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The "woman question" in Russian Poland, 1900-1914.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, partitioned Poland and especially its territories under imperial Russian rule had experienced the initial phase of fundamental economic, social and political transformation from the agrarian to the industrial age. This transformation, beginning in the 1860s and although far from complete on the eve of the Great War, nevertheless left society in a state of transitional flux. The multiple challenges of adjustment to the emerging, modem industrial world gave rise to a number of burning "questions," or issues, that dominated Polish intellectual life and political discourse up to, and in some instances, beyond the First World War. These included the Polish or "national" question, the closely related "Jewish question," the social question (sometimes subdivided into the "worker" and "peasant" questions) and, for the purposes of this essay, the "woman question."

Why women and what was the question? The "woman question" was, of course, raised by others besides the Poles--indeed, it appeared under exactly the same label in the contemporary discourse of other societies grappling with the problems of modernity. (1) In Polish circumstances, however, the "woman question" was posed within the specific context of Poland's own social and economic transformation as well as the accompanying rise of modern and competing political movements in the absence of a Polish state, and therefore in relationship to the other important "questions" of the day. Simply put, that transformation affected women in Poland from all walks of life in a variety of ways, eliciting from them forms of participation, adjustment and resistance in an increasingly market-driven economy and emerging civil society that at the time seemed to constitute a radical break with the past. That a "woman question" was even posed in Polish discourse indicates that women were (and would remain) at the center rather than periphery of Poland's transition from an agrarian to an industrial society. As this same transition also inspired the rise of modern political movements and mass organizations, particularly those of a patriotic and nationalist flavor, women's participation in them automatically drew unprecedented attention to the question of women's roles in the modern and variously imagined Polish nation and civil society.

More specifically, it was the contested definition of the boundaries of change and the role of women within those boundaries that divided public opinion in fin-de-siecle Poland and gave rise to a Polish variation on the "woman question." How the "woman question" was posed, of course, depended on those who posed it. The framers of the "woman question" (and all other "questions" of the era for that matter) had as least one thing in common--namely, they all came from the country's educated elite and particularly from the urban-based intelligentsia, which in turn derived its origins and outlook from the Polish gentry. This elite social background would characterize all participants in the discourse, including those belonging to Poland's first organized feminist movement. Nonetheless, they staked out a variety of different positions on the "woman question" that found expression in a veritably exploding mass circulation press. In this sense there were a number of woman questions and, therefore, a number of envision ed solutions to them.

The historiographical literature on women and gender in Poland at the turn of the last century, as well as in Polish history more generally, is of relatively recent origin, dating to the late 1980s, while feminist theoretical approaches are only now being applied to historical analysis. (2) Moreover, most of the extant secondary literature consists of published collections of conference papers that vary widely in quality. (3) To date, the best research has focused more on the socioeconomic rather than discursive side of the "woman question," in part due to the near monopoly of ethnography and anthropology in studies of the family during most of the communist era, (4) in part due to the Marxist training of Polish historians who would become engaged in the exploration of women's history at the end of the 1980s. Regarding the discourse as such, there has been a strong tendency in the literature (and not only Polish!) to conflate two historical phenomena into one--namely, the late nineteenth and early twentieth-c entury public debate about the role of women in society on the one hand, and the emergence of organized women's movements on the other. (5) The two were more or less simultaneous, although hardly synonymous. To be sure, without the appearance of a Polish women's movement and its various components in the public sphere, there many not have been much of a debate, but activists and publicists of the women's movement were hardly the only parties to it. (6) Had they been, the "woman question" in Poland would have been addressed much differently.

The conscious limitation of this essay's focus to Russian Poland is not meant to suggest that the "woman question" was confined to its borders, or that activists and publicists from Prussian and Austrian Poland failed to contribute to the discourse in meaningful ways. Especially in terms of early Polish feminist thought, the partition boundaries were quite artificial and permitted a relatively free exchange of people and ideas. As Warsaw clearly established itself, however, as the center of Polish intellectual life and publishing, especially after the Revolution of 1905 had created a wealth of new opportunities for the expression of public opinion, these "outside" voices figured as prominently in the discourse in Russian Poland as they did on their home ground, if not more so. For example, two seminal Polish feminist tracts, Maria Dulebianka's Polityczne stanowisko kobiety (Women's Politics, 1908) and Kazimiera Bujwidowa's U zrodel kwestji kobiecej (The Sources of the Woman Question, 1910) were published in W arsaw, despite the residence of both authors in Austrian Poland. Others, such as Paulina Kulczalska-Reinschmit, the acknowledged leader of mainstream Polish political feminism before the Great War, simply relocated themselves and their publishing and organizational activities to Warsaw.

The purpose of the following discussion, therefore, is to examine the "woman question" in Russian Poland, where it became most sharply defined and contested in the years before World War I, from a variety of different angles. In order to bear fruit, such an exploration of the "woman question" requires a methodological flexibility which intertwines socioeconomic, cultural-intellectual and political analysis. In the process, it is hoped that this essay will begin to provide an important missing piece to the mosaic of fin-de-siecle Poland's multifaceted confrontation with modernity.

