Abstract

This article discusses Polish women intellectuals' ideas about womanhood and women's emancipation in the second half of the nineteenth century in the Kingdom of Poland (part of Poland under Russian control). It focuses on two women's periodicals, traditionalist Bluszcz (Ivy) and progressive Swit (Dawn), in which women writers debated female gender roles in the context of national ideologies, Polish tradition, economic and political changes, and liberal Western trends, and shows how cultural models of womanhood were constructed on an everyday basis. Liberal intellectuals associated with Swit, such as Maria Konopnicka and Eliza Orzeszkowa, often envisioned the role of women differently from the conservative editor of Bluszcz, Maria Ilnicka, who stressed patriotic motherhood and homemaking. Progressive women emphasized women's rights and promoted the diversity of women's contributions to the national community. In the final account, however, both conservative and liberal women adjusted their ideas to national goals and abstained from establishing separate women's organizations or formulating a distinct feminist agenda.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 108-125
Launched on MUSE
2001-04-01
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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