Afro-Caribbean slaves, Indian prostitutes and non-western women more generally from the 1860s to the First World War.3 When Brown's "states of injury" argument is viewed in this long historical context - one which makes visible the impact of colonial ideologies on Western feminist movements - it enables us more fully to appreciate why many late-Victorian feminists tried to negotiate discourses of imperialism which excluded them from formal political participation in the imperial state even as they legitimated women's social and above all racial contributions to the colonial enterprise. For with its twin emphases on the subjection of "native" peoples and the investment of British feminists in their pathetic plight, imperial feminism in the last decades of the nineteenth century was characterized by a rhetoric of pathos and suffering which, for all its righteous concern about the need for reform and uplift, did little to critique British colonialism or to distance The Cause from it. Indeed, it might be said that Victorian feminists were at pains to announce their own "wounded attachments" to the Empire through their sympathy for its colonial subjects - an identification which signaled their commitments to the colonial nation-state as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWomen's Suffrage in the British Empire
Subtitle of host publicationCitizenship, Nation and Race
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781135639921
ISBN (Print)041520805X, 9781138007338
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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