Sarah Perry, 26 September 2019
Depictions of malaria became linked with gender after it was realised that the female mosquito was more deadly than the male. Venturing out after dusk, her proboscis lubricious with saliva to aid penetration, she requires blood not for sustenance but for the production of eggs. Inevitably, the mosquito became connected with ideas of dangerous female agency. ‘The female mosquito is most emphatically a shrieking suffragette,’ a contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle wrote in 1915.