November 18, 2016

Thursday Group reading on sexual crime

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/students/modules/hi398/timetable/seminar6/

Please could you read the following:

James - Turner

Yetunde - Trumbach

Zoe - Walkowitz

Izzy - Simpson

Amie - Porter

Louisa - Kaplan

Abi - Howell

Aksana - Jackson

Aleemat - Gorham

Oliver R-J - D'Cruze

Mikka - Conley

Charlotte - Cocks

Blessing - Clark

Oliver B - Bibbings

Thanks

Sarah


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  1. Judy Walkowitz, Prostitution and Victorian Society
    • Contagious Diseases acts and revolt encourage discussion over sexual morality, double standard, role of state in enforcing sexual and social discipline
    • The prostitute was the conduit of infection to respectable society- object of class guilt and figure, sexual and economic exploitation under capitalism
    • CD Acts aimed to control sexuality and reinforced gender and class domination
    • Extramarital sex becomes a question of state policy and a matter of national importance
    • The Common Prostitute
    • Stereotypes of ‘fallen woman’, innocent victim of middle class seduction.
    • Most moves into prostitution were circumstantial. Vulnerable economic situation.
    • Sixteen was most common age when they ‘first went wrong’ and once women had fallen they would ‘become victims of occasional temptation…. lapse into a life of open shame’ Daniel Cooper
    • Says that if most prostitutes had first sexual encounter around 16, then the abundance of child prostitutes advertised in white slavery campaign 1885 must be dismissed as products of sensationalist journalism aimed to capture attention of the masses
    • Most women entered streets in late teens and remained there for only few years – were local girls, full or half orphans
    • Poor women drifted into prostitution because powerless to assert and alter lives in any other way – streetwalking did not liberate women from poverty even if they did get independence
    C 1857 highest proportion of known prostitutes were found in commercial ports and pleasure resorts and lowest in hardware towns, cotton and linen manufacturing centres
    o In places where it is low, reflect employment opps for women and courting options
    • Some women didn’t like brothels because they didn’t give you freedom and brothels declined from 933 in 1841 to 410 in 1857- also bc of new licensing laws
    • The Great Social Evil
    • Represents how immorality can come from deleterious social conditions
    • Early Victorian period saw new social research into prostitution – empirical and statistical research
    • First attracted religious men and doctors influenced by evangelical doctrine
    o Saw adultery as a sin
    o Saw prostitutes as temptation to middle class sons ‘a young man cannot pass along the street in the evening without meeting with… women of the town’
    o William Tait stressed poverty and employment as primary casues of prostitution
    • From mid century activist societies arise – trying to prosecute brothel owners and prevent prostitution e.g. Associate Institue for Improving and Enforcing the Laws for the Protection of Women – lobbied for reforms that would repress the ‘traffic’ in women
    o Lobbying didn’t have an effect
    o They then turn to ‘rescusing’ teenage girls and educating public opinion about ‘fallen’ women
    • James Miller- increasingly moralistic perspective on prostitution – lack of sympathy and focus on lack of moral education
    • Prostitution represented a distressing street disorder that threatened to infect ‘healthy’ neighbourhoods in the mid century
    • 1850s religious revival- becomes a ‘great social evil’
    o Lots of evangelical rescue homes
    o In London Police crackdowns on prostitution in the open – stimulated by the agitation of the Society for the Suppression of Vice
    o Says police were ‘reluctant agents of moral reform’ who ‘minimised the social threat posed by prostitutes’
     They come under attack for inaction in 1850s and become more repressive

    21 Nov 2016, 20:05

  2. • Writings of Acton and Greg generated intellectual climate sympathetic to regulation – concerns about spread of venereal disease
    o Argued for a compromise between moral principles and reality of social life
    o Greg: male access to prostitutes had to be justified environmentally, it’s not just a male prerogative- he said that given the state of society which required delayed marriages, illicit intercourse must prevail to a certain extent
     Male sex drive was also an innate constant – the double standard- extramarital sex was considered natural for men, but women did not have this sex drive and therefore their movements into prostitution were largely involuntary.
     He saw women as perpetual temptation to men
     Only solution is regulation – there will always be demand for prostitutes, and he saw them as doomed- almost never rescued
     He did say that sanitary supervision, inspection and confinement of prostitutes infringed their liberty – which was a natural law
    o Acton: took readers on tour of brothels and lodging houses; a break with previous writers through emphasising the transitional character of the prostitute; can be tolerated, isn’t forever
     Argued from modified evangelical psistion
     Also shaped by inevitability of male sexual licence – extramarital sex was to be deplored but could not be eradicated
     Wanted to regulate the boundaries of this natural impulse
     His regulation involved a programme which enabled a woman to ‘pass through this stage in her existence with as little permanent injury to herself and as little mischief to society as possible’
     Traced source of prostitution to seduction, poverty and overcrowding- women did not have a sexual appetite
     Didn’t think the prostitute was doomed- instead thought they were more likely to have better health than other women because they weren’t slaving away dressmaking or always having kids

    21 Nov 2016, 20:05

  3. A. Simpson, ‘Vulnerability and the Age of Female Consent: Legal Innovation and its Effect on Prosecution for Rape in Eighteenth-Century London’, in G. S. Rousseau and R. Porter (eds), Sexual Underworlds of the Enlightenment

