• We must stand by our own bairns: ILP men and suffrage militancy, 1905-1914

      Ugolini, Laura (Maney Publishing, 2002)
      The Independent Labour Party (ILP) has long enjoyed a reputation as the pre-First World War political party most sympathetic both to feminism in general, and to the suffrage movement in particular. Indeed, it is only recently that such a reputation has been placed under scrutiny. Ironically, considering the amount of attention devoted to it by Edwardian ILPers, the party's relationship with suffrage militancy is also an area that has as yet received little close attention, and it is on this relationship that the present article focuses. More specifically, this article concentrates on male ILP members, in order to shed light both on their attitudes towards women's role in society and in politics, and on their own identities as socialists and as men, providing an important insight into male ILPer's gendered politics. Suffrage militancy's role in jolting ILP men out of a purely formal advocacy of suffrage, forcing them to question the nature of their socialist beliefs and the place of women's enfranchisement in their practical programme, is explored. Further, the article considers how ideas about women's role in politics had to be re-thought as militancy developed and changed in the decade before the outbreak of the First World War. It questions how far ILP men were able to adapt their ideas of 'political womanhood' to accommodate women who not only made an uncompromising entrance into the political arena, but also undertook both illegal and violent activities. Underlying the whole discussion, finally, is the question of how far the suffrage movement in general and militancy in particular forced ILP men to re-think their own masculine identities, and to make changes to their own personal relationships with women. And perhaps more fundamentally, the article questions how far notions of socialist manliness based on chivalrousness and protectiveness towards women were modified, in the light of militants' growing determination to do without male protection and patronage. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] (Ebsco)
    • Young Women in Right-Wing Groups and Organisations in East Germany

      Weiss, Karin (Abingdon: Routledge (a Taylor & Francis imprint), 2002)
      "Reinventing Gender" focuses on the consequences of post-communist transformation for women in eastern Germany and evaluates their responses. In the GDR era, women were required to take on employment while the state provided child care and financial incentives for mothers. Since the duty to work applied to men as well as women, women did not perceive their situation as disadvantaged or gender as a barrier to their socio-economic participation. Gender was not linked with inequality and there was no feminist discourse, although the hidden reality was that women's issues lagged behind those of men. In the post-communist era gender emerged as a new divide. While the politicians had expected that eastern German women would focus on their families, they confounded policy-makers by refusing to regard homemaking as an acceptable lifestyle. However, since unification women have had fewer employment opportunities and lower job security. Gender has been reinvented in two ways: a sense of injustice among women and their bid for labour market inclusion, and the experience of unfamiliar barriers to employment on the grounds of gender. In recasting their biographies by postponing marriage and childbirth and developing new strategies of risk management to retain their place in the newly competitive labour market, women are trying to avoid the pitfalls of gender and take advantage of the opportunities in the post-communist setting.