public Health, and Gender Politics in Revolutionary Mexico City / Edition 1

Compromised Positions: Prostitution, Public Health, and Gender Politics in Revolutionary Mexico City / Edition 1

by Katherine Elaine Bliss
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0271021268

ISBN-13: 9780271021263

Pub. Date: 08/28/2002

Publisher: Penn State University Press

To illuminate the complex cultural foundations of state formation in modern Mexico, Compromised Positions explains how and why female prostitution became politicized in the context of revolutionary social reform between 1910 and 1940. Focusing on the public debates over legalized sexual commerce and the spread of sexually transmitted disease in the first

Overview

To illuminate the complex cultural foundations of state formation in modern Mexico, Compromised Positions explains how and why female prostitution became politicized in the context of revolutionary social reform between 1910 and 1940. Focusing on the public debates over legalized sexual commerce and the spread of sexually transmitted disease in the first half of the twentieth century, Katherine Bliss argues that political change was compromised time and again by reformers' own antiquated ideas about gender and class, by prostitutes' outrage over official attempts to undermine their livelihood, and by clients' unwillingness to forgo visiting brothels despite revolutionary campaigns to promote monogamy, sexual education, and awareness of the health risks associated with sexual promiscuity.

In the Mexican public's imagination, the prostitute symbolized the corruption of the old regime even as her redemption represented the new order's potential to dramatically alter gender relations through social policy. Using medical records, criminal case files, and letters from prostitutes and their patrons to public officials, Compromised Positions reveals how the contradictory revolutionary imperatives of individual freedom and public health clashed in the effort to eradicate prostitution and craft a model of morality suitable for leading Mexico into the modern era.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271021263
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
08/28/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tablesix
Acknowledgmentsxi
Introduction: Prostitution, Sexual Morality, and Reformism in Revolutionary Mexico City1
1The Porfirians' City of Pleasure: Prostitutes, Patrons, and Sexual Propriety23
2Revolutionary Capital: Warfare and the Changing Business of Sexual Commerce63
3The Science of Redemption: Syphilis, Sexual Promiscuity, and Reformism95
4Evaluating the Cult of Masculinity: Manliness, Money, and the Morality of Exchange127
5Testing the Limits of Tolerance: The Place of Vice in a Revolutionary Metropolis153
6The End of the Road? Gender and the Politics of Abolition189
Postscript: The Unredeemed Revolution207
Bibliography217
Index235

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