Why Women? The Socioeconomic Context for the Emergence of the "Woman Question"

In Central and Eastern Europe, where the transformative processes associated with industrialization arrived later and where their aggregate impact was less socially penetrating than in Western Europe and the United States, the exact relationship between the socioeconomic context and the emergence of the "woman question" in these societies in the late nineteenth century is a matter of debate. In her study of the Russian women's movement at the turn of the century Linda Edmundson has raised an issue pertinent to historians of Poland. Despite radically different levels of economic and social development across Europe from west to east, from Great Britain at one extreme to Russia at the other, how was it, she asks, that the "woman question" and women's movements emerged in such diverse settings at more or less the same moment in historical time? The answer Edmundson gives is that the "woman question"/women's movements as they arose during the second half of the nineteenth century had less to do with economic and social change brought about by industrialization and more to do with the simultaneous appearance of groups of politically conscious, educated women from variously defined elites who chafed at existing restrictions on their self-realization. (7)

In a Polish setting, this can be offered only as a partial response to the question "Why Women?" Certainly, the first wave of Polish feminists were comprised of women from elite backgrounds, or at least from elites defined more in terms of education than of wealth, which was reflected in their concerns for access to higher education and professional employment. As in Russia, the rise of a women's emancipation movement in Poland coincided with a crisis of noble landowning following serf emancipation in the early 1860s, made worse by the simultaneous failure of the January 1863 uprising that resulted in Russian retributive measures against its supporters among the Polish gentry (szlachta). Political defeat, indeed, led to a more radical agrarian reform in Poland than in Russia and forced young szlachta women to rely upon themselves, especially when uprooted to urban settings. (8) The process of gentry social displacement, according to one historian, resulted in a "revolt of the daughters" from the landed class against the traditional patriarchal model of the family and the confinement of the salon, which for decades had defined the proper place of a woman of landed wealth. (9)

Ever since the Enlightenment, however, Polish public discourse possessed a certain precociousness that tended to align intellectual debates and cultural trends with those occurring in the West, although when reflected through the Polish mirror and applied to Polish circumstances they took on somewhat different form and meaning. In other words, the Polish educated class and especially the Warsaw-based urban intelligentsia tended to see the future of their own country for good or ill every time they looked at developments in contemporary Western Europe. This made the future tangible, indeed the future became part of the present, which rendered the actual level of socioeconomic development irrelevant. Therefore, Polish debates about "capitalism," "industrialization" and "modernity" did not necessarily require an actually existing modern industrial economy, only signs of its inevitable coming. (10) By the same token, the "woman question" in Poland did not require the existence of a core group of affluent middle class women and allied male reformers, as had been the case particularly in Great Britain and the United States. Ironically, in the one part of Poland where capitalism had most thorougly reconfigured the traditional agrarian landscape and where there was something of a Polish middle class and actually existing Polish "bourgeois" women--namely, Prussian Poland--the debate on the role of women in Polish society was muted and the women's emancipation movement practically non-existent. (11)

That said, I would argue nonetheless that social and economic tranformation was vitally important to the emergence of the "woman question" in Russian Poland and that its significance in this regard extended far beyond the political and economic displacement of the Polish nobility following the 1863 insurrection. Both the "woman question" as public discourse and the women's movement as an autonomous historical actor began and peaked in Russian Poland where the transformational processes were most profoundly felt. What counts here is not the level but the process of development, which was telescoped into decades (rather than occurring over centuries, in the case of Great Britain). In other words, the future of the industrial age was not just imagined in late nineteenth-century Poland, it was actually occurring in the present. And, as Tomasz Kizwalter points out, even though interactions between otherwise simultaneous changes in different areas of life are easier to perceive than to prove, there can be little do ubt that peasant emancipation and the effective beginning of industrialization in the second half of the nineteenth century, along with their transformation of existing social structures, affected the situation of women. (12)

Moreover, the peculiarities of industrialization in Russian Poland, particularly its semi-colonial nature and resulting social consequences, had political impacts that would shape the formulation of the "woman question" and its discussion of women's roles in civil society and the imagined nation. The dominance of "Polish" industry by foreign capital, the absence of a large and ethnically Polish capitalist entrepreneurial class, the role of the intelligenstia as the core political force in Polish life, the impossibility of legal party formation in Russian Poland before 1905, and the rise of modern Polish nationalism were all factors that in the larger context of the country's capitalist transfomation would sharply distinguish the Polish discourse on women from its west European counterparts and long endow the women's movement with a dual, if not split, personality combining patriotism and feminism.

In contrast to Prussian Poland, the transformation of peasant agriculture in Russian Poland, despite the emancipation of the serfs in 1864, proved painstakingly slow. Gathering real momentum at the beginning of the twentieth century, it assumed dynamic proportions only in the last decade before the outbreak of war in 1914. Consequently, village women did not figure prominently in discussions of the "woman question" before the turn of the century, after which time they became one of its major battlegrounds, pitting populists and feminists against the Roman Catholic Church. It is, therefore, the latter period which concerns us here, when peasant agriculture began to produce for the market, when the isolated and scattered strips of peasant smallholders were consolidated into integrated plots in nearly eight hundred villages, when the desire to acquire literacy and build schools became part of the Polish peasantry's own agenda rather than one superimposed from the outside. (13)

These changes affected village women in a number of ways. The gendered division of the peasant household economy remained, but the growing connection of that economy to the market created something of an independent niche for village women, whose sale of poultry, eggs and dairy products proved especially profitable. At the end of the period, village women began to participate in cooperatives to improve the marketing and profit margins for their goods. These contacts with the market, which also embraced female handicraft production, brought many village women out of their domestic isolation and into the public sphere for the first time (14) Meanwhile, the consolidation of peasant plots began to alter traditional community relationships, including relationships among village women. In unconsolidated villages, women worked on a household's scattered strips alongside their female neighbors and often quarreled with them over wandering poultry or livestock. Consolidation may have ended such disputes, but it also af fected traditional means of communication among women by suddenly isolating peasant wives and daughters within the boundaries of households that were often physically relocated to the new consolidated plots.