    • p. 181: Law of rape did not in the 18th century nor now, attract much attention from social and legal historians. Revolutionary legal changes to rape during this time. There was no legislation affecting rape in the 18th century, but this does not mean it did not develop. Different interpretations of general legal standards affected the outcomes of rape prosecutions such as competency of witnesses, level of force and resistance and intent of the aggressor.
    • p. 182: Carnal knowledge became hard to prove in court. Confusion rather than toughness came to characterise the law of rape. Reduction of the age of female consent from 12 years to 10. Traditionally intercourse by force against a woman’s will was a capital crime, under the Normans it was ‘mitigated’ to castration and loss of the eyes and two centuries later reduced to the status of misdemeanour by the First Statute of Westminster. Later redefined as capital punishment by the Second Statute of Westminster. Although doesn’t mean it was taken seriously e.g. not one prosecution was taken out under the First Statute during its first 45 years of existence.
    • p. 183: The age of consent corresponded to the minimum legal age by which a woman could get married. During the Second Statute the legal situation remained that the violation of a girl below the age of 12 would be classed as a misdemeanour if achieved with her consent. It was only without consent that it would be classed a capital offence. Men could therefore avoid severe punishment by committing their crime through persuasion rather than violence, therefore force cannot be proven, which the 1285 Act required evidence of, regardless of age of the victim.
    • p. 184: There was a belief that the rape of a child below the age of 9 was impossible and therefore no offence in law – this was never accepted by the Old Bailey. 1576 Act reinforced the punishment for rape – the violation of female children was changed from a misdemeanour into a capital felony and redefined age at which consent became an issue in cases of felony from 12 to 10. It didn’t remake the law of rape but actually became a new legal offence in itself: the unlawful and carnal knowledge of children – initiated the division of rape law.
    • p. 185: 1875 – age of consent raised to 13. 1885 – age of consent raised to 16 by the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
    • p. 187: Rape prosecutions were associated with a high rate of acquittals. Haphazard manner in which the law was interpreted and applied, so shows a confused approach to the prosecution to this type of offence, protection of the offender over the victim became apparent. Prosecutions reflected a particular view of sexuality and relations between the sexes.
    • p. 190: Confliction and confusion between what counted as a felony and a misdemeanour.
    • p. 191: Unwillingness of the authorities or victims to pursue an unsuccessful capital prosecution with a lesser charge cannot be attributed to the lack of interest in seeing the offender brought to justice. The reason for this was that the crimes of rape and its attempt were so defined in law as to be mutually exclusive. Successful prosecution for rape required force, penetration and/or emission be proven. Many rape cases were brought forward in court as misdemeanour so that a jury would be more likely to convict – conviction rate for attempted rape was considerably higher than rape itself. Rape cases involving children were not a rarity in London courts – about one fifth of all cases of capital rape involved children below the age of 10.

    21 Nov 2016, 20:10

  4. • p. 192: Child abuse seems to have been primarily a Metropolitan phenomenon. ‘Defloration mania’ of the English e.g. Mr Croft believed a temporary cure for his impotence would be the taking of a woman’s virginity. Interest in paedophilic sex accelerated during the nineteenth century and reached its peak just before 1900. Brothels catered to this demand. Why was this? Well no one has really improved on Iwan Bloch’s Anglophobic attribution of English interest in the spoliation of innocence to innate racial beastliness.
    • p. 193: More likely and interesting explanation: the close relationship between the prevalence of venereal disease and popularity of sex with children. Presence of defloration in the Metropolis is better explained with the great prevalence of VD. Abuse of children was common, report of the Lock Hospital from 1740-46 noted that more than 50 children had been treated for VD. There was an opinion that if a diseased person had sex with someone who was clean (a virgin) it would rid them of the disease. Commonly presented as a defence – it was accepted by the courts and medical experts as a way of comprehending the crime. Some would use it to make their actions understandable to those who judged them as well as to themselves. But this myth could not have been invoked unless it were understood at some level by society.
    • p. 194: Many cases of rape went unreported and so the rate may in fact be higher.
    • p. 195: Children under 10 were shown to be prime targets of rapist’s attentions. Most victims were of modest social class. Evidence of the VD myth from USA in the 20th century.
    • p. 196: When VD came to be realised as a national problem, the popularity of child brothels soared. Paedophilia is now believed to be associated with feelings of male inadequacy, shame and guilt.
    • p. 197: Reactions of the populace to paedophilic crimes were typically violent. Humanitarian attitudes toward children were increasingly appreciated yet the widespread abuse of young girls showed the continued male willingness to take advantage of the vulnerability of childhood. Shift of urbanisation to the cities was associated with downward social mobility which created a new urban working-class male culture which compensated for its loss of status. ‘Masculinity ethos’ which celebrated the manly attributes of independence, toughness and aggression. This encouraged male denigration of women and of those men who could not live up to this new man and class based criteria. Child abuse however went against this ethos as the benevolent application of power and strength. VD was the reason and ease of access to child victims. Women and girls domestic service was vulnerable to class abuse.
    • p. 198: Routine victimisation of female servants – bulk of victims. Many were children. Not more than 2 domestic servants per household meant that they were denied peer support and protective structures. The unemployed female servant was thought to be the main contributor to prostitution.
    • p. 199: Sexuality within the family (incest) did not get much attention from the law. Common in cases of rape, but incest was not an offence until 1908. Eighteenth century pornography consisted of bawdiness, brutality and vulgarity e.g. the Experimental Lecture of ‘Colonel Spanker’ which was a macabre double-play indicative of the anti-female violence which is the focus of the narrative.
    • p. 200: The failure of criminal law to offer adequate protection to victims. Sexual abuse of children flourished in eighteenth century London because of female vulnerability and perceived male need. Lack of concern by the law for childhood or its protection. This stands strongly against the idea that childhood became defined as a status demanding care and protection in this period.

    21 Nov 2016, 20:11

  5. Aleema Salami

    Gorham
    • About the Pall Mall Gazette series of articles July 1885
    o The newspaper published a series of articles by Paul Stead called “The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon”
    o It was to reveal:
    • The existence of juvenile prostitution in London
    • The organised trafficking of young English girls to supply brothels on the continent
    o The “expose” created the model for the “personalized and sensationalized form of muckraking” that we see in modern journalism
    • Stead portrayed the child prostitution as a form of slave trade
    o Graphic descriptions of the rape of children, use of drugs in kidnapping
    o Most of the girls were from working class backgrounds
    o The rich men who bought them portrayed as profoundly wicked: “the shriek of torture is the essence of their delight, and they would not silence by a single note the cry of agony over which they gloat”
    • After the publishing of the series, there was a visible development of interest and outrage amongst the Victorian public surrounding child prostitution
    • Most historians, including his contemporaries have given Stead’s article credit for securing the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885 (also known as Stead’s Act)
    o It raised the age of consent to sixteen
    • Agitation about child prostitution, however, existed before Stead’s article but the article generated a sense of outrage, and sympathy from a wide spectrum of the public
    o Everyone from bishops to socialists working together to protest sexual abuse against children
    • Stead’s dramatization of the issue of child sexual exploitation stilled the conflicts of interests between the varying protestors but it also “obscured the contradictions inherent in the ideology that informed the agitation against child prostitution”

    22 Nov 2016, 16:07

  6. Aleema Salami

    • Gorham’s paper examines these contradictions
    o A combined attempt to analyze a social problem in a dispassionate and scientific way with fervent Evangelical enthusiasm.
    • By making it a cause against the darkness and cruel wrongs, it confused and distorted the perceptions of the problems the reformers addressed
    • By portraying the young girls as sexually innocent pure girls, it suggested that they could be redeemed. This portrayal did not threaten the Victorian images of womanhood, childhood and family life.
    • This portrayal, however, served to obscure the fact that these girls where faced with a life of so few choices that the reformers did not recognize that a large part of the issue was the exploitative economic structure
    • Recognizing this would have required more radical reform of the societal structure
    • The reformers had difficulty in distinguishing between the young girls as people to be concerned for and people to be controlled
    • This led to unresolved issues about defining childhood, adolescence and maturity, for many Victorians placed a large importance on childhood but struggled with the nature of childhood and the proper relationship between children, the familial structure and wider society.

