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17-Jul-2016 00:55

Honestly, TV Tropes has an entire page dedicated to it. Prostitution in the Old West was just as exploitative, degrading and traumatic as it is today—with the added bonus that local newspapers would name, shame and hound you to suicide. In her book ‘Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery’, Anne Butler notes the high levels of suicide, addiction, violence and rape among frontier prostitutes—a depressing thought made even more depressing by the callous reporting of it in local papers.Annie Proulx claimed the brothels acted as poverty traps, forcing the girls into never ending competition with one another for enough scraps to eat, with no hope of escape.But it turns out the reality of cowboy life was way less romantic and way more prone to stuff like STDs. See, the Southwest United States used to home to hundreds of feral camels—and it was all thanks to our meddling government.It seems our mental picture of the Old West is missing important little details like: At no point in his cinematic career did John Wayne ride a camel. In 1855 congress assigned ,000 for the buying and shipping of camels from Egypt.Sure, you’ll get a few black people in there, maybe a handful of Mexicans and the odd Irishman for ‘comic’ effect—but it was predominantly true-blooded Americans, right? Like late 19th century New York, the Wild West was a hotbed of multiculturalism, with people of all nationalities vying for some room.Rock Springs in Wyoming counted as many as 56 nationalities in a population of under 10,000.

The image of the old West as a bedrock of American values is a Hollywood holdover from a time when casting non-American voices and faces was pretty much a no go.

While the charges were eventually dropped, many local people were pushing for conviction—at the funeral of the three men killed, 300 mourners turned out, while nearly two thousand citizens lined the route. these guys were so badass that their names still conjure images of macho men striking matches off their stubble, instead of lying egomaniacs with girly voices.

It wasn’t until 1931 that a book came out portraying Earp as a modern saint, and by then everyone involved was too old or dead to care. Yeah, turns out not all of them were as tough as they said.

That’s right: in your grandparents’ lifetime, the United States was home to wild camels.

The classic Hollywood picture of the West involves white, all-American tough guys teaming up with or fighting other American white guys.

The image of the old West as a bedrock of American values is a Hollywood holdover from a time when casting non-American voices and faces was pretty much a no go.

While the charges were eventually dropped, many local people were pushing for conviction—at the funeral of the three men killed, 300 mourners turned out, while nearly two thousand citizens lined the route. these guys were so badass that their names still conjure images of macho men striking matches off their stubble, instead of lying egomaniacs with girly voices.

It wasn’t until 1931 that a book came out portraying Earp as a modern saint, and by then everyone involved was too old or dead to care. Yeah, turns out not all of them were as tough as they said.

That’s right: in your grandparents’ lifetime, the United States was home to wild camels.

The classic Hollywood picture of the West involves white, all-American tough guys teaming up with or fighting other American white guys.

However you cut it, daily cowboy life was nowhere near as violent as we think.