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Women Against the VoteFemale Anti-Suffragism in Britain$
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Julia Bush

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248773

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248773.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 June 2021

Suffrage, Sexuality, Citizenship

Suffrage, Sexuality, Citizenship

(p.225) 9 Suffrage, Sexuality, Citizenship
Women Against the Vote

Julia Bush (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The internal problems of the NLOWS were linked to evolving gender beliefs as well as to contested organizational tactics. This chapter reviews various aspects of anti-suffrage gender ideology, developed both within the NLOWS and through dialogue between suffragists and women anti-suffragists. Anti-suffrage women commented with increasing dismay upon female sexual behaviour in early 20th-century Britain, connecting suffragette militancy to various forms of sexual deviance. Feminism was attacked as a sexualized threat to social solidarity and imperial strength. However, anti-suffrage women hesitated to exaggerate links between the more insidious forms of feminism and the suffrage cause, partly because of their awareness of shared ground with many suffragists over issues of moral reform. Though a suffrage truce was never likely in the pre-war years, the anti-suffrage forward policy and related constitutional reform proposals were closely aligned to the suffragists' advocacy of more feminized forms of citizenship.

Keywords:   gender, ideology, suffragists, anti-suffragists, sexual, militancy, moral reform, forward policy, feminized

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