February 19, 2005

Discussion Questions Part 1

(Questions relating to Feminisms and Internationalism coming soon)

Questions Relating to Bolt:

(p.126) - Bolt describes the ‘club movement’ in the 1870’s and 1880’s as “sometimes prudently reformist, sometimes fully feminist.” What does Bolt seem to define as “fully feminist”? How did the women of the time seem to define their actions? Did they even draw a clear line between feminist and reformist?

(p.165) - [Related to the first question] In the first paragraph of the 4th section Bolt argues that even though many of the women who were involved in clubs did not have “feminist intent,” some of them “were none-the-less feminists.” What is the relationship between the label a person gives herself and the label a historian gives her later? Since this renaming is in light of the later feminist movements, how does Bolt’s label of these women reflect the particulars of those movements?

(p. 130) - The women in the repeal movement were fighting against a law that infringed upon prostitutes’ civil liberties while ignoring their higher-class male clients; thus they could be seen as helping the prostitutes. However, some female ‘repealers’ objectified prostitutes by holding them up as “helpless victim[s] of male lust,” in order to emphasize the immorality of the entire profession. Is fighting for a cause for problematic reasons and with questionable tactics helpful or hurtful in the end?

(p.174-177) - What problems did working-class and middle-class women face in working together? How did sexism and classism weave together within both women’s and men’s activism?

Posted by at February 19, 2005 4:00 PM