This article probes the complex relationship between mobility and maternity in the works of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century writers, including Mona Caird, Grant Allen, Elizabeth Von Arnim, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, among others. The maternal role came under intense scrutiny from the fin de siècle and the freedom of the mother was a source of contention at a time when women were embracing new opportunities for adventurous travel more broadly. Where did parental expectation or responsibility enter into the women and travel picture? This article explores various attempts to conceive of a free motherhood during the period and to conceive of the womb as something dynamic and empowering rather than burdensome. Finally, honing in on bag-womb analogies, it asks what it meant for a woman to "carry," both materially and metaphorically, in the context of turn-of-the-century debates surrounding female mobility and motherhood.
Women and the 2012 French Presidential Elections
Several women vied to be elected France's new president in 2012. These included Ségolène Royal, former Socialist presidential candidate in 2007, and Martine Aubry, Socialist party leader. Both these women were defeated by Fran?ois Hollande in the Socialist primary. In the main election, Marine le Pen garnered many headlines as the new leader of the controversial far-right party, the Front national. This article considers the campaigns and the media coverage of these women, as well as highlights the impact for women of the scandal surrounding disgraced politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The policy proposals of the different candidates are evaluated, before concluding with a discussion of the future prospects for women. There is some evidence of progress for women since the previous election, but women are still far from achieving full political equality in France.
Travel Behavior of Middle-class Women in Dhaka City
Shahnaz Huq-Hussain and Umme Habiba
This article examines the travel behavior of middle-class women in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh and one of the world's largest and most densely populated cities. In particular, we focus on women's use of non-motorized rickshaws to understand the constraints on mobility for women in Dhaka. Primary research, in the form of an empirical study that surveyed women in six neighborhoods of Dhaka, underpins our findings. Our quantitative and qualitative data presents a detailed picture of women's mobility through the city. We argue that although over 75 percent of women surveyed chose the rickshaw as their main vehicle for travel, they did so within a complex framework of limited transport options. Women's mobility patterns have been further complicated by government action to decrease congestion by banning rickshaws from major roads in the city. Our article highlights the constraints on mobility that middle-class women in Dhaka face including inadequate services, poorly maintained roads, adverse weather conditions, safety and security issues, and the difficulty of confronting traditional views of women in public arenas.
In France, the 21 April 2002 presidential election result has renewed interest in the electoral cleavage between women and men, who cast their votes very differently to qualify candidates for the second round of the election. Among women voters, Lionel Jospin (the Socialist leader) came in second behind Jacques Chirac, with Jean-Marie Le Pen (leader of the Front national) being eliminated from the contest; among men, Le Pen came out on top followed by Chirac. On the basis of a major quantitative election survey conducted in France in 2002 by the Centre de Recherches Politiques de Sciences Po, this article undertakes to understand why fewer women than men vote for the extreme Right. Sociologically, Le Pen made his lowest scores among two groups of women that contrast in numerous aspects: young, highly educated professional women, and older, retired, widowed women. Strong ideological logics lie behind this contrasted sociology of female anti-Lepenism, rationales that are generation-specific, but gender-specific as well: feminism and Catholicism "process" male and female identity differently. (This research was first published in French in Bruno Cautrès and Nonna Mayer, eds., Le Nouveau Désordre électoral (2004), 207-28.)
Humanitarian Aid, French Women, and Popular Mobilization during the Front Populaire
The Spanish Civil War stirred an array of humanitarian relief campaigns in France that placed women in the front lines of popular mobilization. As communists, socialists, liberals, antifascists, feminists and pacifists, French women invoked the iconography and language of sexual difference to construct pro-Republican aid appeals as an expression of gendered social concern above party politics. Through exploring the female leaderships, organization, and popular participation in different relief campaigns, this article emphasizes the extent to which Spanish aid efforts were dominated by tensions within the Front Populaire.
