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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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The Women's Appeal and After

The Women's Appeal and After

Chapter:
(p.141) 6 The Women's Appeal and After
Source:
Women Against the Vote
Author(s):

Julia Bush (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248773.003.0006

The anti-suffrage movement has been portrayed by most historians as reactive and episodic. This account emphasizes its continuities in terms of female support, and the importance of female agency in determining its extra-parliamentary strategies. 1889 was the year in which women anti-suffragists first voiced their collective viewpoint, as authors and mass signatories of an Appeal Against Female Suffrage published in the Nineteenth Century journal. This chapter considers the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary contexts of the Appeal, before proceeding to a discussion of its arguments, its publicly-declared female support, and its short-term and longer-term aftermath. A detailed review of the available evidence suggests that women played a significant part in initiating the Appeal, authoring its content, and mustering signatures. They were far from being the ‘cats-paws’ of the male anti-suffragists as some historians have suggested, though they certainly valued male support and depended upon male collaboration to make their Appeal effective.

Keywords:   anti-suffrage, female agency, extra-parliamentary, Appeal, signatures, Nineteenth Century

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