Village women responded to these changes with both resistance and accommodation. Women, to a far greater extent than men, frequently stood at the forefront of opposition to the transformation of the village and to the political actors who promoted it. At the same time, through institutions ranging from cooperatives and separate women's groups operating within larger male-dominated village associations to rosary circles promoted by the Roman Catholic Church (of which more later), a younger generation of women began to seek new forms of interaction with each other in the public sphere and temporary escape from domesticity. (15)

Meanwhile, the acquisition of literacy by village women was a slow, but nevertheless accelerating process. Although the number of village girls receiving formal educational instruction in the weak network of rural grammar schools was only half that of boys, public education affected only a minority of the latter as well. On the other hand, equal numbers of boys and girls acquired literacy by means of "secret" as well as home instruction that sought to circumvent the partially russified village school system. (16) Thus, if overall village literacy rates approached 35% in the early twentieth century, the gender disparity was not as pronounced as it might appear at first glance. Significantly, a substantial proportion of "secret" and home school teachers were women, drawn from both inside and outside the village. (17) As the impetus for "secret instruction" lessened as a result of reforms in the Russian state system of primary education during and after the Revolution of 1905, debates over curriculum, particular ly in the education of village girls, arose in their place to provide another aspect of the "woman question" in the countryside.

Thus far, we have been referring only to village women who managed to remain on the land, the only opportunity for which was through marriage to a peasant proprietor. As a consequence of the demographic explosion in the countryside following serf emancipation and a proportional increase in the number of landless peasants, many were unable to do so, this despite the subdivision of peasant plots. At the end of the nineteenth century, less than half of peasant daughters could expect to become a householder's wife, a position that carried a great deal of prestige in the village and parish. Moreover, as the peasantry became increasingly status-conscious, the role of dowries, especially in cash, became even more important in securing marriage. (18) A dowry of 200-300 rubles was considered respectable, and many village daughters, rather than marry a landless farmhand, sought to acquire the sum by migrating to Russian Poland's arising urban and industrial centers, where they were employed primarily as domestic servan ts and unskilled textile workers, or across the Prussian border as migrant farm workers where wages were twice that prevailing in Russian Poland, or ultimately across the Atlantic. A specific feature of Polish migration and emigration is that their numbers were overwhelmingly comprised of single persons, whether male or female. As for the latter, those who maintained ties with the village, especially the 100,000 village women engaged in migratory seasonal labor on average in the early 20th century, had a definite impact on rural communities upon their occasional or permanent return by nature of their attire and their attitudes and as a consequence of the reaction of traditional society to them. (19) The increasing visibility of these women, too, would form an important component of the "woman question" as it was posed in relationship to change in rural communities. In particular, the Roman Catholic Church discovered dangerous moral implications in the loosening of migrant women's moorings in the village and p arish, a position which in itself necessarily invited polemical response from radical populists who viewed the Church as a principal obstacle to rural "modernization" and from feminists eager to challenge patriachal definitions of morality.

In the cities and industrial settlements of Russian Poland, the attempts of village girls to support themeselves, let alone to earn enough for a respectable dowry as domestic servants and textile workers on abysmally low wages, were often unsuccessful. This drove a significant number of recent migrants, especially among domestic servants, to prostitution. (20) The rise of criminal prostitution rings and of the "trade in women" also belongs to this era. According to the fin-de-siecle feminist Maria Turzyma, some ten thousand Polish women, the majority of them illiterate girls recently arrived from the countryside, were forcibly enlisted by kidnapping and other means into a trade that by the turn of the century had acquired global dimensions. (21) In any case, prostitution and the traffic in women, more than any other issue of the time, dramatically connected the "woman question" to the question of "work" and through the latter to larger social issues. (22)

The inability to realize the opportunities created for "real" economic-based emancipation created by the market's activization of female wage labor, however, involved more than inadequate wages, the vagaries of employment, or the resort to prostitution. Women who continued their employment as wage-earners after marriage were viewed negatively within the working class itself, and even more if they had children. This unfavorable attitude toward women's wage labor, which was especially frowned upon in the Jewish community, nonetheless was confronted by an economic reality that required wives to supplement the earnings of their husbands. In the case of artisans and shopkeepers, a largely Jewish element in both Russian and Austrian Poland, this meant the provision of unpaid labor in support of their husbands' craft. In the textile industry, which placed an emphasis on family employment and where marriage itself improved the prospects of employment, many women had no choice but to continue to work after entering ma rriage and bearing children. (23) Those working-class wives and mothers who were able to realize the cultural ideal and left the labor force upon marriage had usually acquired considerable savings of their own. Yet they also had to manage efficiently their husbands' wages, which was difficult in light of the high rate of alchoholism among male breadwinners, or they had to supplement those wages by engaging in side occupations, such as taking in boarders and laundry. (24)

