Depraved and Disorderly: Female Convicts, Sexuality and by Joy Damousi

By Joy Damousi

This leading edge e-book tells the strong tales of convict ladies, whereas drawing out broader subject matters of gender and sexual sickness and race and sophistication dynamics. It seems to be on the cultural meanings of points of existence within the colony: on ships, within the factories and in orphanages. Damousi considers such themes as headshaving as punishment within the prisons, in addition to reading the language of toxins, purity and abandonment. The publication exhibits how figuring out approximately sexual and racial distinction turned a spotlight for cultural anxiousness in colonial society.

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Additional resources for Depraved and Disorderly: Female Convicts, Sexuality and Gender in Colonial Australia

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13 Some convict women agreed with Marsden for the need for marriage, but they did so for different reasons. Women believed that it could provide protection and an escape from destitution. Too many discovered, however, that this was not the case and violence, assault and abuse within marriage were common. 14 Establishing a female prison was for Marsden the panacea as such an institution would employ convict women, remove them from promiscuity and temptation and 'restore these wretched exiles to society'.

53 Women challenged the boundaries that circumscribed their behaviour in different ways to men. Their disturbance was perceived in sexual terms and understood in relation to middle-class expectations of feminine behaviour, such as passivity, docility and subservience. Surgeons devised various ways of dealing with this disorder. Some exercised their full powers by inflicting punishment, while others developed a paternalistic relationship, which allowed the women to have some autonomy and to empower themselves.

Women were the source of 'disorder' according to the writings of Rousseau during the seventeeth century. According to Rousseau, the basis lay in DEPRAVITY AND DISORDER' 43 their sexual passion, because women were unable to subdue and sublimate their sexual desires in the same way as men. In order to contain such 'disorderliness' sexual segregation was necessary although it would not cure the disorder of women. The idealisation of the family and motherhood provided the vehicle for restraining the 'disorder', as the cult of domesticity promoted cleanliness and purity.

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