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"Let the feminine plebiscite be consulted": English Feminists' Campaign Journalism, Foreign Policy and the Crisis in France of 1870-71

"Let the feminine plebiscite be consulted": English Feminists' Campaign Journalism, Foreign Policy and the Crisis in France of 1870-71
"Let the feminine plebiscite be consulted": English Feminists' Campaign Journalism, Foreign Policy and the Crisis in France of 1870-71
Feminist campaign journalism of the 1860s and 1870s both promoted women’s campaigns and expressed opinions on spheres outside those usually ascribed to women, including foreign events. English feminists’ activist and journalistic responses to the French crisis of 1870-71, from the commencement of the Franco-Prussian War through to the defeat of the Paris Commune, contextualise key events in the women’s campaigns of the same period. I argue that feminist writings of this period were influenced not only by feminist campaigning but also by the campaigners’ political ideologies. The feminist press challenged the notion of an ‘imagined community’ with regard to English attitudes to European affairs. Such attitudes were embedded in English masculine notions of self-identity that defined itself against a ‘foreign other’. Instead, the feminist press created their own ‘imagined community’. However, this may itself be challenged, as it emerged from English feminists’ experiences which were themselves grounded in their own class privileges and political ideologies.
Franco-Prussian War, Paris Commune, Victorian Feminists, Contagious Diseases Acts, suffrage, Nineteenth Century Press
2517-7850
78-104
Kitchen, Sian
7631f893-722b-4320-8615-1cebf48147bc
Kitchen, Sian
7631f893-722b-4320-8615-1cebf48147bc

Kitchen, Sian (2021) "Let the feminine plebiscite be consulted": English Feminists' Campaign Journalism, Foreign Policy and the Crisis in France of 1870-71. Romance, Revolution and Reform, (3), 78-104, [5].

Record type: Article

Abstract

Feminist campaign journalism of the 1860s and 1870s both promoted women’s campaigns and expressed opinions on spheres outside those usually ascribed to women, including foreign events. English feminists’ activist and journalistic responses to the French crisis of 1870-71, from the commencement of the Franco-Prussian War through to the defeat of the Paris Commune, contextualise key events in the women’s campaigns of the same period. I argue that feminist writings of this period were influenced not only by feminist campaigning but also by the campaigners’ political ideologies. The feminist press challenged the notion of an ‘imagined community’ with regard to English attitudes to European affairs. Such attitudes were embedded in English masculine notions of self-identity that defined itself against a ‘foreign other’. Instead, the feminist press created their own ‘imagined community’. However, this may itself be challenged, as it emerged from English feminists’ experiences which were themselves grounded in their own class privileges and political ideologies.

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More information

Published date: 14 January 2021
Keywords: Franco-Prussian War, Paris Commune, Victorian Feminists, Contagious Diseases Acts, suffrage, Nineteenth Century Press

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 446561
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/446561
ISSN: 2517-7850
PURE UUID: 983638f5-f658-4400-b15b-32f255c9a02c

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Date deposited: 15 Feb 2021 17:31
Last modified: 15 Feb 2021 17:34

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Contributors

Author: Sian Kitchen

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