Abstract

This article addresses the issue of Italian feminists’ acquiescence to fascism during the early postwar years. What process drove the liberal feminists into the orbit of a reactionary movement hardly likely to promote women’s emancipation? At the heart of the problem lies a myth of war elaborated during the conflict. Feminists came to consider the World War as a process of national regeneration, a gender revolution: the war educated women to citizenship, asking for the contribution of women in all fields. Perceiving the war as the cradle of a “new Italy” brought feminists close to nationalist rhetoric, making difficult the defense of women’s rights vis-à-vis the aggressive campaign of right-wing politicians and veterans against women’s work. Eventually feminists found themselves complicit in a regime which stifled their movement and remained hostile to most forms of women’s emancipation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 36-58
Launched on MUSE
2014-09-11
Open Access
No
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