• ‘The Defection of Women’: the New Zealand Contagious Diseases Act repeal campaign and transnational feminist dialogue in the late nineteenth century

    Author(s):
    James Keating (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Subject(s):
    Great Britain, History, Medicine, New Zealand, Transnationalism, Historiography, Women
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Contagious Diseases Acts, Josephine Butler, Suffrage history, British history, Gender history, History of medicine, New Zealand history, Transnational history, Women's history
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/wywv-dm18
    Abstract:
    Over the past decade, historians have situated feminist reformers’ efforts to dismantle the British imperial contagious diseases apparatus at the heart of the transnational turn in women's history. New Zealand was an early emulator of British prostitution regulations, which provoked an organised repeal campaign in the 1880s, yet the colony is seldom considered in these debates. Tracing the dialogue concerning the repeal of contagious diseases legislation between British and New Zealand feminists in the 1890s, this article reaffirms the salience of political developments in the settler colonies for metropolitan reformers. A close reading of these interactions, catalysed by the Auckland Women's Liberal League's endorsement of the Act in 1895, reveals recently enfranchised New Zealand women's desire to act as model citizens for the benefit of metropolitan suffragists. Furthermore, it highlights the asymmetries that remained characteristic of the relationship between British feminists and their enfranchised Antipodean counterparts.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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