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Män enligt kvinnor : Manlighet i medborgarskapskampen, Kvinnornas tidning 1921-1922 / Men According to Women : Masculinity in the Struggle for Women's Citizenship, Kvinnornas tidning 1921-1922

  • Östberg, Emmy
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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There is a contradictive part of Swedish women's history that has been overlooked by too many historians. It is about the ways in which the women's movement viewed men in their arguments for citizenship. In this study I examine how man, men and masculinity were constructed as rhetorical objects of female emancipation in Kvinnornas tidning ('The Women's Magazine'). The magazine was published to educate women on civil matters after women's suffrage was granted in Sweden. By stuying the first publications from 1921-1922, I evaluate the obstacles that were connected to citizenship as a male prerogative, despite women's right to vote.  The magazine is characterized by its aim to aggregate women to inluence the male, public sphere and thereby be defined as citizens. By identifying an ideology of separate spheres in the magazine, I study how men were portrayed in each sphere. Here I use the feminist theory of sameness-difference to map where Kvinnornas tidning referred to men as defined by their sex, and where this conflicted with (male) citizenship. My argument is that the ideas of men in the magazine related to how emancipatory aims were subject to male and female normative positions in each sphere. I argue that in the female private sphere, it was easier to strengthen women's authority by rejecting men based on sex, but that in the public sphere, men were the citizens that women aspired to become. By using the contract theory of political theorist Carole Pateman, I illustrate how the contradictions inherent in the original citizenship led to conflicts in their aim for female citizenship, which are evidenced by their ambivalence towards masculinity. Since their definitions of men either reinforced womanhood or confirmed the masculinity of citizenship, they reproduced the patriarchal sexual contract. 

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