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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:White Working-Class Women and the Invention of Apartheid: 'Purified' Afrikaner Nationalist Agitation for Legislation against 'Mixed' Marriages,1934-1939
Author:Hyslop, JonathanISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:South Africa
mixed marriage
Labor and Employment
Ethnic and Race Relations
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Politics and Government
Women's Issues
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
Cultural Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/183254
Abstract:The South African white general election fo 1938 was largely fought around a poster. The poster was published by the supporters of D.F. Malan's hard-line 'Purified' National Party (GNP, Gesuiwerde Nasionale Party), who were attempting to unseat the more pro-imperial United Party (UP) government of Hertzog and Smuts. The poster portrayed the alleged threat of 'mixed' marriages to Afrikaner women, and attacked the UP for failing to legislate against it. Rejecting J.M. Coetzee's contention that such racist manifestations can solely be understood in terms of the unconscious, the paper argues that shifting gender relations amongst Afrikaners were crucial to this agitation. As young Afrikaner women moved into industry on a large scale during the 1920s and 1930s, men experienced women's greater economic and social independence as a challenge to their authority. Nationalist leaders played successfully on this insecurity by appealing to men to 'protect' women against supposed black threats, including 'mixed' marriages. The combined effects of both Nationalist and UP campaigns was to strengthen racist opinion about the issue. The affair ultimately smoothed the way for Malan to legislate against 'mixed' marriage after he came to power in 1948. Notes, ref., sum.