    22 Nov 2016, 16:08

  7. Aleema Salami

    o They were unable to confront the question of the way sexuality was conditioned by age, sex and social class
    • Victorians viewed female sexuality as drastically different to men.
    • Women seen as inherently passionless
    • The question of whether this belief in passionlessness was rooted in genuine belief in it or in the unconscious male fear of female sexuality comes into play
    • But the belief was widespread that the behaviour and moral welfare of middle-class daughters ought to be closely and carefully monitored
    • This meant that the reformers brought to the problem of young prostitutes beliefs about girls and young women that were based on the middle class experience, as opposed to the life of working class girls which had much less surveillance from their parents

    22 Nov 2016, 16:08

  8. Binding Men: Stories about violence and law in late Victorian England – Bibbings

    Introduction
    • The cases in this book are presented as an example of how the judicial system took measures to legally limit male behaviour in the time period.
    • In R v Prince (1875) a man who seduced a girl was prosecuted for child abduction.
    • R v Coney (1882) concerned assault charges brought against men who were present at an illegal prize fight.
    • In R v Dudley and Stephens (1884) two sailors who, when shipwrecked, decided to kill (and then ate the flesh of) their cabin boy faced the death sentence if convicted of murder.
    • In R v Clarence (1888) a husband who infected his wife with gonorrhoea was prosecuted for offences against the person.
    • R v Jackson (1891), the civil case, involved an attempt to free a wife who, having refused to cohabit with her husband, had been seized by him and was being held against her will.

    R v Prince: Constraining Carnality

    • Annie Phillips, a 13-year-old girl was at the centre of the case.
    • She met Henry Prince on a number of occasions and said he had pleaded with her to come away with him and promised marriage.
    • Prince said he asked her age and she had said she wasn’t sure but told him she was 18.
    • He was charged with taking an underage girl away from her parents against their will.
    • The charge was presented more as an offence against the girl’s parents rather than Annie herself.
    • “The question (or questions) for the Court was whether the finding that Prince genuinely believed that Phillips was over 16 and that he had reasonable grounds for this belief constituted a defence to section 55 or, to phrase it slightly differently, whether these facts meant that he did not possess the required mens rea or ‘criminal state of mind’ for this offence”
    • The ideas this case presented was that the view of men who mistreated the young were seen to be abominations and degenerates. They were expected to show constraint in regards to sex and be the defender of women and children.

    R v Coney, Gilliam and Tully 1881-2: Civilizing combatants and limiting lawlessness

    • This case originated from an apparently organised fight between two men. They were either charged with assault or accessories to the assaults made by the fighters.
    • This case is an example of the law trying to create a new Englishmen and reign in the acts of inter male violence that were being encouraged.
    • The issues in court surrounded the case of whether the fight was organised or not.
    • “Lurking behind the judicial pronouncements there was also perhaps a linked sense of unease about the large unruly gatherings of lower class men who watched prize-fights”
    • Fights were either seen as chivalrous and honest fighting or instead the lowest part of being a civilised man.

    23 Nov 2016, 12:00

  9. R v Dudley and Stephens 1884: Subduing the Savage

    • The defence argued that these men acted out of necessity when they were stranded and needed food they ate a crewmate.
    • The issues surrounding this case are the perceptions of humanity and being able to place the necessary conditions on an individual in order to determine what is deemed necessity or not.
    • The two men were convicted but not sentenced to death, instead they were imprisoned for a time period.
    • “The very idea that Englishmen could display the characteristics of such under-evolved or lesser peoples – or that they might perhaps be degenerating to their level – was an alarming prospect.”
    • There was also the issue with different laws and legislation for conduct on sea compared to conduct on land.

    R v Clarence 1888: Supervising Sex

    • This case is surrounded by the ideas of make sexual behaviour towards women and male sexual immorality. This included extra marital and marital sexual relations.
    • Clarence knew he was infected and didn’t choose to tell his wife and whilst she consented, claimed she wouldn’t have done if she had known.
    • The court saw that no crime had been committed as his wife had consented to sexual relations.
    • The views at the time saw these diseases as being amongst the lower classes of society and were linked to male immorality.
    • “people saw female prostitutes as being responsible for the spread of infection. Significantly, they seemed also to be founded upon the assumption that some men at least could not (be expected to) resist their biological impulses, so prostitution was conceived of as an inevitable evil.”

    R v Jackson 1891: Dictating Dominion

    • This case focuses on the efforts to end or restrict the husband’s dominion in marriage.
    • The abuse involved can be financial, emotional, psychological or physical.
    • The wealth and social standing of the Jacksons is taken into consideration and reflects the decisions made in the case.
    • The result of the case was the release of Emily Jackson and It reflected the changing attitudes of the role of the man and his duties in wedlock as well as the powers he had over his spouse. However, there was still resistance by those who believed in the dominion of a husband in marriage.
    Concluding Thoughts
    • The book looks to shift the attention away from women being the problem and place men under the spotlight. These cases reflect the period of one where worries about men resulted in efforts to rein in male behaviour and increasing attempts to create parameters of unacceptable and unlawful violence.
    • The book also looks at reading and narrating court cases. There is focus on what happens before and after the court cases to understand the context of the trial better.

    23 Nov 2016, 12:00

  10. Concluding Thoughts
    • The book looks to shift the attention away from women being the problem and place men under the spotlight. These cases reflect the period of one where worries about men resulted in efforts to rein in male behaviour and increasing attempts to create parameters of unacceptable and unlawful violence.
    • The book also looks at reading and narrating court cases. There is focus on what happens before and after the court cases to understand the context of the trial better.