The stigma attached to married women as earners of wages or salaries, moreover, was shared by other classes in Polish society. Earlier in the nineteenth century before the emancipation of the serfs, women's roles that were acceptable to prevailing opinion were socially conditioned. As previously noted, the place of a woman of landed wealth was the salon. Among the middling gentry, women were supposed to play the role of household manager, and among the poorest gentry strata, to share the burdens of farm work. (25) However, the aforementioned crisis of noble landowning following serf emancipation and the January uprising, which often resulted in a gentry family's financial ruin, found dependent women completely unprepared. The initial rise of a women's emancipation movement, whose first female proponents came from the landed class at a time of declining noble landownership, was not a mere coincidence. Indeed, the "revolt of the daughters" of the late nineteenth century was dictated in part by the fact that the se women had no choice but to rely upon themselves, especially if they were forced to seek their fortunes in the cities. (26)

The pioneer generation of emancypantki (emancipationists) therefore placed utmost emphasis on the "the right to work" as well as on access to education leading to professional careers. However, the pragmatically minded majority of noble and intelligentsia women (the latter drawn overwhelmingly from noble migrants to the cities) viewed the acquisition of education, a profession, and even financial independence as a substitute for a dowry and therefore designed to attract suitable marital partners. Once the labor market began to embrace these women, moreover, the work that many of them found, usually in the garment industry, did not match the level of their education or earnings aspirations. (27) Meanwhile, teaching and librarianship were the only two professions--both of them low-paying--whose doors were truly open to women, and in the absence of alternatives (with the possible exception of journalism and politics), both became rapidly feminized. (28) Such restrictions and frustrating experiences, so prominent ly featured in Eliza's Orzeskowa's famous semi-autobiographical novel Marta (1873), added to a culturally-influenced determination to leave the labor market and professional careers as soon as possible after marriage. That exit option, however, was not available to all women of noble background, particularly women of the lesser gentry.

Despite these obstacles, the turn of the century marked the unprecedented appearance of women in larger public forums. It was a golden age of women's literature, characterized by the poetry of Maria Konopnicka, as well as the novels of Orzeszkowa, Gabriela Zapolska and Zofia Nalkowska, just to name a few. (29) Indeed Konopnicka and Orzeszkowa were revered as national treasures comparable to their male contemporaries Boleslaw Prus and Henryk Sienkiewicz. (30) Women played an important role in the emergence of Poland's modern political movements and the elaboration of their ideologies. The names of Ester Golde, Rosa Luxemburg, Cecylia Sniegocka, Iza Moszczenska and Helena Radlinska, though of different ideological persuasions, are all connected to an unprecedented creativity which marked the era's social-political thought. (31) Polish science would eventually lay claim to the achievements of Maria Sklodowska (the later Madame Curie), who together with over 5000 other women of outstanding intellectual ability wh o were denied access to higher education in their native land eventually comprised 70% of those involved in the activities of the first underground "Flying University." The Flying University's legally recognized successor, the Society for Scientific Courses, which registered with the Russian authorities in 1906, remained a predominantly female institution. (32)

Finally, the first organized Polish feminist movement, originating from the loose groupings of "enthusiasts" in the 1840s and 1850s through the "emancipationists" at the end of the nineteenth century and culminating in the Union of Equal Rights for Polish Women formed in 1907, constituted a "first wave" in the full sense of the term used in feminist scholarship. (33) While tracing the origins and development of the feminist movement before the First World War lies beyond the scope of this discussion, its largely forgotten voice in fin-de-siecle Polish political discourse should hardly be taken as a sign of the movement's insignificance. (34) The mere appearance of feminism on the Polish scene marked a breakthrough, one that did not escape the attention of contemporaries. That it has escaped ours until quite recently is another matter, one that is bound up with the long unchallenged dominance of the master narrative of twentieth-century Polish history shaped, above all, by the political agenda of modem Polish nationalism. The triumph of Polish nationalism over all other ideological and political competitors, already established in the early twentieth century, would nor only have a major impact on the formulation of the "woman question" in public discourse, but also on its proposed practical "resolutions."

What Was the Question? Polish Variations on a Modern Theme

As mentioned above, the contested definition of the boundaries of change as they affected or limited women drew a variety of participants into the discourse on the "woman question." What follows below is a thumbnail sketch of the debate's contestants and the positions they staked out, with somewhat greater attention paid to the liberal, nationalist, Roman Catholic and feminist perspectives.

