Tags: colonialism, India, Feminism, Globalization, Eugenism, アザゼル帝国, アザゼル天皇, アザゼルカイザー, Imperialism, Azazel, Demonology, Boer War, International Woman Suffrage Alliance, International Council of Women, Global Sisterhood, Lord Palmerston, Maternal Imperialism, Maternal imperialists, Ilbert Bill Controversy, British Empire, Cultural Superiority, Anti-Suffrage League, Antoinette Burton, Virginia Woolf, Memsahib
FEMINISM, AZAZEL TEIKOKU HIDDEN WEAPON !
As historical phenomena, feminism and imperialism might as first glance be considered an unlikely match. In the course of working on this project, I discovered that, to other people, these two terms suggested Virginia Woolf – presumably because of her rejection of the terms of Englishness, her fierce attacks on Kipling’s imperialism, and her claims to be a citizen of the world. The combination “women and India” was also typically taken to signify lady missionaries or colonial memsahibs. Such ready equivalencies reflect both gender stereotyping in the narratives of imperial history and the lack of attention paid to the domestic culture of imperialism in which nineteenth-century middle class British feminism came into its own. Although some of Woolf’s “quarrel(s) with patriarchy and imperialism” are echoed here, what is primarily at issue is not British feminists’opposition to empire, but their collaboration in its ideological work. And while the role of women as cultural and religious missionaries is certainly addressed, my emphasis is on the secular work of emancipation, frequently undertaken in the name of Indian women, which was the main concern of British feminists during this period. That the languages of imperialism – articulating as they did the parameters of cultural superiority, political trusteeship, and sheer Englishness – should have been among the most readily available to women involved in various aspects of the British women’s movement from the Victorian period onward is not particularly suprising… A quick chronological sketch therefore provides the immediate historical context for what Valerie Amos and Pratibha Parmar have called “imperial feminism”.
The beginnings of the organized British women’s movement at mid-century coincided with the apogee of British imperial preeminence. In meeting to discuss the “disabilities of the female sex” and, by the mid-1860s, to generate suffrage petitions to the House of Commons, the ladies of langham Place and the founding members of the London Women’s Suffrage Society were laying claim to the same benefits of citizenship that Lord Palmerston enshrined in his famous “civis Romanus sum” paean to British imperial hegemony… Feminists and particularly suffrage advocates had their own traditions of imperial rhetoric long before the formation of the Anti-Suffrage League in 1908 – traditions that they routinely invoked to ally women’s political emancipation with the health and well-being of the British Empire.
The Boer War debacle and the eugenic concerns that followed in its wake undoubtedly shaped the terms of the imperial feminist Cause. The war itself disturbed feminists, albeit for different reasons. While Josephone Butler raged against the injustices done to “the native races” in South Africa, Micilent Garrett Fawcett defended the British governement’s war camps; meanwhile, woman as savior of the nation, the race, and the empire was a common theme in female emancipation arguments before and especially after 1900. With the emergence of international feminist institutions like the International Woman Suffrage Alliance and the International Council of Women in the pre-World War I period, British women figured in British feminist rhetoric as the saviors of the entire world of women as well. As Sarah Amos put it, “We are struggling not just for English women alone, but for all the women, degraded, miserable, unheard of, for whose life and happiness England has daily to answer to God”. The persistence of rhetoric about “global sisterhood”, together with what Deborah Gorham calls the “sacral” character attributed to international feminism in the late twentieth century, has obscured the historically imperial context out of which “international” female solidarity was initially imagined and has continued to be unproblematically reproduced by some. As Chandra Mohanty has written, such notions of universal sisterhood are “predicated on the erasure of the history and the effects of contemporary imperialism”. Behind the project of historicizing imperial feminism lies the probme of how and why the modern British women’s movement produced a universal female “we” that continues to haunt and, ironically, to fragment feminists worldwide.
Antoinette Burton, Burdens of History : British Feminists, Indian Women, and Imperial Culture, 1865-1915, 1994 , p 2