Jane Tolerton's book Ettie Rout: New Zealand’s safer sex pioneer details the achievements of a woman who pioneered safer sex initiatives for New Zealand troops in the First World War.
Ettie Rout designed a safer sex kit which was adopted by the New Zealand army – and at her insistence it was compulsory: soldiers had to take one when going on leave. In Paris she set up safer sex brothel – and ran a total social and sexual welfare service for New Zealand troops.
In Ettie Rout: New Zealand’s safer sex pioneer, author Jane Tolerton masterfully presents an unlikely First World War heroine. A shorthand typist, journalist and public health activist, Ettie approached her mission with a wicked sense of humour, an intolerance of hypocrisy and boundless energy. She saw the high venereal disease rate among New Zealand soldiers as a medical problem, not a moral one. Telling the men not to take the risk of having sex clearly didn’t work. She was accused of ‘trying to make vice safe’. She answered, ‘Why should it be left dangerous?’ – as she developed methods that worked.
This book celebrates an unlikely heroine of the First World War who is now internationally recognised for waging a successful public health crusade. A woman way ahead of her time.
The book was published in August 2015, and is available from all good bookshops for RRP $35.00.