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Aux Ouvrières!: socialist feminism in the Paris Commune

James Muldoon, Mirjam Müller and Bruno Leipold

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: Feminist and socialist movements both aim at emancipation yet have often been at odds. The socialist feminists of the Paris Commune provide one of the few examples in late nineteenth-century Europe of a political movement combining the two. This article offers a new interpretation of the Commune feminists, focusing on the working-class women’s organisation the Union des femmes. We highlight how the Commune feminists articulated the specific form of oppression experienced by working-class women as both women and workers, which consequently required a joint, yet differentiated, struggle to overcome. We explore three aspects of this framework. First, the Commune feminists offered a vision of the transformation of the social through reforms to girls’ education, the family and women’s work. Second, they practised a politics of coalition building by connecting their struggle with those of other oppressed groups, such as male workers, peasants and workers of other nations. Third, these ideas were instantiated in the Union des femmes’ novel proposal for women’s worker co-operatives as part of a socialist re-organisation of the economy.

Keywords: commune feminism; feminism; France; Paris Commune; socialism; socialist feminism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B14 B24 P2 P3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 21 pages
Date: 2023-04-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban, nep-his, nep-hme, nep-hpe and nep-pke
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Published in Intellectual History Review, 1, April, 2023, 33(2), pp. 331 - 351. ISSN: 1749-6977

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