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Marriage, Perversion, and PowerThe Construction of Moral Discourse in Southern Rhodesia 1894-1930$
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Diana Jeater

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203797

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203797.001.0001

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Township Troubles

Township Troubles

Urban Sexuality in Gwelo District, 1916–1920

(p.169) 7 Township Troubles
Marriage, Perversion, and Power


Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses problems of morality and sexual behaviour in the Gwelo District. The absence of lineage control in the towns left few sanctions against sexual violence. The whiff of ‘perversion’ that the Occupation had introduced hung over the urban streets. Manifestations of sexual harassment and assault that occurred in the town were specific to the social climate of urbanization and occupation. Colonization created ways of thinking about sexuality and sexual stimulation, producing certain new types of sexual behaviour. This chapter also discusses the ‘Black Peril’ issue that became the focus of growing political tensions, as the lives of African men were used as pawns in a power struggle between settler, BSACo, and Crown. In 1916, the Immorality and Indecent Behaviour Suppression Ordinance was passed adding to the legislation on the Black Peril.

Keywords:   morality, sexual behaviour, Gwelo District, sexual violence, perversion, sexual harassment, sexual assault, Black Peril, Immorality and Indecent Behaviour Suppression Ordinance, urbanization

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