This book explores the pervasive influence of pacifism on Victorian feminism. It provides an account of Victorian women who campaigned for peace, and of the many feminists who incorporated pacifist ideas into their writing on women and gender. The book explores feminists' ideas about the role of women within the empire, their eligibility for citizenship, and their ability to act as moral guardians in public life. It shows that such ideas made use – in varying ways – of gendered understandings of the role of force and the relevance of arbitration and other pacifist strategies. The book examines the work of a wide range of individuals and organisations, from well-known feminists such as Lydia Becker, Josephine Butler and Millicent Garrett Fawcett to lesser-known figures such as the Quaker pacifists Ellen Robinson and Priscilla Peckover.
the physical force objection
The physical force objection
to women’s suffrage
he suffrage movement was a central strand in Victorianfeminism, and one of its primary aims was confronting antisuffragists’ opposition to the enfranchisement of women. A
principal argument for opponents of women’s suffrage was the physical
force objection: the principle that women were unable to take up arms
to defend their country, and therefore could not qualify for the franchise.
In engaging with this question, many feminists began to approach the
question of why and under
comparison with Britain, although the British
peace movement differed significantly from that of the Continental
Europeans in its approach to women’s pacifism. Leila J. Rupp has focused
on the growth of international women’s organisations, beginning with
‘ the truest form of patriotism ’
the International Council of Women in 1888 and continuing into the
twentieth century with the International Woman Suffrage Alliance and
the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Although
she does not focus in detail on Victorianfeminism or the interrelations
and ‘peace’. Much work has been done on women pacifists during the
First World War, and in relation to women’s resistance to the presence
of nuclear weapons in Britain, particularly regarding the Greenham
Common missile base, in the 1980s. Yet, in its early years, organised
feminism in Britain also demonstrated a concern with pacifism and the
issue of women’s (imagined) relationship to peace. This book charts the
development of these debates within the Victorian feminist movement
to illustrate the centrality of such ideas to many strands of late Victorian
were intended to make survival impossible for the guerrillas. In practice,
they not only further angered them, but they relieved them of family
responsibilities and possibly facilitated the continuation of the resistance.
The internment of women and children meant that the war was divisive
feminist responses to the anglo-boer war
for the British feminist movement, and produced a range of responses,
both pro- and anti-war, due to Victorianfeminism’s complex relationship to liberalism and imperialism.
The most public feminist involvement in the
pitiless logic; she would leave nothing but shreds
Barbara Caine has contrasted Fenwick Miller’s Signal with the contemporary Shafts, arguing that in the context of the 1890s the Signal was
relatively unfashionable, perhaps even outdated. It did indeed struggle
with the concept of the ‘New Woman’ during the late 1890s, as Caine
has discussed, and maintained strong links with mid-Victorianfeminism.
It dealt with new issues, such as rational dress and cycling clubs, but
it is arguable whether, as Caine suggests, it really ‘could not take on
board with any ease
The International Arbitration and Peace Association
the Pale: White Women, Racism and History (London: Verso, 1992),
pp. 209 –11, 217–18; Marian Ramelson, Petticoat Rebellion: A Century of Struggle
for Women’s Rights (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1967), p. 96; Philippa Levine,
VictorianFeminism 1850–1900 (London: Century Hutchinson, 1987), p. 115; Review
(15 April 1889), p. 186.
41 WPP (16 March 1889) in Bland, Banishing the Beast, p. 44; Walkowitz, City of Dreadful
Delight, p. 68.
42 Journal (31 July 1886), pp. 76–7.
44 Journal (31 July 1886), p. 77; John Ruskin, The Crown of Wild Olive: Four Lectures on
, Bedside Seductions: Nursing and the Victorian Imagination,
1830–1880 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998), among others.
Nurses during the Anglo-Boer War
26 J. Hallam, Nursing the Image: Media, Culture and Professional Identity
(London: Routledge, 2000), p. 20.
27 P. Levine, VictorianFeminism 1850–1900 (London: Hutchinson Education,
1987), p. 129; T. M. Group and J. I. Roberts, Nursing, Physician Control,
and the Medical Monopoly: Historical Perspectives on Gendered Inequality in
Roles, Rights, and Range of Practice (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University