July 5, by Maggie McNeill Prostitution is one of the oldest vices of the human race, and civilized communities have been experimenting with its control for centuries.
The only definite conclusion that has been reached is that it is likely to exist as long as the passions of the human beings remain what they are today. Only brothel prostitution was allowed; independent whoring of any kind was strictly suppressed, and of course the madams had no objection because that meant all girls had to work for them just as in modern Nevada. She may not visit Waikiki Beach or any other beach except Kailua Beach [across the mountains from Honolulu].
She may not patronize any bars or better class cafes. She may not own property or an automobile. She may not marry service personnel. She may not attend dances or visit golf courses. She may not ride in the front seat of a taxicab, or with a man in the back seat. She may not wire money to the mainland without permission of the madam. She may not telephone the mainland without permission of the madam. She may not change from one house to another. She may not be out of the brothel after The police enforced these rules by beatings and threatened eviction from the islands.
When Naval ships came in, the lines at the brothels literally stretched down the block, and contemporary accounts describe Honolulu housewives passing unconcernedly through the lines to reach the businesses beyond them. During the Second World War, the demand from servicemen grew so large that most of the better brothels on Hotel Street simply stopped seeing local men altogether.
Hawaiian matrons guarded the doors, turning away any man who was drunk or looked like a troublemaker. Each then paid his fee and received a poker chip, then waited for an available room where he undressed and waited for the whore who was working in the next room; she would come in, collect her chip, inspect him for signs of venereal disease, quickly wash him and do her work.
They then began to flout the old rules, going out in public as they wished and enjoying their earnings for the first time. The police chief, William Gabrielson, was furious; how dare these dirty whores flout his regime and pretend to be real people!
In April, they evicted four prostitutes from a house in Waikiki, and the women complained to Captain Benson of the military police. The establishment was humiliated and the newspapers were ordered not to print a word about the strike, but obviously something had to be done so General Emmons, in a Solomonic maneuver, made a very calm and diplomatic appeal to Gabrielson to rescind the movement and residence restrictions, in return for which the military agreed to take over the weekly health and hygiene inspections.
Gabrielson had little choice but to comply, and the whores were afterward free to move about the island as they pleased. Eventually, however, she pushed too hard; in she published a popular book entitled My Life As a Honolulu Prostitute later republished as Honolulu Harlot.
The police forcibly evicted prostitutes from their homes and returned them to the brothels, and territorial governor Ingram Stainback sent letters to all the high military officials informing them that prostitution was illegal and asking if they approved of the regulated brothel system.