From a 1978 article by Carol Bacchi:

The purity problem seems to have been the main issue over which the suffragists displayed sex antagonism, uniting in a sisterhood of sorts against the men. It angered them that the prostitute consistently played the villain while the man got off with a nominal fine.

In their opinion the prostitute was less guilty since she often fell through hunger or was driven into sin because “some man” paid her starvation wages. 66 Conversely the client always went through choice. Flora Macdonald Denison bemoaned the fact that “hundreds of our sisters are forced to live lives of shame to keep body and soul together.”

Source: Bacchi, Carol. “Race Regeneration and Social Purity. A Study of the Social Attitudes of Canada’s English-Speaking Suffragists.” Histoire sociale/Social History 11.22 (1978).

Link to the online pdf version.

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