Even educated women who learned high-level skills at business colleges, like typing and shorthand, only made an average of £25 per year.
That still wasn’t enough money for women to support themselves or their children without the aid of a husband.
After confirming that she was a virgin, the medical examiner recommended that Stead drug her with chloroform so she would be unconscious and not put up a struggle while he raped her. Stead is seen as a hero for fighting for the rights of women, and he was nominated with a Nobel Peace Prize. Today, the Stead Memorial Fund continues to fight against sex trafficking.
The public was horrified when they read Stead’s articles, and his work led to the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885, which made the age of consent 16 years old. Like today, men of Victorian England had varying desires.
Since many of the lower-class jobs simply didn’t pay enough to support a large family, it was common for the wives of street vendors to offer their sexual services on the side while they helped their husbands run the family business.The lowest class were young women who worked in brothels.They were forced to sleep with whichever men the madame assigned to them and often lived in dirty living conditions.While history books and romantic novels from England’s Victorian Era depict people as being very uptight, there were actually more brothels than there were schools.It is estimated that roughly 80,000 women were working as prostitutes in London alone, which reveals how sex-obsessed the culture truly was.There were a variety of brothels dedicated to different themes: Traditional, S&M, cross-dressing, gay brothels, and others were willing to fulfill kinky fantasies.For whatever reason, spanking was a very popular theme in pornography, and there were entire brothels dedicated to it.Husbands were completely fine with allowing other men to sleep with their wives.In fact, 50 percent of street vendors’ wives were reported to moonlight as prostitutes.During the Victorian era, the age of consent was only 13 years old. Many lower-class people saw their children as commodities because they could bring income into the family. Stead, who has been called the very first investigative journalist, published “The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon” in .Boys and girls as young as 11 or 12 could pass as 13-year-olds and had no choice but to enter the trade if their parents sold them into it. During his investigation, Stead took it upon himself to prove how easy it was to purchase the virginity of a 13-year-old girl.