Forcible feeding, as event, lent itself to a variety of representations of femininity - those produced by the Artists' Suffrage League imaged forcible feeding as a rape of the womanly woman, those produced by anti-suffragists presented angelic nurses forced to deal with a disorderly and unruly crone.
Images and narratives of forcible feeding position the female speaking subject as spectacle.
Second, Barnes's essay explores the limits of performative activism and presents itself as an alternative to the British suffragettes' narratives and images of forcible feeding (which make spectacular the female body in pain and encourage activism from a female spectator).
In other words, Barnes loses not just her looks, but her ability to look through the medical investigation of forcible feeding.
I concentrate on the discourse of the gaze here, for Barnes's narrative abandons the discourse of feminist resistance and collective oppression that conventionally accompanies British narratives of forcible feeding.
The Home Secretary and the governor and medical officer of Winson Green Prison, Birmingham, successfully defended an action which was brought against them in the King's Bench Division yesterday by Mrs (Mary) Leigh, a suffragist, whose hunger strike was brought to an abrupt end by forcible feeding