Prostitutes are commonly thought of today as less than human and property however back in the 1850s there was a different opinion. “One myth that circulated in San Francisco revolved around the claim that the vaginal opening of a Chinese woman was horizontal rather than vertical. The story first appeared in the 1850s and continued as part of San Francisco’s folklore until the early 1880s. This titillating myth points out the chasm between the world of Chinese women and that of the larger society and simultaneous fascination Americans had for Asian females.” Men thought of these women as fascinating because of their supposed abnormal sexual organ, this was a positive thought and it was even in the paper. In the 1850’s prostitutes were seen as fascinating because of sexual myths, not seen as less than human or whores.


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