    23 Nov 2016, 12:01

  11. Morris B. Kaplan, ‘Did “My Lord Gomorrah” Smile? Homosexuality, Class and Prostitution in the Cleveland Street Affair’
    • Kaplan opens with debate over when homosexual subcultures first emerged. Foucault points to discourses of 19th century Science and medicine, shift from sodomy being prohibited behaviour ‘to the construction of the homosexual as a distinctive kind of person’. Kaplan makes argument to counter Foucault by saying the complexities of social lives seems distant from Foucault’s application of science.
    • Increased mobility and urbanisation were crucial factors to the development of a homosexual subculture.
    • Cleveland Street Scandal was first application of 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act, which criminalised sexual activity between men. Cleveland Street investigations focused on working class men in their late teens, typically post office employees, being paid 4 shillings for ‘indecent acts’.
    • Author makes argument against Foucault, since complexities of social lives seems distant from Foucault’s application of science. Cleveland Street investigations over WC post office employees paid 4 shillings for ‘indecent acts’.
    • Exposed class inequalities. Newlove, a working class boy working at Cleveland Street, thought his conviction unfair, many upper class almost got away. Newlove thus named Lord Arthur Somerset and the Earl of Euston. Brought scandal ‘perilously close to the royal family’. Simpson, Chester and Leitch argued there was a successful cover up by the Prince of Wales with the complicity of the Prime Minister.
    • Highest charge was against journalist for libel, ‘even the highest legal officials debated whether it was better to allow the guilty go uncharged rather than publicise the commission of such acts’.
    • Labouchere claimed the amendment was designed to protect men from sexual abuse, in the same manner as increasing the age of consent for women.
    • Attempted sodomy was more commonly convicted, carrying a sentence of 10 years, since it was easier to prove. Much was made of the working class boys being in the postal service, framed as a threat to the nation itself by the press.
    • However the social purity movement capitalised on the young boys as victims, viewed them as corrupted children, despite the fact that they were at least in their late teens or early twenties. Their crimes were insulated by ‘the construction as diligent sons of the working class eager for a leg up in the economic struggle and vulnerable to corruption as randy young males’.
    • Some of the workers rejected this characterisation. John Saul marked himself as a ‘Mary-Anne’, a ‘professional of desire’. The ‘Sodomite’ was linked as much to character as sexual act, ‘figure of excess’. Scandal blown up into ‘moral equivalent of the gunpowder plot’.
    • Shaw protested matter as one of human rights, but he underestimated the hypocrisy of a society that only tolerated ‘deviance’ so long as it was in private. Sexual acts between men remained illegal until 1967.
    • Saul characterised as having a flair for dramatics, making the most of ‘his day in court’, and impossible to suppress. Lord Euston was accused by Saul, but he claimed he only went to Cleveland Street once by accident, believing there to be a display of nude women there.
    • The class divisions in the world of law and order was proven when the jury sided with Lord Euston and found journalist Ernest Parke guilty of libel. This was in spite of press scepticism around Lord Euston’s ‘cock-and-bull story’.
    • Kaplan concludes with the final thought – ‘Laws against same-sex behaviour clearly exercised a chilling effect out of all proportion to their actual enforcement and worked to reinforce and legitimise informal social sanctions against men known to prefer unorthodox sexual activities’.

    23 Nov 2016, 15:27

  12. Abi Wren

    A private Contagious Diseases Act: prostitution and public space in Victorian Cambridge
    In Britain the regulation of position became a matter of urgency in the middle and later decades of he 19th c., most famously in the Contagious Diseases Acts of the 1860s.
    ‘Regulationist’ policy attempted to isolate, segregate and domesticate prostitutional activity – resulting in spatial order with clear class and gender biases.
    Policies did not go unchallenged.
    Prostitution seemed to many Victorians to promise nothing less than social anarchy.
    ‘Common prostitute’ – propagate moral ad physical contagion – introduced the public character of commerce and cash into intimate relationships that we’re regarded as properly private and domesticated.
    ‘Social Evil’ – encapsulated almost everything that the respectful Victorian feared about modern urban society – sight of the streetwalker was assured of her place in the iconography of dangerous sexuality.
    Other hand – long standing notion that prostitutes had a special utility for society was still commonly affirmed.
    Outlet for powerful able sexual appetites left unsatisfied bother wives.
    Victorian discourses of sex and sexuality were governed by the assumption that for men the sexual drive was natural and not to be denied.
    Women – viewed as having no enjoyment from sex.
    Central ambiguity to how prostitutes were regarded and understood.
    Seen as both victims of male seducers and as aggressive agents who tempted vulnerable men.
    Consensus about prostitution was always beyond reach.
    Nevertheless there was a powerful argument for defining the problem of prostitution and its solution, in spatial terms.
    ‘Regulation’ policy – accepted the impossibility of denying male’s sexual urges, tolerated the existence of female prostitutes who existed to satisfy these needs.
    Prostitutional policy – following these principles meant bringing order to unorthodox and uncontrolled sexual exchanges ensuring disease and disorder was kept to a minimum.
    Prostitution was defined as a public problem – principal dangers arose from activities such as soliciting in public streets – introduced disorder into public space and tempted the unwary.
    Felt by many to be better to contain prostitutional activity in segregated urban areas that might be more effectivity policed and in known brothels.
    The distinctive quality of regulation is thus its intention to remove women as far as possible from the public streets and to enclose them in specified spaces of sexual activity.
    The reason for the transition from repression of prostitution in the pre-modern era to regulation in the modern is not hard to establish.
    Large and growing number of undergraduates in the 29th c. contributed to Cambridge University acting as a magnet for both causal and professional prostitute.
    Combined with both the hardening of attitudes to lower-class women, and the fears about their role in spreading venereal disease, to which attention was drawn in the mid 19th c., repressive statutes gave way to the de facto 9if not de jury regulationist policies of the proctorial system.
    A zone of tolerance, in which brothels were accepted and inspected, and from which prostitutes were rarely moved on, are part and parcel of classic regulationist policies.
    Although Cambridge had no licensed sex district authorised by over legislation – it was nevertheless no exception to this rule.
    The privacy of the receiving house and the brothel made a rather notable contrast to the actions taken against suspected prostitutes in public space.

    23 Nov 2016, 16:45

  13. Nameless Offences: Homosexual Desire in the 19th Century
    H.G. Cocks

    “Nameless Offences” argues that even before Oscar Wilde and the rise of sexual science there was an open, public and concerted discussion of same-sex desire that went to the heart of Victorian notions of masculinity, civil society, class and identity.
    How did homosexuality come to be known as a ‘secret vice’, consigned to a secret place – the closet – when contemporaries regularly described its existence as widespread, threatening and even notorious?
    Asks where the closet came from and how the English learned to describe that which was ‘nameless’ and indescribable in this way.
    Asks why it was still labeled as this in a time when homosexuality was gaining momentum in terms of a non-medical issue, and coming to the forefront in English culture.
    Examines the varied and subtle languages that were available to describe directly and publicly that which was assumed to be indescribable.
    Gives a vast literature review of concerns of homosexuality in the nineteenth century.
    Gives stories of ‘unsuitable’ behaviour, and those of which resulted in arrests.
    States that during the nineteenth century, homosexual offences were primarily committed in private; brought to police attention through an ‘interested third party’.
    Asks what exactly a homosexual offence was in the nineteenth century. How it was defined etc.
    Asks why it was so highly stigmatised in this era.
    Brings Lacquer’s work on early anatomical theory into the limelight as he highlights how the changing to the two sex model exacerbated homosexuality as being a negative and unnatural.