Louise K. Davidson-Schmich
This article examines the candidates for the 2009 Bundestag election and asks three questions. First, did German political parties comply with their voluntarily-adopted gender quotas for their electoral lists—both in terms of the numbers of women nominated and their placement on the party list? Second, did parties without gender quotas place female candidates in promising list places? In other words, did quotas exert a “contagion effect“ and spur political groups without quotas to promote women's political careers? Third, what propensity did all parties have to nominate female candidates for direct mandate seats? Did the quotas used for the second vote have a spillover effect onto the first vote, improving women's odds of being nominated for constituency seats? I find that while the German parties generally complied with the gender quotas for their electoral lists, these quotas have had only limited contagion effects on other parties and on the plurality half of the ballot. Gender quotas in their current form have reached their limits in increasing women's representation to the Bundestag. To achieve gender parity, a change in candidate selection procedures, especially for direct mandates, would be required.
Jean Pierre Boulé's Sartre, Self Formation and Masculinities argues that we cannot adequately understand Sartre without taking account of the unique ways in which he negotiated the gender mandates of patriarchy. Taking Boulé's cue, I call on Lacan, Cixous and Beauvoir to interrogate Sartre's relationship to women, to his body and to writing. I argue for Boulé's approach but against several of his conclusions. Further, I credit Boulé with providing ammunition for challenging Lacan's universal account of the mirror stage, and for pushing me to read Beauvoir's "Must we Burn Sade?" as a critique of Sartre's betrayal of the erotic's ethical demands.
Reconceptualizing women in traffic through the case of Gagauz mobile domestics
Leyla J. Keough
This article focuses on the skill and fortitude of Gagauz Moldovans who migrate to Istanbul to work as domestic laborers. I consider how these 'driven' women negotiate their subject positions as mothers and wives, educated workers, migrants and paid domestic laborers, Turkish-speaking Christians and former Soviets. While their understandings reproduce certain power relations in Turkey and Moldova, their journeys also constitute a route for empowerment. Their situation is presented in the context of a 'discourse of sexual threat' that circulates about them in Turkey. I examine how this discourse and the women's understandings of their own subjectivities work to open or close off, contribute to or limit, the subject positions, the goals and desires, and the potential agency of Gagauz and Turkish individuals. By considering these issues in this way, I argue that this case study may challenge traditional academic conceptualizations of migration in Europe, female subjects and power relations.
Trespass and Honor in Late Medieval English Towns
England’s medieval town court records reveal significant information on the social and economic relationships of ordinary urban residents. These relationships and conflicts concerning them are particularly evident in trespass litigation: complaints about physical and verbal assaults and the theft of goods. This article uses trespass pleas from the towns of Nottingham, Chester, and Winchester in the fourteenth century to explore the gendered nature of trespass litigation and the implications that this misbehavior had for understandings of honor and reputation in urban society. It demonstrates the ways in which women were involved in trespasses as both complainants and defendants. While women were less frequent litigants than men, the records reveal continuity between their actions in trespasses. This article thus broadens the framework of female honor beyond sexual behavior to encompass interpersonal relationships, a broad range of physical and verbal attacks, and concerns about economic fidelity.
Swedish Feminist Comics and Cartoons from the 1970s and 1980s
Anna Nordenstam and Margareta Wallin Wictorin
In Sweden, publication of original feminist comics started in the 1970s and increased during the following decade. This article describes and analyses the Swedish feminist comics published in the Swedish radical journals Kvinnobulletinen and Vi Mänskor, as well as in the Fnitter anthologies. These comics, representing radical feminism, played an important role as forums for debate in a time when feminist comics were considered avant-garde. The most prominent themes were, first, the body, love and sexualities and, second, the labour market and legal rights. The most frequent visual style was a black contour line style on a white background, recalling the comics of Claire Bretécher, Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Franziska Becker. Humour and satire, including irony, were used as strategies to challenge the patriarchy and to contest the prevailing idea that women have no sense of humour.