“‘Venereal Girls,’ The Cedars Detention Home, and the Portland Free Dispensary: Public Health, Gender, and Civil Liberties in WWI and its Aftermath” Presented by Kim Jensen
From 1917 to 1923, Oregon officials detained, incarcerated, and required a lengthy parole for women who tested positively for venereal disease. Men were treated for their illness but not detained. Federal and local officials carried out similar policies throughout the nation. Oregon’s case is distinctive for the state’s early adoption of policies against women and for the extent to which women and their supporters protested and resisted these violations of women's civil liberties following the 1912 achievement of woman suffrage in Oregon.
Kimberly Jensen is Professor of History and Gender Studies at Western Oregon University. She received her Ph.D. in Women's and United States History from the University of Iowa. Dr. Jensen is the author of Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War and Doctor to the World: Esther Pohl Lovejoy and a Life in Activism. History Pub is a monthly event organized by McMenamins, Holy Names Heritage Center, and OHS, and supported by a grant from the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition (funded via Oregon Cultural Trust), where you can listen to lively local history while sipping on a pint of handcrafted ale.