    23 Nov 2016, 18:01

  14. ‘Sex, Violence, and local Courts’ by S. D’cruse

    • Men’s sexual and physical violence, often associated with leisure and drunkenness, affiliation cases and women’s neighbourhood quarrels, produced a composite picture of disorder which middle-class magistrates aimed to discipline
    • A women jeopardized her respectability (and thus her reliability as a witness) in even bringing a case of sexual assault, first because she was sexually compromised and secondly because she dared (and was forced by the legal system) to speak immodestly in open court.
    • With the extension of magistrates’ powers of summary jurisdiction by mid-century legislation and before motoring offences brought the middle class to the attention of the police courts, petty sessions dealt almost exclusively with the working class
    • Charles Butterworth had been sent to prison for raping Mary Taylor’s daughter in Royton. There had been some doubt over the identity of the attacker, but Salford Quarter Session had found against him
    • Butterworth was obviously popular in Royton. Mary brought an unsuccessful case at Royton petty sessions against a group of boys who repeatedly stoned her and shouted abuse.
    • Henry Simpson beat his wife when she came to collect money for his sick children. His daughter smashed his windows and the magistrates and public gallery were seen to be sympathetic towards his wife.
    • Out of 25 sexual assaults in Middleton in 1858-67, only 17 were tried as such. A good deal of sexual violence in petty sessions were hidden in cases of common assault, domestic violence, even theft and minor misdemeanours as well as affiliation cases.
    • A new town clerk created a better recording system which can be seen to impact records in the early 1860s (Middleton table in book). Nevertheless, these statistics highlight the sharpened institutional gaze on working class disorder in this period.
    • William Jagger attempted to sexually assault his adolescent daughter in a drunken fit, but the case collapsed as her evidence became contradictory. Unable to find a guilty verdict, the magistrate took the opportunity to moralize at length and said that the suspect deserved horsewhipping.
    • On one occasion the bench complimented Alice Morvel for binging the case against two drunks who had torn her shawl and said they would afford every protection to females
    • George Halliwell beat up his wife and threatened her with a knife. However, because her screams did not reach the ears of the police sergeant outside, the bent were inclined to lenience and ‘admonished [the couple] to live more comfortably together’.
    • Lillie Garett (aged 11) was raped by a plainly dressed, working-class man, Charles Brown. She was returning home one evening and accepted a lift in his cart. Lillie was then raped. She then returned home to her mother called the police who then went in hot pursuit of the suspect. Brown was found guilty of an indecent assault and fined 1s; a sum which represented something like 10% of the weekly earnings of local handloom weavers at the time.
    • The evidence in court of the above case made a guilty verdict likely. This was an attack apparently by a stranger on a child of 11. The police intervened at once. But presumably because Lillie had been out alone, had accepted the ride in the cart and apparently had not sustained extensive external physical injuries, Brown was found guilty only of a minor misdemeanour.
    • It is clear that the court did not take Lillie’s case as a serious matter.
    • Jurisprudence accepted that a woman’s consent to sexual intercourse could be legitimately ‘obtained’ through physical coercion.
    • It is evident that it didn’t matter really if a woman told the court that sex was by force as they were simply not interested.

    23 Nov 2016, 19:13

  15. Roy Porter, ‘Rape: Does it Have a Historical Meaning?’, in S. Tomaselli and Roy Porter, Rape: A Historical and Cultural Enquiry

    - Porter suggests that the powerful Early Modern states in Europe were built on patriarchy. However, rape was not part of this established patriarchy. Instead, it was a deviant act, often committed by marginal young males who hadn’t yet assimilated into patriarchal society. I.e. they were not yet fathers or husbands.
    - Rape was not a mechanism of social control, and had a very minimal social function. Patriarchy was already extremely strong and established that it didn’t need to rape to establish or maintain its position. It did not maintain patriarchal hegemony, as suggested by Susan Brownmiller.
    - Porter also rejects the thesis of Edward Shorter who suggests that rape functioned as a relief from the sexual repression that dominated pre-industrial society.
    - Porter argues that Shorter is wrong by suggesting sexual desire is a purely biological constant, and instead it is far more sociological than that.

    23 Nov 2016, 20:08

  16. Carolyn Conley- Rape and Justice in Victorian England

    • Records of Victorian rape trials offer insights into three areas of social history: the workings of the criminal justice system itself, the practical definition and importance of respectability, and attitudes towards women and sexuality (This article uses records for Kent County between 1859 and 1880). Rape presented particular difficulties for the criminal justice system. The definition of rape as ‘the carnal knowledge of a women forcibly and against her will’ left a great deal open to interpretation. Exactly how much resistance was necessary to establish that the act had been against her will was left to the discretion of the judge and jury.
    • The conviction rate in rape trials was only 40%- for all other felonies it was 85%. Only 21% of men accused of rape actually stood trial-magistrates frequently dismissed cases despite the presence of medical evidence or reduced the charges to common assaults. Often magistrates overstepped their authority. For example, a labourer accused of raping two teenage girls at knifepoint was released because the magistrate felt the girls were to blame for not helping each other enough.
    • While medical evidence was always included in cases before the Grand Jury, the decision as to whether the charge should be rape or attempted rape was rarely influenced by whether or not the act had been completed. Rather, lesser charges were used when middle class men were accused and the evidence was too serious for the case to be dismissed. ‘Indecent assault’ had an even vaguer definition than did rape.
    • Judges were often willing to sidestep the law in rape cases. In 1878, Justice Henry Manistey dismissed all the rape cases on the Assize calendar before any evidence had been presented. Though the law itself did not mention physical injury, most judges and juries assumed that anything less than a violent struggle implied that the act had not been against the will of the woman. In a case where a soldier was acquitted, it was due to the fact that the victim had ‘evidently, to a certain extent, been consenting as her injuries were very slight’ (emphasis added). Any indication of carelessness on the part of the victim could destroy a case. A man accused of raping a woman in the hop fields was acquitted ‘not because the jury thought no assault had been committed but because she had acted foolishly in going with the prisoner through the gardens. But for this, he would have been doubtless convicted’.
    • Despite the difficulties the prosecutors faced, rape was considered a serious crime. Public rapes were more likely to be convicted, largely because protecting public order was as (or more) important as protecting women. One judge told a man convicted of sexual assault on a married working woman that he was guilty of ‘very disgraceful conduct which would not be permitted on a Sunday’. Inside, however, judicial officials were considerably less concerned with the protection of women.

