Review of Reviews,  14 (1896), 299–306.

Character Sketch. Mrs. Josephine E. Butler



Regular Feature, Biography


Sex, Hygiene, Public Health, Morality, Government, Gender, Vivisection, Imperialism

Publications cited:

Butler 1896

    Remarks that the 'whole essence of the C. D. Acts and of the State regulation of prostitution is based upon the belief that womanhood perishes with virginity, unless the marriage ceremony has been performed', and once we 'deny the human nature of any section of the community [...] the door is opened to every excess of cruelty. If they are not human we can crimp them as cod, boil them as lobsters, bleed them slowly to death like calves, vivisect them as guineapigs, or, worse still, we can place them under the control of the police surgeons of prison houses of ill-fame licensed and patronised by the State'. Indeed, one 'enthusiastic French doctor' has suggested that 'all fallen women should be examined surgically every morning, as a kind of family worship to the goddess Hygeia', even though the women 'detest this degrading ordeal'. (300) Also notes that George F Hamilton is hoping to 'discover some ingenious method of circumventing the repeatedly declared will of the nation [...] against the application of the hated slave system to the women of India', and reminds the Secretary of State for India of the 'passionate abhorrence the whole iniquity excites in the heart of all that is noblest and best in English womanhood' (306).

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