, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
"#TheTrialsOfNinaMcCall: Sex, Surveillance, and the Decades-Long Government Plan to Imprison 'Promiscuous' Women" is an urgent must-read. Painstakingly researched and recorded by @ScottWStern, it brings to life the intentionally forgotten history of the American Plan. Thread.
Created during World War I and actively enforced through the 1970s, the American Plan jailed women suspected of having STIs without trial or due process in an attempt to prevent the spread of gonorrhea and syphilis to American troops. (Spoiler alert: this did not work.)
The American Plan was a collection of state and federal laws that deputized local health officers to forcibly examine women suspected of being infected without their true consent, and then subject them to the toxic "treatment" of Mercury injections.
Many women were also sterilized, isolated, tortured and forced to work. Women of color, sex workers, immigrants and the poor were disproportionately targeted, and while the laws were deliberately gender neutral in their language, men were rarely quarantined.
The vast oppressive history of the American Plan has largely been forgotten, both because of its unflattering legacy of internment, and because we still live in a society rife with STI and sexual stigma.
While reading @ScottWStern's account of Nina McCall’s ultimately failed fight for justice and restitution, I realized that had I lived during her lifetime, I would have been jailed too: for being STI+, for being "promiscuous," and for being loud.
#TheTrialsofNinaMcCall is a must-read for STI advocates, sex educators, and American history buffs. Seriously, order it. Buy it. Support this kind of historical research. powells.com/book/the-trial…
Remember the American Plan. We owe it to the thousands (perhaps even hundreds of thousands) of women who were sexually assaulted, sterilized, imprisoned and forgotten by our government only a few decades ago.
Remember, too, the sex workers who were targeted by this legislation and who now continue to face violence, harassment and discrimination from police and politicians in the United States.
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