He designated nine streets in which prostitution would be allowed in Paris, three of them being in the sarcastically named Beaubourg quartier (Beautiful Neighbourhood) Today, this area corresponds to the 1st-4th arrondissements clustered on the Rive Droite (right bank) of the Seine (see map).These streets, associated with prostitution, had very evocative if indelicate names including the Rue du Poil-au-con (or hair of the con, from the Latin cunnus meaning female genitalia, hence Street of the Pubic Hair, or Poil du pubis), later altered to the Rue du Pélican, in the 1st arrondissement, near the first Porte Saint-Honoré, and the Rue Tire-Vit (Pull-Cock, i.e.penis, later the Rue Tire-Boudin, Pull-Sausage) now Rue Marie-Stuart, in the 2nd arrondissement, near the first Porte Saint-Denis.
In stories (which were often ribald), prostitutes would be complicit with other women in avenging men.
The great Cathedral of Chartres had a window endowed by prostitutes (The Prodigal Son) in the same way as other windows were endowed by various other trade guilds (The Trade Windows).
Todd Shepard’s book, (2017) is a study of how “sexual Orientalism” re-emerged in post-decolonization French politics and discussions.
Over the course of the 1960s and ‘70s, what he names “sex talk”—around questions such as far right politics, May ’68, prostitution, the “white slave trade,” gay rights, sexual libertinism, the act of sodomy, and rape—explicitly grappled with questions of empire, the Algerian war, colonial violence, and post-decolonization racism.
There is no evidence that any of this was effective.
Under Philip II (1180-1223) an irregular militia, the Ribaud were created in 1189 to police prostitution and gambling, headed by a Roi des Ribauds, but abolished by Philip IV (1285-1314) due to their licentiousness.
The book shows that what made these discussions about sex in the 1970s distinctively “French,” rather than “Western” or “late modern,” were the central roles that invocations of “Arab men” and Algeria played in them. Lovejoy Professor of French History at Johns Hopkins University.
Mehammed Mack is Assistant Professor of French at Smith College.
In 1358, the Grand Conseil of John II (1350-1364) echoing the "necessary evil" doctrine of Saints Augustine (354-430 AD) and Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) declared that "les pécheresses sont absolument nécessaires à la Terre" (Sinners are an absolute necessity for the country).
Prostitution remained confined to designated areas, as indicated in this decree in the reign of Charles V (1364-1380), by Hugh Aubriot, Provost of Paris in 1367, outlining the areas outside of which prostitutes would be punished 'according to the ordinance of Saint Louis'; Que toutes les femmes prostituées, tenant bordel en la ville de Paris, allassent demeurer et tenir leurs bordels en places et lieux publics à ce ordonnés et accoutumés, selon l'ordonnance de Saint Louis.
In the interim, Louis IX (1226-1270) attempted to ban prostitution in December 1254, with disastrous social consequences and widespread protests.