Storytelling was a way of passing down history before the written word and before writing became common. Storytelling was also a form of entertainment, and was a large part of scottish history and heritage.
On Thursday I attended a show at the Storytelling centre in Edinburgh, Scotland. The show though had an interesting story to it, it was a show about prostitutes! “Ladies of Pleasure” is an interesting, and some what enlightening show based off of a real historical pamphlet that had listed all of the brothels and prostitutes that were available to gentlemen in Edinburgh.
The main plot of the show consisted of a madame of a brothel is confronted with her long lost love, and father of her child. The lover, a gentleman of society who had come seeking advice on choosing a lady of pleasure, did not now the true identity of the Madame. The night continues with the two discussing the different women offered and the true meaning of the descriptions. At the end of the night many truths are revealed.
One of the most enlightening moments for me was the fact that the Madame had once been a governess for the gentry. She had a real life, with a real job and all that ended by being intimate with the wrong person. Her whole life ended by sleeping with a man of wealth, and by getting pregnant. And here they are years later, he is still sleeping around, even though he is married, and she is destined to be a lady of pleasure, and a single mother.
The inequality of the entire situation was just astounding to me. I could not believe the injustice that only the woman in this situation would suffer and the man would continue on in the same manner of living, for the rest of his life. I knew that gender equality was unheard of at this point in history, but having that thought shown to you in personal story format made it all the more real to me.