Socialism and Sexual Reform, 1880s to 1920s
The relationship between socialism and sexual reform was mapped in important ways from the 1880s and to the early 1920s by figures such as Edward Carpenter and Stella Browne and organizations such as the Fabian Women’s Group and the Women’s Co-operative Guild. The promotion of the sexual emancipation of women and homosexuals, a commitment to the amelioration of the position of the working-class woman and the working-class family, and the belief that the reform of sexuality was firmly linked to the reform of politics were important aspects of this interest. This chapter explores these links as well as considering how the gendered development of the political Left in Britain, and, in particular, the fledgling Labour Party, disciplined the way sexual issues were approached by socialist and working-class organizations
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