National Socialism idealized maternal bravery, selflessness, devotion, and sacrifice as essential to the health of the nation, particularly in the context of World War II. This article critically assesses the Third Reich's projection of and women's reactions to the national cult of motherhood in Gustav Ucicky's Mutterliebe (Mother Love, 1939) and Josef von Baky's Annelie (1941). Though supported by a wide range of state-sponsored socio-economic initiatives and marketing strategies, these films reveal significant tensions between the ways women imagined themselves and the lives that the regime attempted to dictate for them. Because Nazi cinema also offered female viewers the opportunity to engage in escapist fantasies of adventure and romance, making dutiful motherhood appealing was always a challenge, and grew increasingly difficult as material hardships increased over the course of the war.
Nazi Visions of Motherhood in Mutterliebe (1939) and Annelie (1941)
Eleanor of Aquitaine, Emotion Talk, and the Gendering of Political Rhetoric
Linda E. Mitchell
Medieval women, according to theorists whose positions were informed by standard classical tropes, suffered from an “excess” of emotion, which barred them from positions of political authority. Eleanor of Aquitaine—queen, countess, and mother of kings—belies this categorization. As a political actor, especially in defense of her own territories and as regent of her sons’ kingdom of England, Eleanor deployed emotional expressions strategically in order to elicit patronage and support from other political leaders. Although many historians have discussed the career of Eleanor of Aquitaine, most emphasize her anomalous position, based on the presentation of her made by contemporary chroniclers such as Roger of Hoveden and Ralph de Diceto. Unlike her husband, Henry II, whose emotional outbursts usually resulted in disaster—vide the Becket debacle—Eleanor’s use of emotion reinforced her position of authority and was underscored by her claim of legitimate emotional distress as mother and as regent.
Mothering Resistance in Early Eighteenth-Century Rome
This microhistory analyzes the efforts of a widowed mother, Teresa Boncompagni, to maintain custody of her only daughter, Cornelia. Teresa protested her brother-in-law's legal right to Cornelia's custody. The mother's resistance combined a savvy understanding of the Roman judicial system with an insistence upon the centrality of motherly affection and maternal daily care to the child's well-being. She argued that the concept of free will necessitated a period of childhood exempt from family pressure to marry the man her brother-in-law had chosen. Although Teresa's adversaries pronounced her views outrageous, and maternal affection and advocacy would later be sanitized to include affection but to exclude women's resistance, Teresa's efforts succeeded in convincing even her enemies that a good mother knew how to fight legally and that the emotional bond epitomized by affective mothering was paramount to the healthy development of the child.
The Politics of Female Identity in Maternité (1929) and La Maternelle (1933)
Cheryl A. Koos
This essay explores Jean Benoît-Lévy and Marie Epstein's box-office success La Maternelle and their lesser-known Maternité in the context of interwar debates over women's roles in society. Reflecting natalist-familialist conceptions of motherhood and femininity, the films magnified three pervasive cultural icons in French social and political discourse: the monstrous, childless "modern woman," the exalted mother, and the "single woman" who fell somewhere in the middle. As both products and vehicles of these tropes, La Maternelle and Maternité not only illustrate how popular cinema disseminated and justified certain value-laden assumptions about female identity in the late 1920s and early 1930s; they also reveal the limitations of French feminism and socially-engaged, progressive art of the period.
” to men’s social and economic success, or luckless spinsters, who only increased economic difficulties for themselves and others. 50 Positive representations of unmarried motherhood were uncommon, and the spinster, associated with widowhood postwar
Occupation, Liberation, and Reconstruction
George Robb and W. Brian Newsome
of California Press, 1994); Susan Grayzel, Women’s Identities at War: Gender, Motherhood and Politics in Britain and France during the First World War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999); Margaret Darrow, French Women and the
rights. We should not forget that in a society in which repudiation is so widespread and so easy, husbands change, but children stay. 60 Bouhdiba also points out that motherhood was a protection, being the only security for a woman 61 as well as the only
Romantic Socialism and the Afterlife of a Cross-Sex Friendship in French Political Culture, 1880–1929
’s petty bourgeois mother, who subjected her son to Foucauldian-like discipline and surveillance so that he would not be “a country-bumpkin like her.” 30 Vallès contrasted petty bourgeois motherhood with the ideal feminine motherhood of the artisan and
Concepts of Emotions in Indian Languages
of parental love a generation ago and pointed to deep-reaching changes. See Elisabeth Badinter, The Myth of Motherhood: An Historical View of the Maternal Instinct (London: Souvenir Press, 1982); for recent works see Nina Verheyen, “Tears in
The Legacy of the 1917 Espionage Act in the United States
Wisconsin Press, 2008), 31–67; Ford, The Great War and America , 62–65; Kathleen Kennedy, “Casting an Evil Eye on the Youth of the Nation: Motherhood and Political Subversion in the Wartime Prosecution of Kate Richards O’Hare, 1917–1924,” American Studies