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Czech feminism

Robinson, L.C.; (1980) Czech feminism. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The development of the Czech feminist movement was inextricably linked with nationalism. Nationalist ideology recognised the power of women as mothers and their consequent claim to equality within the context of the nation. Having implicitly acknowledged the justice of feminism, nationalists then had to accommodate women's demands. As nationalism changed from a cultural to a political force, feminine patriotism slowly became a feminist movement. These links with nationalism stimulated the development and self-confidence of the Czech women's movement but they also engendered in feminists an unjustified belief in the instinctive feminism of Czech nationalists. The movement's development reflected that of feminist movements elsewhere. Demands for education led to attempts to obtain for women a place In social and political life, culminating in the demand for the vote. In the Czech case, however, such political demands produced tensions In the feminist movement. They raised the question of whether feminists' first allegiance should be to women, or whether they should merge their campaigns with those of the nationalist movement, as represented by the many political parties which had women's rights on their programmes. Much of the energy of the movement in the last ten years of this period was absorbed by this debate and the more general issues of what feminists wanted to achieve and how they should do it. Even the non-feminist women's movements attached to the Social Democratic and National Socialist parties had similar-difficulties. All these groups of women, feminist and non-feminist were concerned to define their place and establish themselves as an identifiable force. This led to an intense and fruitless preoccupation with organisation, which was only brought to an end when the First World-War changed the assumptions of Czech political life.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Czech feminism
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Thesis digitised by British Library EThoS
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES

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