People who long for the good old days- might care to study history a bit. In the good old days- there was no anasthetic - few antibiotics medicines. Life for most people was short, brutal, and harsh, esp. in 19th century China.
There's a show I like to watch- Deadwood. In one of the episodes, the show accurately depicts the lives of Chinese prostitutes. They were treated worse than animals. They were poorly fed. Caged. And subject to continous rapings and beatings. Usually they lasted 5 years before falling to disease and their harsh treatment.
Soiled Doves: Prostitution in the Early Years, a book written by Anne Seagraves, has a chapter called The Chinese Slave Girls: A Life Without Hope, that explains in
gruesome detail what these poor girls endured. In traditional Chinese society, the women were considered worthless. Even today, so many Chinese female babies are aborted or killed- that there will be a negative effect on population growth in China.
If you want to read about the lives of Chinese prostitutes during the mid to late 19th century, you could google Donaldina Cameron. She was a Christian activist who helped the Chinese prostitutes, rescuing them from their slave brothels.
It is truly sad to know that even today, many women are still suffering from similar situations.