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The Long 1890s in EgyptColonial Quiescence, Subterranean Resistance$
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Marilyn Booth and Gorman Anthony

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748670123

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748670123.001.0001

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Regulating Sexuality:

Regulating Sexuality:

The Colonial–National Struggle over Prostitution after the British Invasion of Egypt

(p.195) 7 Regulating Sexuality
The Long 1890s in Egypt

Hanan Hammad

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the struggle between colonial authorities and national resistance over illicit sexuality, specifically prostitution, and public morality in the first years of the British occupation. It traces expressed anxieties concerning prostitution and sexuality in the popular press, literature, medical writings and laws in the late nineteenth century. Although the presence of prostitutes in Cairo and the Egyptian provinces was anything but new, Egyptian nationalists considered regulating health inspection and registration of prostitutes shortly after the British invasion debasement brought about by foreign influence and the Egyptian defeat. Male Egyptian nationalists demonized and victimized prostitutes, but never saw them as working women. Male nationalists saw female sex-workers a symbol, a metaphor, and a symptom of broad socio-political concerns. Egyptian intellectuals shared colonialists’ concerns over health, security and social order and overlooked women’s work and rights of prostitutes as sex-workers.

Keywords:   prostitute registrations, health inspections, Penal Code of 1883, Penal Code of 1904, abolitionists, ‘Abdullah al-Nadim, Rashid Rida, al-Mu’ayyad, al-Hilal

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