Active public debate on women's role in society was initiated in the early 1870s by the Warsaw liberals, or positivists, as part of their larger dispute with conservatives over the future direction of the Polish nation. (35) Orzeszkowa, whom one historian refers to as "the loudest and most committed" female voice among the Warsaw positivists, played an obviously important role in introducing the "woman question" to Polish liberal discourse and in shaping its initial focus on women s economic conditions and discrimination in employment. (36) Equally significant during these early years were the writings of Aleksander Swietochowski, particularly those addressing women's access to education and the institution of marriage. (37) Liberals such as Swietochowski and (to a lesser extent) Orzeszkowa tended to view the woman question in terms of the country's economic development, the embourgeoisement of urban artisans, and the creation of a modem "civil society." Thus liberals protested gender-based discrimination, de manded educational reform, and promoted the "gainful employment" of women in the country's economic life as well as their participation in voluntary associations as schools of patriotic citizenship. (38)

Although they supported a new model of the working, educated and knowledgable woman, the Warsaw liberals nonetheless maintained rather traditional views of women's roles in the family. (39) They also demanded, especially in the years before the First World War, the subordination of the women's movement to larger, liberally-conceived social and national liberation movements. (40)

In this regard, the figure of Iza Moszczeriska typifies the early twentieth-century liberal approach to women's emanciapation as well as its contradications. On the one hand, Moszczenska was one of the key figures in the revival of the "woman question" among Polish liberals at the turn of the century after a decade-long hiatus. In particular, her writings on the sexual "double standard" laid bare its pernicious physical, moral, economic and cultural effects on both men and women. (41) And although Moszczenska saw herself as the liberal heir to Orzeszkowa, she also came to the conclusion that "work" in and of itself could not guarantee the personal independence of women, primarily because she viewed women's dependence on men in other than purely economic terms. (42) Yet Moszczenska, who was among the first to speak of women's "double burden" in Polish discourse and was a strong advocate of equal political rights, strongly criticized the Polish feminist movement and abjured the label for herself. Feminism, acco rding to Moszczenska, was an ideology that sought to impose the model of the single woman on married women and mothers. Against the feminist woman "working for herself," Moszczenska counterposed the "modem woman" "working on herself" by embracing the "more important" and "more ennobling" responsibilities of motherhood. (43) Moszczenska thus came to represent the larger prewar liberal consensus that the social role of free and independent women was to raise the dignity of motherhood and to strengthen the family for the benefit of the Polish nation and its "progress." Any agenda that went beyond these parameters Moszczenska and the liberal nationalists came to view as selfish and "separatist," especially in the atmosphere of frustrated political expectations and rising ethno-religious tensions after the 1905 revolution.

To an even greater extent, the Polish socialist movement rejected the separation of the "woman question" from other emancipationist strivings in society. Socialists viewed the "woman question" in terms of class relations, economic exploitation, and the "bourgeois" model of the family that subordinated women to men. Like their Russian counterparts, Polish socialists opposed the feminist emphasis on women's work, arguing instead that wage employment had "proletarianized" women to an even greater degree than men, placing them in the worst kind of slavery. The socialist claim that the oppression of women resulted from their class status thus became the main source of antagonism with the feminist movement, (44) a relationship that soured even more once the latter began to focus on "bourgeois" voting rights following the Revolution of 1905. (45) In contrast to the Russian movement, however, few Polish socialists would come to advocate specific organizational and agitational attention to the matter of mobilizing fem ale factory labor. (46) The ultimate resolution of the woman question was made dependent on an envisioned social revolution or on an independent Polish state that would carry out such a revolution. On the eve of the Great War, as socialists condemned the feminists' equal rights agenda as one too restricted by its strict adherence to the existing class-based legal order, feminists countered with an embittered critique of the socialist emphasis on class over gender solidarity. (47)

Populists, many of whom were elite women, aimed to modernize the village and bring "civilization" to the peasantry. Consequently, they tended to view peasant wives as sources of rural "backwardness" and "superstition," the remedy for which they saw in "enlightenment," or the secular education of peasant daughters. (48) By 1914, the populist movement, in its various conservative, nationalist and "progressive" shades, had created some thirteen "agronomy schools" for girls in the Congress Kingdom in its effort to propagate a new vision of the woman in the peasant family and rural economy. (49) The first and most famous of these schools was established by Jadwiga Dziubinska in Kruszynek in 1904, whose curriculum later became a major subject of controversy between the populist left and the Roman Catholic episcopate (see below). (50) Along with Dziubinska, Helena Radlinska and Irena Kosmowska (the latter is credited with creating the trademark populist slogan of sami sobie--"we ourselves") played a major role in fi n-de-siecle Polish populism, which can be traced back to their earlier involvement in the clandestine Women's Circle of Popular Education (KKOL--Kobiece Kolo Oswiaty Ludowej). (51)

The Polish nationalist movement (a coalition of organizations eventually grouped under the National Democratic Alliance or Endecja), whose response to the "woman question" would ultimately prove the most influential as it came to dominate the larger political discourse on the Polish "nation," viewed women as bearers and nurturers of peculiarly Polish values and equated patriotic duties with those of motherhood and child-rearing. In its secularization of Roman Catholic teachings of women's obligations to faith and family, nationalists charged women with no less a task than preserving and nourishing the nation, and the movement was prepared to supply them with the means of modem cultural, social, and political organization in order to do so. (52) Women associated with the nationalist movement before the Revolution of 1905 were involved almost exclusively in the educational movement. Early female activists of KKOL (including Dziubinska) and the Society of Secret Instruction (including its founder, Cecylia Sniego cka) eventually joined the nationalist umbrella educational organization, the Society of National Education (TON--Towarzystwo Oswiaty Narodowej), as well as its women's organization, the Circle of Women of the Crownland and Lithuania (Kolo Kobiet Korony i Litwy). (53)

