Guest post by Cairie Riney, a digitization/online access intern at the Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC). For the past few months, Cairie has been working with MOPA to digitize some of the Museum’s special collections.
The crimes committed by the women of the mug shots are not very different from the crimes committed by men. The only other difference would be prostitution. In those cases, the man who receives the money earned by the woman is usually arrested as well. Prostitution, a violation of the Mann Act, will be discussed in a future post.
Overall, the criminal charges against women include forgery, fictitious checks, murder, adultery, and larceny, to name a few. The women range from young to very old. For example, I've seen an eighteen year old girl charged with petty larceny to a woman in her seventies charged with murder. There are women of all colors and socio-economic backgrounds.
Now the times these women lived in weren't exactly favorable to their rights. Women were not allowed to vote until 1920, and gender stereotypes were strictly followed and enforced. Contraceptives were made illegal in 1873 by the Comstock Act and the use of them often clashed with religious beliefs.
If you'd like more information on the Women's Rights Movement, check out this timeline
Look at these ladies in the photographs with your mind aware of the times they lived in. Also, think of how the color of their skin, marital status (if listed), and age affected their lives.
Specifics to note about these women: one tried robbing a waiter at a restaurant with a gun, the other dressed as a man and was a "vagrant", the other might've stolen something. Now look for the one that looks like she has the eyes of a cat!
Ok That's it for this week! Enjoy!