The Struggle Of Women In Victor Hugo's Les Miserables

1041 Words 5 Pages
Prostitution is said to be one of the oldest kinds of oppression that human kind has experienced. Every day, many women are trafficked into or forced into the industry and are not talked about or supported enough. The issue has been consistent for many years, but represented by very few male writers like Victor Hugo. The situations and struggles of sex workers have not changed drastically since the 19th century, as portrayed by Victor Hugo in Les Miserables through the life of Fantine.
Prostitution and the suffering of the underclass is something Hugo focused on a lot throughout the novel. He described the suffering of women and what drives them into the industry. It was described to be the last resort for suffering women, as demonstrated
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“It is said that slavery had disappeared from European civilization. This is a mistake. It still exists, but it weighs now only on women, and it is called prostitution” (Hugo 67). He compared prostitution to slavery, to emphasize the amount of oppression street walkers go through. In one instance, Fantine was disrespected by a bourgeoisie who “seized the snow from the sidewalk, and threw it hastily into her back between her naked shoulders” (Hugo 69) which reflected how Sex workers weren’t respected even if they didn’t do any harm to the public. Her being taken to jail by Javert because of her “offence”, which was protecting herself, shows how the law did not protect them. (Hugo ) and in most of the world they still …show more content…
Going into the business is seen as a “choice”, as explained By Huges, when in reality they are lynched into in out of display of flare and affection. He also explains how people are indifferent to “Human on human violence” when they believe the victim had a “choice” in it, shfting blame from the perpetuator (Smith).
Most people do not speak up against the abuse and brutality that is inflicted on sex workers, as seen in Las Vegas. No money or effort has been successful to raise awareness of sex trafficking and gather support of the law enforcement and clergy. Many instances of violence against workers have been witnessed in Las Vegas. A teen was tortured by a pimp naked Share III, over a period of 4 months and dumped near University Medical Center on June 30, 2014. She sustained multiple internal injuries, a spinal fracture and signs of torture. Even after something this horrific, the support of the public was minimal

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