A miserable sectarian spirit: Sectarianism and the women's movement in early twentieth-century New South Wales

Journal article


Rademaker, Laura. (2017). A miserable sectarian spirit: Sectarianism and the women's movement in early twentieth-century New South Wales. Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social history. 2017(112), pp. 175 - 190. https://doi.org/10.5263/labourhistory.112.0175
AuthorsRademaker, Laura
Abstract

This article examines the sectarianism that divided feminist organisations in early twentieth-century NSW. In 1903, the Catholic feminist Annie Golding took legal action against the Protestant paper, The Watchman, accusing it of libel. Through an examination of the five leading women embroiled in the Golding affair, this article shows that women activists saw women's political loyalties as potentially divided, not only by questions of labour or free trade but also by religion. Although the feminist organisations the Women's Suffrage League (WSL) and Women's Progressive Association (WPA) each claimed non-sectarian status, in the debates surrounding the Golding case, their leadership proved willing to appeal to sectarian prejudices. When religious presses claimed to find sectarian division among women's organisations, leading feminist women themselves also quickly attributed their differences to religion and exploited what they considered women's natural piety for political gain. These findings contribute to a growing scholarship on the religious dimensions of women's public activism, revealing complex interactions between religion, politics, class and gender.

Year2017
JournalLabour History: A Journal of Labour and Social history
Journal citation2017 (112), pp. 175 - 190
PublisherAustralian Society for the Study of Labour History
ISSN0023-6942
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.5263/labourhistory.112.0175
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85025644538
Page range175 - 190
Research GroupInstitute for Religion and Critical Inquiry
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationAustralia
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