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Horizontes Antropológicos

On-line version ISSN 1806-9983

Abstract

BLANCHETTE, Thaddeus Gregory  and  SILVA, Ana Paula da. As American girls: migração, sexo e status imperial em 1918. Horiz. antropol. [online]. 2009, vol.15, n.31, pp. 75-99. ISSN 1806-9983.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-71832009000100004.

The present study, based on historical research into the archives of the American Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, analyzes a case involving the prostitution of American women in that city in 1918. Labeled "white slaves" by the American Consul General, the dancers of the Baxter and Willard Company burlesque troop were almost expelled from Brazil due to their activities as prostitutes. Here, we analyze their story in the light of contemporary political and social pressures. We pay special attention to how new technologies controlling international movements (passports) combined with the social panic regarding white slavery and the political projects of the U.S. in Latin America. In this case, the rhetoric of protecting the vulnerable was utilized to block the migration of "impure" women whose actions and attitudes exposed the U.S. to ridicule.

Keywords : white slavery; trafficking of women; Brazil; United States.

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