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By Elizabeth J. Remick

In the early a long time of the 20th century, prostitution was once one in all just a couple of fates on hand to girls and women in addition to spouse, servant, or manufacturing unit employee. on the flip of the century, towns throughout China started to sign up, tax, and video display prostitutes, taking diversified kinds in several towns. Intervention in terms of prostitution law attached the neighborhood nation, politics, and gender kin in vital new methods. the choices that neighborhood governments made approximately the way to care for gender, and in particular the thorny factor of prostitution, had concrete and measurable results at the buildings and capacities of the state.

This e-book examines how the ways that neighborhood executive selected to form the establishment of prostitution ended up remodeling neighborhood states themselves. It starts through the origins of prostitution rules in Europe and the way it unfold from there to China through Tokyo. Elizabeth Remick then drills down into the several regulatory techniques of Guangzhou (revenue-intensive), Kunming (coercion-intensive), and Hangzhou (light regulation). In all 3 instances, there have been designated outcomes and implications for statebuilding, a few of which made governments larger and wealthier, a few of which weakened and undermined improvement. This examine makes a robust case for why gender has to be written into the tale of statebuilding in China, even if ladies, typically barred from political existence at the moment in China, weren't seen political actors.

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Extra info for Regulating prostitution in China : gender and local statebuilding, 1900-1937

Example text

After doing an unscientific survey of the provincial capitals of China using gazetteers and the memoir literature, I noted that Hangzhou’s regime for regulating prostitution was much like that in most provincial capitals in China. That is, the city imposed occasional taxation of prostitution in the late nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth century, moved toward stricter regulation and the establishment of a jiliangsuo in the early Republic, increasingly regularized licensing and taxation that did not produce much revenue beginning in the last years of the Qing or early Republic, and intervened more directly in the late 1920s through such means as health inspections.

As this study shows, however, those desirable effects may be undercut and result in other, less salutary, consequences in particular social, legal, and political contexts, and may result in politically unacceptable statebuilding outcomes. 22 chapter 1 The Origins of China’s Prostitution Regulation Regime s t a r t i n g in the last years of the Qing, cities in China began to regulate brothel prostitution. Although weak central governments did not mandate this, it gradually became standard practice around the country in metropolises, provincial capitals, and some more minor cities as well.

The Contagious Diseases Acts were repealed in 1886 after a concerted abolitionist campaign led by Josephine Butler and other feminists opposed to mandatory and apparently random venereal disease (VD) testing as a violation of women’s individual civil rights. Other abolitionist groups also joined in by arguing that the acts condoned sexual immorality and a sexual double standard for men and women in addition to actively discriminating against working-class women (Walkowitz 1980, 71–72, 86, 99). Prostitution was subsequently criminalized in Great Britain.

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