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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, January 26, 1917, LAST EDITION, Image 5

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1917-01-26/ed-1/seq-5/

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WOIEN OF STREETS ASK CHURCHMAN
. "WHAT SHALL WE DO?" -
oan Francisco, Jan. 26. "What
are you going to do with us?"
ive Hundred women of the under
world stormed into Central Methodist
, Episcopal church last night and
shouted this question to the Rev.
Paul Smith, who is waging a cam
paign to suppress the Barbary Coast
tenderloin disrict-
"When you drive us out of the
houses of prostitution where we
make our living now, what will you
do with us? Have you a different
God that you drive evil away by send
'"g it to a brother city? Does your
Christianity provide for a living for
we whose only living you would de
stroy?" These were some of the questions
with which the pastor was for half
an hour made a target The women
were desperate, for Mayor Rolph had.
that day indicated that all of the de
sires of the Rev. Smith for the de
struction of, the redlight district
would be granted.
A little woman dressed in black
took the pulpit beside the minister.
"I have operated a house of pros
titution for eight years," she said.
"There's not one.;among us here who
would not quit the life for decent
work. But we won't work for $7 a
week. A pair of shoes costs $10
now.
"Every girl here has at least one
child. I &m the mother of a daugh
ter of 14. A girl in my house is the
mother of four children. These wom
en love their children, it does not
matter who the fathers are or if some
of them know who is the father of
their child. And they employ their
bodies in shame that these children
may be provided for.
"Yes, I know what this; life leads
to. I know the misery, the foul,
loathsome disease that this life leads
to. I have seen the blind and de
fective children born. I know. But
.What are you. goiag to do about i
drive us from your city that we may
scourge some other city? Why not
drive us into the bay now and end it
all or do you think you can end sin
by doing away with we wretched
sinners?
"There are boys in the University
of California between 19 and 22 who
come to my house regularly. That's
why women are in my house.
"I know a good girl she's good
yet whp is working as a hat girl in
a hotel for $25 a month. She has a
mother and sister to support. How
long is she going to stay pure? How
long can she stay pure ? She will tell
her mother at first that she can bring
home extra money because she got
a raise in wages or extra tips. But
she'll be one of our kind soon, one of
our kind who are down in the gutter,
and you are stamping your foot on
us in the name of Christianity.
"It's the men who preach morality
and support churches who drive
girls to sin by the wages they pay.
"Let you reformers, too, pay some
heed to the woman, drinking cock
tails in the cafes while servants care
for her children. Let church wom
en quit gossiping and rear their sons
so they will not debauch women.
"Correct the evil of low" wages,
remedy the causes which drive girls
to the sale of their bodies to men
who are eager to buy, but do not
wage your war upon we poor de
fenseless creatures of the streets."
When she had finished the pastor
bowed his head with sobs and asked
how many had children. Nearly ev
ery hand was raised.
"How many are in this life because
you couldnx't make enough to live
On?" he asked. Every hand was
raised. Half the hands were raised
when he asked how many had made
less than $8 a week.
"How many of you would work for
$10 a week?" the pastor asked.
But they laughed at him, "We
Jtjffiriiti iii..t . ,.,

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