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Women Against the VoteFemale Anti-Suffragism in Britain$
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Julia Bush

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248773

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248773.001.0001

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An Introduction to Women's Anti‐Suffragism

An Introduction to Women's Anti‐Suffragism

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 An Introduction to Women's Anti‐Suffragism
Source:
Women Against the Vote
Author(s):

Julia Bush (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248773.003.0001

Women played an important and in some ways distinctive role in the British anti-suffrage movement, though many female ‘antis’ were reluctant to take an active part in public campaigning. It could be argued plausibly before 1914 that the majority of ‘ordinary’ women did not want the parliamentary vote. Anti-suffragists' prominent role within the largest non-political women's organizations suggests their views were closely attuned to mainstream female opinion on desirable gender roles. Anti-suffrage beliefs were varied in origin and diverse in expression. The new approaches which have shaped revisionist histories of suffragism in recent years are of equal relevance to understanding the complex history of its female opponents. These women's ideas formed part of an extended debate on the Woman Question, rather than merely over the franchise issue. Suffragists and female anti-suffragists found much common ground, drawing from the same developing spectrum of ideas around gender and citizenship. The chapter concludes with a summary of the book's structure and contents.

Keywords:   anti-suffrage, suffragism, gender roles, Woman Question, citizenship

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