At the turn of the twentieth century British colonial officials imagined women in Burma to be distinctly more liberated than their sisters in other quarters of British India, but this posed a set of specific problems. The perceived influence women held over their husbands in official positions led to fears that they caused corruption. Women represented private interests infiltrating public duties. Thus the desired, normative subordinate colonial official was assertively masculine and in a position of authority over their female spouse. In this colonial desire there was a curious parallel with the everyday acts of misconduct committed by subordinate officials that was most apparent in rape investigations. Indigenous women faced great difficulties, even dangers, when seeking redress for crimes of gendered violence due to the machinations of subordinate state employees. High-ranking British officials demonstrated at best indifference, at worst suspicion, concerning women’s accusations. These everyday acts of subordinate officials were more important in gendering the colonial state than has been previously recognised.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Male State: Colonialism, Corruption and Rape Investigations in the Irrawaddy Delta, c.1900|
|Pages (from-to)||343 - 376|
|Number of pages||33|
|Journal||The Indian Economic & Social History Review|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 2010|