Montag, 15. Oktober 2018

The library & the female victims

An Enduring Shame


The Trials of Nina McCall: Sex, Surveillance, and the Decades-Long Government Plan to Imprison “Promiscuous” Women

by Scott Wasserman Stern
Beacon, 356 pp., $28.95

In her review of the above mentioned study, historian Heather Ann Thompson not only describes the horrible history on an ongoing infamous and deploring practice to catch women and to lock them away in prisons or special hospitals, often on invented reasons, just to execute male might and power in the ruling of an ordered, clean society, (originall to bring under control venereal disease) but mentions, very interestingly, how the autor as student became aware of this history and began to investigate.
"... a new book by the law student Scott Stern, a shocking number of American girls and women were also locked up beginning in the 1910s as part of the now completely forgotten “American Plan,” a governmental effort to combat venereal disease. Stern happened upon this unnerving piece of history largely by accident when he was an undergraduate poking around the stacks of the Yale libraries. His curiosity piqued, he spent almost a decade digging into archival collections, visiting decaying rural towns, and interviewing people in their living rooms, trying to understand what this program was and what its human cost might have been."
I find the point not trivial. Obviously, if he would have been satisfied  with the online sources, he never would have encountered what became the base and core of his study. Archives and libraries which hold archived collections and materials are something else as the filtered databases of companies. 

Just for the reminder.

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