With the early-twentieth century modernization of Madrid, opportunities and spaces for middle-class women's public practices increased, freeing women from the nineteenth-century prohibition on appearing alone in public. Increasingly women entered public spaces such as streets, cafés and libraries. However, as women entered these spaces, they brought with them expectations of traditional, feminine behaviors. The parameters of women's public behaviors were strictly circumscribed in both covert and overt ways. Official urban markers like street names and monuments reduced the visibility of women, newspaper coverage of traffic accidents involving pedestrians exaggerated women's risks, strolling on the paseo or visiting the horse races was justified for women in terms of heterosexual relationships and fashion display, finally, women's public presence was justified through the language consumer-citizenship. This suggests that women were entering an anomalous space neither purely private nor strictly public, but rather a public space restricted by traditional principles of courtship, sociability and comfort, thereby modifying but not fundamentally disrupting rigid distinctions between public and private, male and female.

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pp. 63-75
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