By World War I the most prominent female activists of the prerevolutionary period had parted company with the Endecja, in part because nationalist discourse had come to distinguish between male and female citizenship. So long as women's political rights were not at issue under conditions of Russian rule before 1905, since men also lacked the franchise, patriotism offered women a means of both self-realization and for engaging in public affairs. The situation changed, however, with the emergence of electoral politics as a consequence of the Revolution, the pressures of which forced the autocracy to concede a limited and weighted male franchise to a legislative Duma in October 1905. The nationalist movement subsequently demanded more varied obligations from women and complete devotion to the cause of the "nation" without, however, offering women its support for equal political rights. (54)

In 1907 a series of meetings on the "woman question" in Warsaw led the Endecja to convene its own meeting of "women of the nationalist movement" at which women were called upon to "do their duty" and "stand on guard of national instincts." The argument made by Zygmunt Balicki, one of the leading figures of the Endecja, that "women's rights are not a national cause" led to the walkout of Moszczenska and other female participants who had otherwise come to accept various tenets of nationalist ideology, including its exclusion of Jews from the "Polish nation." (55) Thus, female "citizenship" in the nationalist scheme of things became instrumentalized, divorced from women's own emancipation, thus leaving women with a "modern" and "nationalized" version of the traditional Roman Catholic "Matka Polka" (Polish Mother) formula to define their participation in the Polish national community. (56)

The nationalist adaptation of the "Matka Polka" to the movement's "modern" needs was part and parcel of the "catholicization" of Polish nationalism, a process already quite visible on the eve of the Great War. Simultaneously, the "nationalization" and "modernization" of Polish Roman Catholicism led, if not to convergence, then to an ideological reapprochement between two major political and social forces in early twentieth-century Poland. It would therefore be misleading to denounce the Church's formulation of and response to the "woman question" simply as conservative, if not reactionary and misogynist. It is certainly true that the Church sought to draw the tightest boundaries around the dramatic changes affecting women, beyond which lurked women's spiritual and moral "degeneration." For this reason, the Catholic press railed against the migration and emigration of single women and engaged in heated polemics with liberals, socialists and feminists who advocated civil marriage and divorce. (57) Moreover, the boundaries drawn by the Church, from its view, could only be upheld by patriarchy--in society, in the family, and in the Church itself. Its concerted assault on Jadwiga Dziubinska's school for village girls in 1910 is only one indication of the lengths the Church would go to preserve the traditional patriarchal order and its own vision of women's proper role in the family. (58) It is also true, however, that the Church was a major promoter of female literacy among the lower classes as it developed its own industry of moralistic and devotional literature to advance the faith. (59) Just as nationalists targeted the Polish mother as the inculcator of national values, so too the Church viewed women in their maternal capacity as preservers and nurturers of religion in the family and in the community. Concerned with the breakdown of community as a consequence of social change, the Church increasingly identified women as its bonding element.

It is from this perspective that one should view the Church's promotion and organization of rosary circles in the late nineteenth century. Indeed, the farther the distance of Polish migrants and emigrants from the traditional village and parish, the more crucial the Church viewed the formation of such organizations--their importance to the emigre communities of Poles in the United States and the Rhein-Westphalia industrial region of Germany has been pointed out by historians of immigration. (60) Wherever the rosary circles appeared, whether at home or abroad, lower and middle-class Polish women were ironically encouraged by the Church to take provisional leave from the private realm of home and family, albeit for the perceived benefit of home and family. And women did more in these circles than pray the rosary under the patronage of a priest. For many Polish women, the rosary circle allowed them a socially acceptable and religiously sanctioned escape from their everyday domestic lives as well as an opportunit y to communicate with other women beyond the purview of their husbands and children. (61) Moreover, the priest-patrons of the rosary circles were typically absentee sponsors who disappeared upon their formation, and real organization of the circles and their activities devolved to the women themselves.

Although the Church thus gave women a chance to play a social and public role beyond the functions of wife and mother, women were quite capable of breaking with the Church if it did not support them in their daily lives. The Mariavite movement and schism, which also belongs to this period, provides yet another perspective on the relationship of women to the Church. Led by Felicja Kozlowska (Mother Maria Franciszka), the Mariavite movement evolved from the women's religious communities that formed upon the forced dissolution of the majority of Catholic convents by the Russian authorities in the aftermath of the 1863 insurrection. Active among the poor in urban and mixed urban-rural parishes, the semi-clandestine women's assemblies were only loosely tied to the Roman Catholic episcopate. (62) Consequently, by the first years of the twentieth century, the Mariavite movement had developed its own theology (eventually denounced as "heretical" by the Church), had become increasingly critical of the "noble lifestyle s" of the male parish clergy and the indifference of most priests to social issues, and had embarked on its own independent social initiatives, including the organization of day-care facilities for the children of working-class families, soup kitchens for the poor, and cooperative workshops for the unemployed. (63)

At the time of the excommunication of Kozlowska and her followers in late 1906 for various acts of insubordination, the Mariavite movement commanded the active allegiance of tens of thousands of believers in twenty-two parishes, while its sympathizers may have comprised over ten percent of all Catholics in Russian Poland. (64) Since the movement's most zealous members were women, the nationalist and official Catholic press portrayed the Mariavites in sexist terms, as "hysterical" and "fanatical" threats to the existing moral, religious, social and national order. (65) For this reason alone, the gender dimensions of the Mariavite controversy and schism, as well as the sexual tensions within the Mariavite leadership following the sect's establishment as an officially recognized Church (replete with a male episcopate and parish clergy), require further research and exploration which unfortunately extend beyond the scope of this essay.

