WOMEN SECOND CLASS CITIZENS

There was a time. Women were second class citizens. No more. The ladies have made and continue to make significant progress re equality with men.

Total success not yet achieved. More glass ceilings to break. And the big one, pay equality.

Each will come soon. The women’s movement is on a roll.

I feel compelled to write about women and an example of their second class status because of the Biden mess.

Note we have a President who subscribes to groping women and frequently speaking poorly of them. Additionally, there are men who compel/force sex upon prospective female employees.

Most are meeting justice.

Joe Biden did not grope. Nor did he force himself sexually upon any woman. He merely embraced them as a friend or in a supportive fashion.

We all could use a hug on occasion.

Hugging, a kiss on the back of the head, these are not things the #MeToo movement should be concerned with. Invading a woman’s space is a far cry from abuse.

Back off ladies. You are placing the mark of Cain on Biden. He neither warrants nor deserves it.

Which brings me to today’s story. One you may not believe.

I write about The American Plan.

Sounds wholesome. Was not.

The Plan had its beginnings in 1918. It’s purpose the mass imprisonment of women believed to be sexually immoral. The program initially one of federal encouragement. Encouragement to state and local governments to legislate and make arrests based on the Plan.

A long time program. From 1918 into the 1970’s. Still exists in some states, though not enforced. Doubt anyone knows it is on the books.

The initial concern was the military. Too many soldiers were getting STI’s. Sexually transmitted infections. More today. Few back then. However the few a real problem. Infections rampant.

The two biggies were syphilis and gonorrhea.

The Plan resulted in the detainment of over 100,000 women over the years. In every state, in  most big and small cities.

A follow the money situation. The federal government paid local governments a stipend for every conviction obtained. States and local governments went gung ho over the years in making arrests. Most had “moral squads.” Their sole purpose to apprehend prostitutes.

The Plan resulted in a mass deprivation of civil liberties. The founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, Roger Baldwin, did not oppose the Plan. In fact, he sent a memorandum to ACLU local offices to cooperate in its enforcement.

Once arrested, the ladies were subjected to mandatory STI testing, highly questionable medical treatment, forced labor, and forcible sterilization.

The American Plan is forgotten. Probably because it was not enforced federally. Ergo, no data repository.

In addition to the ACLU’s founder Roger Baldwin, other prominent figures supported the Plan. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. one of the biggest. Prominent physicians and anti-vice crusaders. The likes of William F. Stone, Richard M. Olin, and Thomas Parran.

Syphilis and gonorrhea had been a sexual fear for centuries The two became rampant in the early 20th century. The underlying currents of Victorian morals, pseudoscience, racism, and misogyny created the motivation to confront the problem. And confront it the Plan did.

Statutes were broadly worded. Permission to detain suspects on the flimsiest of pretexts. Women were arrested for wearing provocative clothing, walking down a street alone, dining alone, looking like a prostitute, changing jobs, and for no reason at all.

Testing was required to establish syphilis or gonorrhea. Generally at some point such testing occurred. If negative, the ladies were free to leave. Some women initially protested the testing. They were threatened with Scarlet Letter shaming. Red lettered signs placed on their homes.

Testing results not always correct. Many false positives.

The Plan’s goal was to get loose women off the streets. Most of he women arrested were working class or African-Americans.

There was no penicillin. Penicillin became available in the 1940’s. Prior to that time, the ladies were treated with mercury or arsenic.

So many ladies were arrested in certain communities that detention hospitals had to be established.

Prominent persons supporting the Plan also included New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. He made special speeches lauding the Plan. California Governor Earl Warren personally spearheaded enforcement in his State. Warren later became Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

So it was!

A rough day yesterday. Felt lousy all day. Nothing specific. Took me 2 extra hours to complete the blog. Neither prepared nor did Tuesday Talk in the evening.

Today, no problems.

Enjoy your day!

 

One comment on “WOMEN SECOND CLASS CITIZENS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.