Devil's Perch: Prostitution from Suite to Cellar in Butte,
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TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION
The Progressive Movement and the efforts of reform in that era
1) Describe the "mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship"
between Butte's red-light district and the neighboring businesses.
2) Why did the efforts of Butte's reformers to shut down the
city's demimonde fail?
3) What role has the Butte-Silver Bow Urban Revitalization
Agency played in the preservation of the city's red-light district?
4) If you were walking through an abandoned area of an old
mining town, what architectural clues would you look for in a building to tell
whether or not it was a part of the demimonde?
5) Why is it important to preserve old buildings? Do think it
is important to preserve former brothels? What can old buildings tell us about
life in the past?
- Divide the class into two groups, one taking the pro-side
and the other the con-side. Using the article as a reference, in addition to
other research, have a debate over the legalization of prostitution.
- For further information, Mary Murphy has written several
books on prostitution in Montana.
- Students can research current societal moral issues and
debates (i.e. gambling, alcohol, prostitution, etc.) and how those issues
correspond with historical social reform movements in Montana and the nation.
- Current conflict- Throughout the late 1990's Butte is
undergoing a conflict over whether preserving and restoring the Dumas Hotel is
actually preserving an aspect of Butte's history or dramatizing and glorifying
prostitution. Investigate this debate by looking up articles in local