Patron Saint of Prostitutes, Josephine Butler and a Victorian Scandal
Through this introduction by Helen Mathers to her book on the work of Victorian feminist Josephine Butler, we gain an insight to the social and political aspects of sexology research.
Josephine Butler campaigned against laws that abused prostitutes and helped women and girls affected by trafficking and sexual abuse. Her campaigns mesh with those in Manchester during her lifetime, particularly the women’s suffrage campaign.
Historian of sexuality, Jana Funke, links some of the issues raised with the work of the Victorian sexologists featured in The Institute of Sexology. The audience discussion ranges from 19th to 21st century prostitution, the definitions of sex work and challenging the victim narrative.
- Dr. Helen Mather: writer, historian and lecturer at The Open University. Patron Saint of Prostitutes is published by The History Press.
- Dr Jana Funke: Advanced Research Fellow in Medical Humanities in the English Department at the University of Exeter. She researches and publishes on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature and culture, the history of sexuality, sexual science, gender and sexuality studies, and queer theory.
This Sexology Season event was recorded on 15 March 2015 at the People’s History Museum in partnership with the Wonder Woman Festival.
Podcast produced by Meera Senthilingham.