There were few Chinese women among the early wave of Chinese immigrants to this country. Chinese women were discouraged from joining their men in America by cultural restrictions against women traveling abroad by the, lack of traveling fundsand jobs for them in America,and by US immigration policies. The Page Act of 1875, which sought to stop the trafficking of Chinese prostitutes, placed harsh restrictions on any woman entering the country, and the Chinese Exclusion Act specifically barred the immigration of Chinese laborers, and by implication, their wives. The laws and the lonely situation of Chinese men became a reason for underground organizations to import Chinese women as prostitutes. What little we know about these women comes from the records of Protestant Mission homes set up to rescue and house Chinese prostitutes and abused slave girls. Some of the women themselves wrote letters to family.
Professor Judy Yung, Author Ruthanne Lum McCunn, Actresses Elaine Low and Chisao Hata.