    23 Nov 2016, 21:32

  17. • The verdicts and sentences in cases involving employers and servants illustrate the fundamental consideration in most rape trials- the perceived character of the victim versus the perceived character of the accused. Attorneys argued, often successfully, that the client’s respectability rendered him incapable of committing rape or assault. Yet the definition of respectability remained obscure. Respectability was perceived as a constant characteristic (‘ that respectable gentlemen are law-abiding citizens goes without saying’). Also, in every case involving a victim described as a ‘lady’ the accused went to trial, and in 87% of the cases the accused was convicted of either indecent assault or rape. When the victim was a domestic, the conviction rate fell to 43%.
    • While judicial discretion and deference to respectability affected all criminal proceedings, sexual assaults cases were unique in that all of the victims were female and all of the offenders were male. This gender distinction made it difficult for the males who ran the justice system to comprehend fully the criminality of rape. A man’s virility was a sign of his importance and power- while it was the duty of a respectable man to refrain from abusing this power, sexual aggression was perceived as normal and inevitable, even healthy. Judges often saw sexual assault as regrettable lapses of self-control. A male under the age of 15 could not be convicted of rape regardless of the circumstances. Justice John Mellor was lenient on a 21 year old accused of sexually assaulting a 7 year old on account of his youth, giving him only 6 months. The same judge sentenced a 16 year old with no previous convictions to 7 years for setting fire to a stack of hay.
    • Though rape victims had the right to prosecute independently, judges always dismissed charges if the victim’s male protector had accepted compensation. To merit the protection of the courts, a woman needed to be under the supervision of a man. In addition, the idea that unsupervised women in public were ‘available’ was common.
    • Unless the victim’s virtue was of enormous value to her male relatives, or the violence had been excessive, or the circumstances had been a threat to public order, the men who ran the criminal justice system found little evidence of anything criminal in the sexual aggression of their fellow men.

    23 Nov 2016, 21:33

  18. Sex, Gender, and Sexual Identity in Modern Culture: Male Sodomy and Female Prostitution in Enlightenment London RANDOLPH TRUMBACH
    • Female prostitutes and male sodomites were equalised in society (as outcasts) – but for the latter the ultimate consequences were more devastating
    • Both roles were ‘had become essential to the maintenance of the gender system that in the early and mid-eighteenth century was being produced by the emerging culture of the modern western world’
    • Roles which were the opp of the prostitute/ sodomite were also maintained by the changing pattern of public persecution – law helped to reflect and shape culture
    • But enlightenment society also helped to change society’s relationships (equality and indiv)
    • And financial institutions and Christianity (decline in the belief of magic and rise of scientific thinking)
    • Regarding thinking on sex an gender: the prevailing thoughts were never entirely replaced by the new ones; any change affected men more; urban changed faster than rural; law was influenced by the culture of the new and not the poor culture
     But the poor still accepted the new sexual/ gender relationship (in London)
    • Modern gener role for men: exclusively desired women (root of all masc behaviour)
     Reversal of the trend that men had relations with both men and women
     Bisexual men were still in gender segregated spaces (prisons/ at sea/ colleges)
     And the aristiocracy: those who were too ‘effeminate’ were only tolerated to an extent, and ultimately excluded from gaining political power; also blackmailed by poorer men
    • Law comes to their protection – classed based aggression was not to be tolerated (rich men were ‘easier targets’ because they were seen as more sodomitical to poorer men?)
    • Men who were found out were forced to live abroad / ostracised by their society
    • Before in the Restoration period (1660-1700) these men were the last of the ‘old sexual culture’ – before the advent of new sexual roles for men >>> more accepting and open (novel- the quitenseence of debauchery// King William)// but the role was still under threat by th emerging influcne of romanticism and domesticity in family life

    24 Nov 2016, 08:27

  19. CONT

    • Between 1707 and 1730 – attacks on the ‘effemitate sodomite’ – Society for the Restoration of Manners exposed this among the London poor – where men constructed a protective subculture where they took on feminine identities; worked as transvestite prostitutes in groups of female ones; may not always have taken a ‘female’ sexual role/identity though >>> third gender role? Combined characteristics of the two
    • These transvestite adult men were grouped with a bigger group of effeminate men who only wanted relations w/ other males – known as ‘mollies’ (slang) whch was a term first applied to female prostitutes
    • May not have identified as mollies outside of the space (had wives and families) but inside took on essentially female identities (names/ speech/ mannerisms)
    • Men who could not have two distinct identies were abused/ blackmailed/ fined/imprisoned/stoned to death in public (indicative of the internalisation of their third gender role) – in some cases they were hanged in the event that anal penetration could be proven
     Once this identity was formed it was no longer possible for adolescent males to be seen as sexually passive in comp to older males – all males were sexually active once they had reached puberty (at 15 yrs)- to bot be seen as active was to not be seen as male
     Cases that involved young boys (forward by them of their parents) hardly ever involved prepubescent boys – all sorts of men were charged ; may have been attracted to the ‘ambiguity’ of the male adolescent body
     Responses: a variety – some ran for the constable right after, others consented to a single actbut no more, others willing partners
     None of the offenders were clearly ‘effeminate’ but still classed as mollies at trial
     More effemitnate men were charged for relations with other adult men
     Boys could still be accused of being effeminate
     Charges of sodomitical assault and of attempting to blackmail a man for being a sodomite made up at least half of the sodomy cases in the Lon? don courts. Charges against sodomites for having sex with each other be? came the decided minority, especially after 1750. It is apparent that once the sodomite’s role was established, the law’s principal concern was to con? tain his behaviour and insulate it from the rest of male society

