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The most famous figure in that fight was a Presbyterian missionary named Donaldina Cameron, whose tireless efforts saved thousands of Chinese women and girls from sexual slavery and labor bondage. In that horrific practice, which flourished in the city from the arrival of the first Chinese immigrants during the Gold Rush until the s, girls in China were kidnapped, tricked or sold by their parents and shipped to San Francisco, where they were forced to become prostitutes or household slaves.
However, doing so would have meant colliding with the now dominant academic discourse, which, critical of cultural imperialism, is averse to portraying minority groups as helpless victims saved by white do-gooders. Figures like Cameron — a white woman of Scottish descent who began to help rescue and educate sex and domestic slaves at the Presbyterian Mission Home in San Francisco when she was 25 — are now regarded with ambivalence.
Siler emphatically shares this perspective, which made her task challenging: How to write a book that distances itself from the very subject it putatively celebrates?
To some degree, she succeeds. In her determination to avoid offenses against multiculturalism, Siler presents a less than comprehensive view of her subject. She cites Erica Y. In her telling, until a good cop named Jack Manion took control of the Chinatown Squad inits members were either corrupt and winked at vice, or employed such brutal tactics that they outraged the community.San Francisco girl want to fuck
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