Hannah Whitall Smith: The Feminist Connections of a Holiness Icon
the officers. There were no penalties for men for seeking prostitutes. Finally in 1886 the acts were formally repealed due to Butlerâ€™s efforts. In her investigations into the issue of prostitution and the Contagious Disease Acts, she found cases of prostitutes as young as 12, and further evidence of a slave trade in young girls from England to the European continent for prostitution. She became involved in publicizing this reality and was prominent in exposing sex trade offences in Belgium, Britain, and India as well. She opposed so-called purity societies that attempted to force people to be moral, which she felt was impossible. She wrote over 90 books and pamphlets, and was an essential part in the passing of laws which raised the age of sexual consent from 13 to 16 years of age, made it a crime to abduct a girl under 18 for sexual purposes, and repealed the Contagious Diseases Acts. As a devout Anglican, Butler was honored by being celebrated in the Church of England with a Lesser Festival on the 30th of May. She saw her work and her feminism as an expression of her Christian faith, and it has been reported that her favorite phrase was, â€œGod and one woman make a majority.â€?
Robert A. Danielson