By Antoinette Burton
During this examine of British middle-class feminism within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries, Antoinette Burton explores a huge yet ignored old measurement of the connection among feminism and imperialism. Demonstrating how feminists within the uk appropriated imperialistic ideology and rhetoric to justify their very own correct to equality, she unearths quite a few feminisms grounded in notions of ethical and racial superiority.According to Burton, Victorian and Edwardian feminists similar to Josephine Butler, Millicent Garrett Fawcett, and Mary wood worker believed that the local girls of colonial India constituted a distinct 'white woman's burden.' even supposing there have been a couple of well-known Indian ladies in Britain in addition to in India operating towards a number of the similar ambitions of equality, British feminists trusted pictures of an enslaved and primitive 'Oriental womanhood' wanting liberation by the hands in their emancipated British 'sisters.' Burton argues that this unquestioning attractiveness of Britain's imperial prestige and of Anglo-Saxon racial superiority created a suite of imperial feminist ideologies, the legacy of which needs to be well-known and understood by means of modern feminists.
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Additional info for Burdens of History: British Feminists, Indian Women, and Imperial Culture, 1865-1915
Why India? It was certainly not the sum total of Britain's colonial empire, nor was it the only focus of feminist concern. British suffrage women were international in their connections and paid particular attention to the progress of votes for women and black men's suffrage in the white-settler colonies. If British feminists felt a special responsibility toward Indian women, however, it was because India had always been important to British imperial confidence. After the Mutiny of 1857 this was even more true.
The contemporary cultural attitudes British feminists embodied and the discourses they borrowed from in the service of their own ends indicate how thoroughly British the modern women's movement was, and tell us much that is invaluable about British culture and politics before World War I. Histories of feminism, like those of the empire, belong in the same field as the rest of British history, and neither is properly a "separate sphere" of historiographical debate. Why India? It was certainly not the sum total of Britain's colonial empire, nor was it the only focus of feminist concern.
As this book works to illustrate, British feminists produced them across a variety of genres throughout the nineteenth century and down to the symbolic end of the Victorian period, the Great War. A word is necessary here on the terms "English" and "British" and the significance of their relationships. 23While the women's movement was a British phenomenon, encompassing activists from England, Ireland, Scot- Page 6 land, and Wales, it often, as we shall see, privileged "Englishness" as its core value and attributed the so-called best qualities of the Anglo-Saxon race to it.
Burdens of History: British Feminists, Indian Women, and Imperial Culture, 1865-1915 by Antoinette Burton