Mary A. Procida
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Imperial femininity and the uplift of Indian women
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The relationship between Anglo-Indian and Indian women was complex coloured by expectations about femininity and women's role in the empire. British women's role in the empire played a crucial discursive function in the domestic and imperial political debates of metropolitan Britain, as Antoinette Burton has compellingly demonstrated. The 'uplift' of Indian womanhood was an important component of Britain's civilizing mission in India. Many of the activities that passed as charitable work for the 'uplift' of Indian womanhood were merely fundraising for various causes, involving no opportunity for the interaction of Anglo-Indian wives with their Indian 'sisters'. Rather than conceding their own apparent lack of femininity, Anglo-Indian women presented Indian women as unnatural and their 'feminine' characteristics as perverse and degraded. The story of one wartime endeavor, a magazine entitled Women in India, aptly illustrates the individualistic nature of much of Anglo-Indian women's wartime activities.

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Married to the empire

Gender, politics and imperialism in India, 1883–1947


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