Original caption: New York, NY: Kitty Marion ready to sell Birth Control Review in the streets of New York. Photograph, 1915. (Copyright Bettmann/Corbis / AP Images)
I believe this to be by far one of my most interesting images found to date, which I just recently found as I was searching through the AP Images database under the keywords “birth control.” The image you are seeing now was taken in 1915, which is crazy to me. Black and white photographs always tend to catch my eye more than anything colored, so I just so happened to click on this image. As you can see in the original caption, this woman is about to sell a review of birth control (I’m assuming a general topic of it, here) IN THE STREETS.
In the streets in 1915. That is absolutely crazy to me. I can imagine the strange looks you would get here in this day and age selling a review of ANY type of contraceptive on the streets. But, in 1915, before the methods of birth control were even becoming more effective, before the 1960s Sexual Revolution where such topics became a little easier to talk about… I just can’t even imagine what this woman was thinking or who/what company put here up to this. I can’t help but wonder if this is her own work, or if she’s selling someone else’s ideas she may or may not agree with.
While the image does not deal too heavily on the aspects of birth control and its legislation itself, I just so happen to love this photograph. I love the questions it inspires and what is still left to the imagination. It’s not necessarily a pretty or incredibly interesting photograph (it almost looks just like a painting to me, everything almost looks a little blurry), but inspires some very interesting questions, at least to me, that didn’t even really take that much thought for them to come to mind.
I’m just ever so curious. Are these her ideas? And what reaction is she getting from those around here? Is she ridiculed? Called some rude names, like a slut or the equilivant of that time period? I’ll never know, but it’s so interesting to me to think about.