Author ORCID Identifier
Bachelor of Arts
Leonard V. Smith
Sex work, Paris Commune, Prostitution, Moralism
The study of sex work in late nineteenth-century Paris provides an illustration of the political upheaval of the Commune, as well as its continuing acceptance of the bourgeois moralism that linked sex work to moral and political corruption. I will study the cases of several Communardes who were directly or indirectly affected by the rhetoric of sex work and sexual immorality because of their involvement in the Commune. Sex work provides a unique insight into the ways the Commune tried to reconcile its commitment to economic justice with its expectations of women’s sexual and social respectability. It forms an intersection of gender and sexuality with labor that forced the Commune and its successor the Third Republic to come to terms with their relationships with sexual and political transgression.
Guinn, Eliza, ""A Spectacle of Vice": Sex Work and Moralism in the Paris Commune of 1871" (2018). Honors Papers. 155.