Private Spaces for Public Consumption: Female Privacy as Erotic Satire in Eighteenth-Century British Print Culture, Ruby Rutter
Female privacy in eighteenth-century British print culture was often represented as facilitating salacious and debauched behaviour. The misogynistic gender roles, that branded women as lesser men, fed an interpretation of the female sex as being unable to control their libidinous urges. Women who were able to control these urges could claim virtue and sensibility as their greatest traits, but private spaces in which women could exist without the need for social performance fuelled anxieties about female deception. This article examines two eighteenth century artefacts that represent female privacy, and considers how their manipulation in print culture informed and promoted them as spaces in which the erotic and the lascivious could be found.