    24 Nov 2016, 08:27

  20. CONT

    Relationships between women – never prosecuted in London >> therefore difficult to establish whether they actually occurred
    • Represented in literature as aristocrats or as prostitutes, and never in a cross-gender way; sexual interest in men and women
    • Women who did cross dress were prosecuted at times but did it for occupational reasons rather than sexual ones
    • Some did have realtionships with othr women and were only condemned if the relations were sexual
    • Low visibility meant that the relationships could not be identified?
    • Women’s relationships with each other were always defined in the context of men – always assumed to be attracted ot men too; did not compromise gender roles
    • Indiviuals viewed as dangerous: sexually ‘passive’ men and ‘active’ women; biological hermaphrodites
    • 3 bodies but 2 genders
    • After 1700: 2 bodies and 3 genders (inc sodomite)
     Sodomites experienced his desires and played his role as a result ofa cor- rupted education or socialization and not because of a bodily condition
    • No public role for women to assume a third gender BUT prostitutes could be redeemed to respectable women unlike men
    • The classification of the sodomite entrenched the male gender role; men could never be attracted to other men
    • By the mid c18 the ‘new system for women began to be apparent in the changing patterns of prosecution for sexual offenses by women.’ >>> defining their sexual relations with men
     Adultery – less women blamed other women
    • Mothers an infanticide
    • Prostitution – men neeed a sexual outlet so constables ceased to arrest them (ex in public places) /// it was feared men would ‘return to sodomy’
    • Women became prostitiutes bc of environmental factors ad reformed bc of them (Magdalen Hosp and the Lock Asylum)
    • But these initiatives were still underlined by a fear of sodomy
    • No long term consequence – ‘Punishment only prevents for the time it operates, but hardly ever produced one reformation’ – as opposed to a hospital, where they would be educated and employed
    • Girls could return to society w/ a ‘habit if industry’
    • Prostitution +men away from their wives + public sign against sodomy

    24 Nov 2016, 08:28

  21. → Why did women become prostitutes?
    ○ Taking the contemporary view of people such as L.O. Pike, it was because of their increased independence from men which made them more susceptible to crime and to prostitution etc.
    ○ Crime was gendered in Victorian Britain. Men typically committed more of certain crimes and women more of others although both stole food and clothing. Emsley: contemporary opinion was that women were brought before court as a result of some degree of connection to prostitution.
    ○ Emsley: According to the Victorians, ‘prostitutes’ were the female half of the ‘criminal class’. A prostitute was the complete opposite to Victorian ideals of womanhood
    § 18th CE criminal biographies usually staked the offender’s involvement in crime as a consequence of interaction with prostitutes or as a means to satiate their desire for them
    § Natural order of things, when women existed outside of the private sphere there was a series of issues. I.e young juvenile delinquents being drawn into crime because of the influence of corrupted young women and girls.
    § When men become subordinate to independent/masterful and therefore unnatural women they do bad things like crime because in Victorian view men are supposed be on top
    ○ A. Clark – Women who needed to earn a living for themselves/their family exchanged her sexuality for sustenance either through marriage or prostitution
    § But not all women’s sexuality as property in 18CE England, for more independent women their sexuality wasn’t necessarily property as they could earn a living for themselves (and their children)
    ○ A. Clark – Unmarried women who had bastard children and no support from husbands (who were given increased legal loopholes which didn’t require them to take responsibility for bastard children) had the choice to go to the workhouse or starve.

    → Did regulation create a geography of prostitution (including in the British empire)?
    → What solutions did contemporaries have for the problem of vice in the nineteenth-century city and how successful were they?
    ○ Birth of the British ‘gentleman’? New standards of behaviour amongst men, less focus on violence and more emphasis on politeness etx. And involvement in the church etc. to gain notoriety. Also enforced by the courts when men convicted of violence
    ○ A Clark – 18CE England women from all classes vulnerable to sexual violence (rape) and there was a nineteenth century campaign to ‘protect’ women from sexual danger but this ‘protection racket’ was (in her view) part of middle-class effort to control working class women’s activities in public space (public/private thing)
    § Related to issues of women not speaking out against sexual violence because of their image of women to be chaste/virtuous etc. Part of men’s manipulation of women over time
    ○ A. Clark – The various attempts in the 19CE to regulate working class behaviour severely affected women because suppression of female sexuality was seen as instrumental in resolving the issue of public moral order.

    24 Nov 2016, 08:28

  22. → Was domestic violence a fact of everyday life in Victorian England?
    ○ Emsley – In the 17/18CE it was accepted that a man can physically punish/chastise his wife. But new ideas of masculinity affected the practice and from late 18CE courts looked more harshly upon wife-beating
    ○ Generally Victorian courts were increasingly harsh on marital violence but it was still common for ‘aggravation’ on the part of the wife to be a valid mitigating circumstance in the husband’s favour.
    □ Contemporary examples where wives were seen to be ‘asking for’ violence and women who were beaten had a propensity for aggravating their husbands (‘sharp tongues’, ‘nagging’ etc.)
    ○ Lack of information on domestic violence as police were discouraged from involving themselves in domestic disputes and many women were reluctant to take husbands to court that they relied upon and also because of the impact that prison could have on the family budget
    ○ Emsley – Arguments that spousal violence decreased towards the end of the century as rising living standards relieved pressure from males and there was stricter legislation and enforcement of the law (hold on doesn’t this seem to validate violence because men are ‘stressed’ and ‘feel bad’???!!!? WTF?
    ○ 1895 – in response to the case R. V. Jackson it was illegal for a man to beat or imprison his wife
    ○ ‘Wifebeater’ became increasingly ‘demonised’ as the century continued and was also seen as a ‘working class problem’

    24 Nov 2016, 08:28

  23. Aksana Khan

    What does a study of sexual crime reveal about class and gender in Victorian Britain?

    Jackson’s key argument: ‘The sexual abuse of children was discussed in relation to notions of a moral economy based on the duality of innocence and corruption; it was an analysis that was closely related to notions of class and gender.’ (152)
    Jackson’s methodology: Given the paucity of data and the unreliability of stats in showing crime in different settlements, focuses instead on the qualitative approach of focusing on ‘on changes over time, seeking to identify elements of similarity across regions.’ (24)
    • ‘The term ‘Christian moral economy’, used here to describe a fluid currency or exchange of moral and immoral influences within a social body, ...The moral condition of society was dependent on the regulation and containment of immorality, which could contaminate those with whom it came into contact.’ (7)

