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Equivocal Feminists

Equivocal Feminists
The Social Democratic Federation and the Woman Question 1884–1911

$45.99 (C)

  • Author: Karen Hunt, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Date Published: April 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521890908

$ 45.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • This book takes a new look at the relationship between socialism and feminism before the First World War, through a detailed examination of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF), Britain's first Marxist party. It reassesses the history of the SDF, exploring for the first time SDF ideas and practice on issues such as marriage and "free love," women and work, and the suffrage, as well as the attitudes taken toward women and their potential as socialists. Dr. Hunt shows how the SDF came to equivocate officially on the woman question and how this shaped what it meant to be a socialist woman in the following years.

    • Examines the relationship between socialism and feminism
    • Reassesses Britain's first Marxist party, the Social Democratic Federation
    • Reclaims the history of a forgotten group of socialist women
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Karen Hunt fills a remaining notable gap with her case study of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF), the Marxist wing of the British socialist movement, and its views on the position of women. In an impressive forensic exercise in political pathology, she dissects the theoretical inheritance, ideological leanings, and political policies and practices with regard to women's issues of this most masculinist of organizations." Sandra Stanley Holton, Albion

    "[Hunt] has carefully reconstructed the different strands in the SDF debates on a range of women-centered issues, from free love and married women's right to work, to suffrage, to the feminist movement, noting the shifts in the arguments over the life span of the Federation....Karen Hunt writes with clarity and her cautious, balanced conclusions reflect her academic integrity." Pamela M. Graves, International Labor and Working Class History

    "...one of the best books ever written on the subject of socialism and gender....This is the first review I have ever written in which I am tempted to move to platitudes of praise rather than provide even a brief survey of the contents." American Historical Review

    "Karen Hunt fill sa remaining notable gap with her case study of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF), the Marxist wing of the British socialist movement, and its views on the position of women. In an impressive forensic exercise in political policies and practices with regard to women's issues of this most masculinist of organizations. In so doing, she usefully reminds us that the SDF included figures, such as Dora Montefiore and Herbert Burrows, who sought to ensure more serious consideration of the Woman Question, in contest with some of the better-known vocal misogynists among its leadership, such as Belfort Bax." Sandra Stanley Holton, Albion

    "...this book makes a very useful addition to the growing body of literature on socialism and feminism in the late nineteenth century." Barbara Caine, Victorian Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521890908
    • length: 312 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements
    Introduction
    Part I. The Woman Question: The Theory:
    1. The contribution of the founding fathers
    2. The SDF's understanding of the woman question
    3. Understanding the SDF and the woman question
    Part II. The SDF and the Woman Question: The Theory and Practice of the Party on Aspects of the Woman Question:
    4. The politics of the private sphere
    5. Women and work
    6. The suffrage
    Part III. Women and the SDF: The Practical Implications of the SDF's Understanding of the Woman Question:
    7. The SDF's attitude to women as potential socialists
    8. Women SDFers and their role in the party
    9. The organisation of the women within the SDF
    Conclusion
    Appendices
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Karen Hunt, Manchester Metropolitan University

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