Force-feeding equipment

A bigger picture

The force-feeding equipment is a disturbing reminder of the unequal status of British women at the beginning of the 20th century and of how some women were treated when they campaigned for equal rights. But how does female status in early twentieth-century Britain compare with the position of women in other societies at different times in history? These objects provide a useful starting point for students to investigate the status of women from different cultures across time.

Women carrying out a ritual


Funerary cloth of Isetnefret from ancient Egypt; 1300 – 1070 BC.

See more See more: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/funerary-cloth-of-isetnefret/pgHIZZUCCyMFuA

An old nurse


Terracotta figure, possibly from Athens, Greece; about 300 BC.

See more See more: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/terracotta-tanagra-figure-of-an-old-nurse/NwHLzXyk3iPHUw

A Roman wife


Tombstone of Volusia Faustina from Lincoln; AD 200s.

See more See more: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/tombstone-of-volusia-faustina/KgFtWKtMjkb4NQ

A woman out hawking


Ivory mirror back from France; AD 1325 – 75.

See more See more: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/ivory-mirror-back-with-hawking-scene/7gGWezum5haDFA

A lady of the court


Painting of a lady at the court of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein; England, AD 1530s.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pd/h/hans_holbein_the_younger,_port.aspx

Woman selling souvenirs


Painting in the Company style from northern India; around AD 1850.

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/asia/s/stall_for_the_sale_of_painted.aspx

Patron goddess of women


Ivory figure of Xiwangmu from China; Qing dynasty, probably Kangxi period (AD 1662 – 1722)

See more See more: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/ivory-figure-of-xiwangmu/bwEa1mG9qpE5cA
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Force-feeding equipment