    When considering certain historiograhical trends:
    A) Goes against the historiographical view that sexual abuse is a lC20 phenomenon when mass campaigning and parliamentary legislation against child prostitution, incest and for the age of consent highlight how although the term ‘sexual abuse’ was not widespread, it was in Victorian consciousness (2).
    • This is because of the change in mind-set amongst the public and policy-makers who were tied to social purity/child welfare movements from the 1860s onwards. The emergence of these trends saw to a gendered and class interpretation of child sexual abuse.
    ○ Gender: ‘Girls and women could ‘fall’ but boys could not, according to the Victorian sexual schema.’ (pg. 6)
    § What the Victorians found problematic was that women’s status in society depended on their sexual reputation (to be considered good meant having sex in a ‘lawful’ setting, i.e. only with their married partner). Sexually abused girls were seen as potentially moral corrupting force as they had ‘unlawful’ carnal knowledge. These girls were either sent to a children’s home or were ostracised from their community despite the recognition of their being sexually abused.
    § Given the double-standard with sexual reputation, this consequently affected the treatment of boys who were victims of sexual abuse. ‘The reason for the invisibility of boys (despite police knowledge of a market for adolescent boy prostitutes) lies in the emergence of the issue from the social purity and rescue societies’ preoccupation with ‘fallen’ women and young female prostitutes.’ (pg. 5)
    § This applies today with regards to the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act which still considers females aged 13-16 ‘as somehow less innocent, require slightly lower levels of protection.’ (pg. 15)

    24 Nov 2016, 08:29

  24. Aksana Khan

    B) Considering the sociological view that childhood is a social construct, in application this charts how children were treated differently. There were 2 key competing notions of childhood, and this was based on class:
    1. Romantic child. Historiographical change in how people viewed children as inherently evil under Calvinism during C16-17, to romantic view of innocence by the end of eighteenth century. (pg. 5)
    a. The romantic child is seen as feminine, as something whose innocence must be protected against.
    b. Extends Carolyn Steedman’s thesis that the romantic child is ‘the object of a great deal of psychological investment as a personification of the essence of self, as a key aspect of personal identity, our view of childhood today is still profoundly shaped by this inheritance.’ (pg. 6)
    2. Juvenile delinquent. This has clear middle-class prejudice (read BP8) against working class, and it is gendered.
    a. ‘The reports of social investigators and parliamentary committees portrayed brutality, immorality, incest and, therefore, deviancy as the norm amongst the poorest sections of society who lived in dirt and squalor. The middle and upperworking classes were depicted, in contrast, as respectable and morally righteous.’ (pp. 7-8)
    b. ‘Perhaps because child sexual abuse was defined as such a horrible and brutal crime, juries found it harder to believe that a ‘normal’, ‘respectable’ male, with a permanent job and family responsibilities, should wish to molest a child. The middle-class male and, indeed, the middle-class home, was less likely to be the subject of surveillance or scrutiny.’ (pp. 7-8)
    C) Whilst feminist historians have delineated the extent and nature of patriarchal power in the family and in the public sphere, it is important to note that the power dynamics of class, gender, and race intersect and change over time. Patriarchy is not static.

    24 Nov 2016, 08:29

  25. - What does a study of sexual crime reveal about class and gender in Victorian Britain?
    ○ A. Clark – Restrictive moral standards of the separate sexual spheres was in contrast to the increased sexual and economic freedom of working class women – part of attempts to limit and intimate women from public space (middle-class reformers)
    ○ Middle class reformers saw sexual danger as inherent in working women. Seduction confused with rape and saw sexual danger victims as ‘tainted’ themselves
    ○ Women encouraged to stay safe by staying home under the watchful eye of their husbands and fathers. ‘Proper’ women did not go outside late/at night etc.
    ○ These myths were promoted by men for example judges who questioned rape victims more harshly than those accused of the rape etc. – These men then shaped these ideas into ‘discourses’. Saw women victims of sexual violence as ‘deviant’ and not the victim.
    § Foucault – 19CE saw a proliferation of discourses on sex and sexuality instead of the idea that 19CE Victorian England silenced talk on sex. The discourses defined unmarried mothers/person who committed a homosexual act as a ‘deviant’, their sexuality was their identity
    § Important to note that these discourses and the increased conversation was not done by women themselves but by male doctors and lawyers etc.
    ○ A. Clark – The British ‘class situation’ affected the problem of sexual violence.
    ○ A. Clark – The rapes of working class women got less ‘sympathy’ and attention than elite women – because thse women’s lives were ‘rougher’ than those of elite women and they were seen as more ‘unchaste’ and different to the view of the middle-class Victorian woman. Low value placed on the chastity of working class women
    → How did local communities react to sexual offenders?
    ○ Emsley: Lack of reports where men were robbed by prostitutes because of stigma and vilification by the courts for soliciting prostitutes
    ○ A. Clark – Ideas of female sexuality as property was engrained into the language of sexual discourses and made it difficult for women to protest or speak out about rape. Discourses shaped definitions of rape around chastity and un-chastity – rapists would only be punished if they raped an unchaste woman.

    A. Clarke In the 19CE advocators of social purity took center stage and dominated debates around sexual offences and justified their actions (which repressed women’s (esp. working class women’s) freedoms

    - In the 18CE rape was seen as the theft of a woman’s virtue.
    - The dichotomy of chastity and un-chastity structured these discourses that defined rape as the theft of virtue. Had three major consequences:
    ○ Took women’s voice away from them and prevented them from being able to speak on their rape in their own terms
    ○ Shamed women who had been raped and made them feel like they had lost their honor. (A woman’s worth related to her chastity/virtue. Women told to protect it at all costs)
    ○ Concealed the reality of violence against women – despite how women behaved any men around her could rape her ‘with impunity’.
    - Rape rooted in the view of female sexuality as an ‘object’ something to be taken
    - Women did fight back and protest and insist that they were victims of violence and not because of their own sin or lack of ‘virtue’
    ○ Mostly independent women whose sexuality wasn’t property
    - Women prevented from speaking out against rape or reporting it because of ideas of the ‘virtous’ woman not speaking on sex or sexual matters

    24 Nov 2016, 08:30

  26. Aksana Khan

    This Act sought to regulate the spread of venereal disease in the British Army and Royal Navy. As such it encapsulates the double-standard of Victorian sexual morality where women were punished for not living up to their gender stereotype (of being chaste and having sex only within marriage). This act policed women bodies, but not men’s.
    It gave the police power to ‘apprehend such Woman, and to convey her with all practicable Speed to the Hospital therein named, and for the Authorities of the Hospital to cause her to be examined by some Medical Officer of such Hospital.’ The lady questioned would have to be forcibly medically examined. If she did not ‘voluntarily submit’, she would be either imprisoned for 1-2 months (in the original 1864 act), and anyone who ‘knowingly suffers any common Prostitute’ would be fined £10 and a potential prison sentence of up to 3 months. If the woman in question is found to have an STD she would be treated in a government approved hospital, her stay there can lead up to 9 months.
    The parliamentary debates surrounding these acts emphasise men and their reasoning, even the dismissal of the petition raised by Ladies’ National Association to repeal these acts.

    01 Dec 2016, 08:31


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