The final contestant in the discourse on the "woman question" can be found at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Roman Catholic Church, if not from the Mariavites; namely, the "emancipationists" and the "equal righters"--in other words, the first wave of Polish feminism which by 1907 was organized into a legally-recognized movement, the Union of Equal Rights for Polish Women. (66) Guided by a relatively coherent leadership whose central figure was Paulina Kuczalska-Reinschmit, the Union of Equal Rights was endowed with its own lively press (including the feminist periodical Ster), (67) organized the first "all-Polish" women's congress in Warsaw, and, as far as the "woman question was concerned, not only put voting rights on the table, but in Austrian Poland promoted a "very dynamic and animated" suffrage movement that engaged in acts of civil disobedience. (68) Indeed, feminists were so successful in their agitation for voting rights both before and during the war that legislation for women's suffrage in the reborn Polish state in 1918 met with very little opposition. The "equal righters" had a number of other achievements, for which they have yet to receive credit by historians, not the least of which was the redefinition of womanhood itself in public discourse that even opponents of women's emancipation were forced to acknowledge.

A prime example of the influence of Polish feminism in this regard can be found in the changing profile of the women's press after 1905. Bluszcz (Ivy), an illustrated weekly and the most widely read Polish women's periodical before World War I, was sharply criticized by women's rights activists at the turn of the century for the sentimentalism of its serialized novels, its emphasis on fashion and its financial relationship with advertisers of women's products. Iza Moszczenska went so far as to condemn Bluszcz as a "male-dominated" publication that did not reflect the opinion of "intelligent and thinking" women. (69) In the last decade before the war, however, Bluszcz increasingly identified itself with the feminist movement. Thus in the 1910 Polish Women's Calendar, essentially an encyclopedic handbook for women published by the Union of Equal Rights, Bluszcz provided the following description of its contents: "Social articles, articles devoted to the cause of the women's movement and the activities of women in the fields of social work, literature, art and industry, articles about childrearing, [women's] health and family life." Consequently, as a mass circulation weekly, Bluszcz introduced the women's movement to a far larger female audience than ever could have been tapped by Ster or its predecessors. (70)

Though the equal rights movement was relatively united, especially when it came to issues such as women's suffrage, it also contained its share of divisions and controversies. The Union of Equal Rights itself was formed from an earlier Association of Equal Rights in protest of the latter's inclusion of men on its executive, thus leading to the parent body's demise. (71) There were tensions, moreover, between liberal nationalists, mainstream political feminists and radical anti-male feminists in the movement, represented by the figures of Moszczenska, Kuczalska-Reinschmit, and Zofia Nalkowska, respectively. Between the first two groups, the situation was complicated by shared liberal parentage in the positivist movement of the 1870s and 1880s, which was reflected among other things in competing claims over Orzeszkowa's literary legacy. (72) In 1903 Moszczenska and Kuczalska-Reinschmit sparred directly over the issue of motherhood. Moszczenska, as previously mentioned, viewed motherhood as "more important" and "more ennobling" than woman's participation in the public sphere (though she vigorously championed such participation), whereas Kuczalska considered motherhood a woman's "right" rather than an obligation and in any case not "the sole reason for her existence as a human being." (73) Finally, while Moszczenska eschewed the feminist label, Kuczalska came to embrace it as a badge of honor; for the latter it became a matter of "calling things by their proper names." (74)

In this sense, the formation of the Union of Equal Rights became a feminist declaration of independence, however short-lived, from the majority wing of Polish liberalism that in the last decade before the war began to move closer to the position of the Endecja on "national" issues, particularly on the question of Polish-Jewish relations. Kuczalska-Reinschmit, for example, warned in 1907 that "even the most progressive parties of liberation" would make concessions at the expense of women's rights. (75) The same year Teresa Meczkowska posited the women s movement as a "strong moral brake" on antisemitism and other forms of nationalism that were increasingly dominating the liberal agenda. (76) Such views were echoed by feminists in Austrian Poland. Maria Turzyma, for example, argued that women s emancipation had to be an act of "self-liberation" since all male-dominated political and social formations were basically in agreement in their opposition to the women's movement, "uniting the reactionary with the Socia l Democrat, the antisemite with the kahalist, the capitalist with the worker." (77) In 1908 Dulebianka made her case for feminist political autonomy, arguing that the previous strategy of emancipationists to work with and act through existing parties had been "a cardinal error." The future political road of the women's movement, she insisted, "must be our own." (78)

Meanwhile, the generation of mainstream political feminists represented by Kuczalska-Reinschmit was increasingly challenged in the immediate prewar years by a younger and more radical wing led by Nalkowska that focused its criticism on the "old" ethical principles that guided the movement's moderate leadership. The radical feminist challenge must be viewed in the larger context of the young intelligentsia's general disillusionment with politics and political solutions in the frustrating postrevolutionary atmosphere on the one hand, and of cultural debates on female sexuality arising from "modernist" and "expressionist" trends in Polish literature on the other. Thus, Nalkowska's sharp criticism of the 1907 Women's Congress, which had advertised itself as the beginning of a new era for women, as essentially conservative in its guiding ethics coincided with the appearance of Gabriela Zapolska's controversial Moralnosc pani Dulskiej (The Morality of Mrs. Dulska, 1907), a furious attack on the sexual double standa rd and the hypocrisy of "philistine" middle-class family values. For her part, Nalkowska took aim at the "moral purity" of "honest women," long held by the emancipationist movement as a source of women's ethical advantage over men, which she claimed was the product of "submission to conditions of slavery." Instead, Nalkowska called for the creation of a "new, brave and revolutionary" set of ethical principles based not on the movement's "old" equal rights agenda, but on the freedom of the individual woman, a freedom that included her sexual liberation. (79)

