Using evidence from the text, discuss your thoughts on the article. During this time, there were very few women in Northern California. In fact, if a miner was lucky enough to marry, he could charge five dollars per person for the other miners to be able to just get a look at a woman. Economics is about supply and demand. In a society of primarily men, the Chinese women were sadly a selected commodity.
Discuss what impressed you about this article. What did you learn? What new ideas were you presented with? What conclusion did you come to? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
I have attached the article in uploads.
please also reply with a minimum response of 75 words to these two students in my class.
Brooke: After reading these articles and watching the video, I learned that many families sold their daughters into prostitution unknowingly, because they couldn’t read the contracts they were given, while other families thought their daughters were inferior to their sons and had no problem selling them for fifty to a thousand dollars. “As daughters in Chinese households could neither furnish the hard manual labor required to support the family nor carry on the ancestral name, they were considered inferior to sons.” I am happy to hear though that there were people helping the women escape and letting them stay in their homes for quite some time. I am also happy to hear that the earthquake in 1908 put an end to Chinese prostitution. It is said that due to many illnesses the girls wouldn’t last for more than five to six years because they were left untreated and alone. I find this depressing and just inhumane. In conclusion to all of this, it is said in the article that
“As Chinese immigration increased, the ratio of prostitutes dropped to 71 percent by 1870 and 21 percent by 1880. While the federal Page Act of 1875 sought to prohibit the immigration of any women from “China, Japan or any East Asian country” suspected of prostitution, the tongs and their enablers widely ignored its provisions. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, prohibiting the immigration of all Chinese laborers, yet Chinese women continued to slip into the country illegally with the complicity of corrupt politicians and policemen, fueling a second wave of prostitution that swept through the state.”
Isabel: After reading the article, I found it very difficult to keep reading about what Chinese women had to go through when they were sold into prostitution overseas to California. I can’t imagine how difficult and depressing that was for the women and their families. At the time of the Gold Rush in California, many men were driven by the idea of getting rich quickly instead of building families and investing in their local communities. They quickly found that “A Chinese brothel owner could do better than almost all other Chinese businessmen in the state, making perhaps $2,500 a year on each prostitute, five times the average income of other occupations—e.g., cooking, tailoring or the laundry business…” I find it very disappointing that these men decided to invest in prostitution and let their self-interest come before the safety and wellbeing of other human beings. While I had some prior knowledge about the extensive prostitution in California, I did not know about the individuals who dedicated themselves to helping these Chinese women. One of the individuals was named “Donaldina Cameron [who] was a 19th-century social reformer who came to the aid of Chinese women in San Francisco and became known as Chinatown’s “Angry Angel.” Cameron provided aid to these women by “[volunteering] at Maggie Culbertson’s Mission Home, a Presbyterian shelter for rescued Chinese prostitutes run by the Woman’s Occidental Board of Foreign Missions.” I have come to the conclusion that even though men took advantage of Chinese women and used them for a profit, honorable individuals like Donaldina Cameron stood up and helped the people who were being taken advantage of. I look up to Cameron for her efforts and contributions to helping those in need.