From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
A brothel, also known as a bordello or whorehouse, is an establishment specifically dedicated to prostitution, providing the prostitues a place to meet and to have sex with the clients. In some places, licensed brothels are legal (see prostitution), and in many countries, places such as massage parlors are allowed to function as brothels, with varying degrees of regulation and repression. Depending on zoning, brothels may be confined to special red-light districts or 'tolerance zones'.
The first brothels documented
In Greece, Solon instituted the first of Athens' brothels (oik`iskoi) in the 6th century BC, and with the earnings of this business he built a temple dedicated to Aprodites Pandemo (or Qedesh), patron goddess of this commerce. The greek word for prostitute is porne, derived from the verb pernemi (to sell), with the evident modern evolution. The procuring was however severely forbidden. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution#History [Sept 2004]
Madam is an informal term for a woman who runs a brothel or otherwise manages prostitution; a female pimp. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madam [Jun 2004]
The brothels of 1875
Mary Jeffries ran the most exclusive brothel in the Victorian Era. Her chief assistant was a Mrs. Travers. She kidnapped children by offering to watch them while the parents went to gather luggage or buy tickets. Jeifries catered to nobility. "There was no form of sexual vice for which this murderess did not cater" (Terrot, 1960, p.91). Stead (Tenot, 1960, p.54), writing for the Pall Mall Gazette, described one of her houses,
- "Flogging or birching goes on in brothels to a much greater degree than is generally believed. One of Mrs. Jeffrles' rooms was fitted up like a torture chamber... There were rings in the ceiling for hanging women and children up by the wrists, ladders for strapping them down at any angle, as well as the ordinary stretcher to which the victim is fastened so as to be unable to move. The instruments of flagellation included the ordinary birch, whips, holly branches and wire-thonged cat-o'-nine-tails."
Every once in a while the plight of child prostitutes catches and mo-mentarily holds the public awareness and consciousness. The Victorians were captured by reporters like Stead (Rush, 1980), and books such as Trafficking in Young Girls or War on the White Slave Trade (Sims, 1910) and Traffic in Girls and Florence Crittenton Missions (Edholm, 1893). Ennew 1986) pointed out that during the Victorian era the upswell of public sentiment/awareness for the sexual plight of children, coexisting with their exploitation, supports the contention that the present level of con-cern and activity regarding child prostitution is not unprecedented. However, left unsaid about these waves of consciousness is the entire ocean of blame for the victim surging behind it. --http://home.pacbell.net/tonyprey/burning/ [Feb 2005]
The Joy Division were groups of Jewish women in the concentration camps during World War II who were kept for the sexual pleasure of the Nazi guards, as described in Ka-tzetnik 135633's 1955 book, The House of Dolls.
'Ka-tzetnik's book is based on a diary kept by a young Jewess who was captured in Poland when she was fourteen years old and subjected to enforced prostitution in a Nazi labour camp. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joy_Division_(WWII), Apr 2004