The idea of the state as a corporeal being – the body politic – became increasingly gendered during the nineteenth century. Two major pieces of legislation in the 1830s, the 1832 Reform Act and the 1835 Municipal Corporations Act, vested the right to vote, and therefore the right to citizenship, in ‘male persons’. This has led many historians to argue that politics was effectively ‘masculinized’ during this period. 1 However, Victorian radical women challenged their exclusion from the public sphere and questioned if the legislative changes had created a healthier state. In arguing for a stronger, fitter state they drew on contemporary debates about alternative forms of medicine and diet. In both areas, power and control would be removed from a largely masculine political and medical establishment, and placed in the hands of women. This essay considers the contribution of two female activists in the field of dietary reform and feminist politics: Anna Kingsford and Annie Cobden-Sanderson. These women were part of a wider campaign to feminize and to democratize the body and the state.