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The Sex Trade In Victoria: Article Review

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The Sex trade in Victoria was an important issue through the late nineteenth century. In my essay, I will be talking about Jean Barman’s and Patrick Dunae’s portrayal on the sex trade in Victoria. Where Jean Barman talks about the early period of the sex trade, and Patrick Dunae talks about the whole phase as he thinks that the sex trade has been failed to notice by other historians. These two articles are very similar as they are emphasizing on sexuality but Patrick Dunae talks about the sex trade in a slightly different way. I will be focusing on the portrayal of the economic impact, how Aboriginal women were considered inferior to men, and the dance halls/brothels.

Both Barman and Dunae talk about the economic impact brought by the sex trade. Barman mentioned the early period of the economic impact, Barman(2004, p.215) “ requested that a dance hall be permitted to open” then there were Vancouver island attorney George Hunter Carey and real estate agent, John Cochrane, they moreover were investors in the big dance halls too they wanted to make money off of women. This displayed economic interest ensuring that this situation was being promoted and encouraged for simply profitable purposes. While on the other hand Dunae also shows the economic impact Victoria had in the whole phase, Dunae(2008, p.128) “sex trade was worth “about $80,000 in revenue in a year.” ”, and claiming that, Dunae(2008, p.129) “sex trade workers comprised a large sector in Victoria’s invisible economy”. But then in the later period, the sex trade economy declined, Dunae(2008, p.131) “The economy of Victoria was undergoing a mojor change at this time.”, “the sex trade was thinner and more tenuous than it had been in the past”. Both Barman and Dunae had to mention the economic impact of Prostitution in Victoria because that is the basis as to why mostly prostitution begun.

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Furthermore, both Barman and Dunae talk about how Aboriginal women were inferior to men and how men treated poorly towards women. According to both Barman and Dunae Aboriginal women were treated very badly, Barman(2004, p.208) “Aboriginal women misbehaved”, Dunae(2008, p.116) “Aboriginal prostitutes as “wretched women”: the white men who consorted with them were “dissipated” and “degraded.””. According to Dunae, Barman shows unfavourable point of view towards Aboriginal women, Dunae(2008, p.118) “Jean Barman have noted, negative attitudes towards Aboriginal women”, but Dunae also argues on Barman’s favour claiming that most prostitutes were Aboriginal women, Dunae(2008, p.119) “most women who traded sexual services for money in Victoria during the early colonial era were Aboriginal”. Barman(2004, p.217) “Aboriginal women had to be seduced – no, raped.”. According to both authors, Aboriginal women were treated poorly and disrespectfully.

Dance halls/brothels were an important aspect in the Victoria era. Barman shows one side of reality and shaping it in a delicate image, Barman(2004, p. 212) “dances led by “the dulcet strains of a fiddle,” “a violin, bass violi, and a brass instrument,” or perhaps only by a “fifer,” were cotillions, waltzes” this is where she describes the dance halls as like waltz and very like pleasant and calm kind of things and, Barman(2004, p. 219) “Dance halls and other forms of socialization gave Aboriginal women very real opportunities” she is showing positive impact for Aboriginal women. Dunae, on the other hand talks about the other side of reality on how brothels came to a decline and suffered huge losses, Dunae(2008, p.131) “WCTU, the Local Council of Women, and the Salvation Army, sent a succession of petitions to Victorian City Council demanding restrictive measures against sex trade”. Dunae mentions, due to issues the brothels had to shut down, Dunae(2008, p.134) “Succumbing to social,political and economic pressures, many brothel keepers – including those who operated long-established parlour houses – closed their businesses and left Victoria”.

In conclusion, Patrick Dunae’s article expands effectively on the way of acquiring knowledge via direct or indirect observations shown in use of, Dunae(2008, p.140) “Henri Lefebvre who wrote a seminar work on the production of social space”. While Jean Barman article portrays the sexual conflicts experienced by Aboriginal women and motives of white settler men in their sexuality with Aboriginal women. Both the articles are a hallmark to Canada’s history of sexuality.

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The Sex Trade In Victoria: Article Review. (2022, March 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 6, 2023, from
“The Sex Trade In Victoria: Article Review.” Edubirdie, 18 Mar. 2022,
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