The introduction of "modernist" ideas of "sexual revolution" was shocking to some members of the older generation of emanciparionists such as Maria Konopnicka who led a walkout in protest of Nalkowska's speech and her moral equation of traditional female "cleanliness" with prostitution. Others, however, including Kazimiera Bujwidowa, took up the radical challenge, indeed even deemed it necessary. The unhappy and dissatisfied female characters who sought new forms of love in the "erotic" literature of the younger generation, Bujwidowa argued, "are taken from life itself." She claimed, moreover, that the desire for "something more" in women's sexual relations with men was nothing new, but had always existed in the female "imagination." Bujwidowa, however, rejected the idea of "free love" as a "disease" driven by despair, one that was dangerously degrading to women in that it was based on the prevailing male understanding of sexual freedom rather than on the liberation of the female "self." (80)

Such debates, I would argue, are indicative of the movement's dynamism rather than of its weaknesses. In the years 1907-1912 a full-fledged Polish feminism emerged, with Warsaw at its epicenter. Preceded by the evolution of an independent feminist "voice," represented by the publication Glos kobiet w kwestyi kobiecej (The Voice of Women on the Woman Question, 1903), the postrevolutionary women's emancipation movement acquired all the attributes of autonomy characteristic of a feminist "first wave." During this period, moreover, feminists were well aware that the independence of their movement had to be defended, not so much vis a vis its obvious foes, but more emphatically from its self-proclaimed progressive "friends." This wave, however, could not be sustained. Beginning in 1912, it began to subside as the feminist center and right were reunited under the umbrella of liberal nationalism before it receded even more into the stormy seas of wartime Poland. The feminist retreat also coincided with the eclipse o f the "woman question" in Polish public discourse, which like other social issues, was overwhelmed and consequently transfigured by the ethnic and territorial impulses of Polish nationalism.


After 1912, the mainstream feminist "equal rights" movement found itself increasingly on the defensive. The feminist declaration of independence from Polish liberalism, marked by the formation of the Union of Equal Rights in 1907, was soon treated as a dangerous sign of "gender separatism." Employing distorted images of English suffragettes as "twentieth-century amazons" and "hysterical vandals" who engaged in "criminal assaults" on "civilization," the liberal press led by Kurjer Warszawski took aim at a domestic target, the "cultural immaturity" of contemporary Polish feminism that defended the tactics of its English counterpart. (81) In what was essentially a warning disguised as a prediction, the daily responded to Polish feminist support of the English movement: "If our society were able to decide its own fate, Polish women certainly would fight for political rights without resort to attacks and fires." (82) Against the English suffragettes and their Polish supporters, liberals held up the model of native -born Madame Curie-Sklodowska "who is doing 100 times more for the cause of women." (83)

Of greater issue for the majority of Polish liberals, however, was national solidarity at a time of sharply deteriorating Polish-Jewish relations on the very eve of the war. In Warsaw, economic and political competition between the two groups gave rise to an antisemitic boycott in November 1912 that united Polish liberals and nationalists. (84) The Union of Equal Rights, despite its previously strong objection to the ethno-religious agenda of Polish nationalism, did not remain above the fray and, influenced by Moszczenska in particular, announced its support of the boycott. (85) Basically, liberals demanded that feminists choose between nation and gender, or at least to concern themselves with "women's side" of the "Jewish question" (that is, prostitution and sex trafficking, both held by Polish opinion to be particularly "Jewish" crimes) instead of "worrying about support for the English suffragettes or the feminist movement in Tasmania." (86) With the outbreak of the war and the reappearance of independent Polish statehood on the political horizon, the mounting pressures on feminists and on women more generally to support the Polish national cause proved irresistible.

Consequently, there is something of a consensus in the literature that the "equal righters" subordinated their movement to Polish national goals and for this reason it failed to become a truly feminist movement. Indeed, a number of historians have questioned the very authenticity of the feminist label in its application to the Polish women's movement. Martha Bohachevsky-Chomiak, in her discussion of the failure of Polish and Ukrainian women to make common cause in Austrian Poland, argues that "feminism looked nationalism in the eye, and withdrew." (87) For Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, the movement's couching of women's emancipation in the larger context of human and civil rights tied it to a Polish national agenda rather than a feminist one. (88) Natali Stegmann argues that "the rational traditions of a feminist liberation movement" were already being undermined by the "mystified traditions of the nation struggling for liberation" on the eve of the war, which then succeeded in bringing these two contradictory tradi tions together under one patriotic (but no longer feminist) roof. (89) Finally, Malgorzata Czyszkowska-Peschler maintains that "traditional habits of thought and conduct frequently proved too strong to overcome" and as a consequence "a full-scale women's movement, in the real sense of the word, never grew up in Poland." (90)

It is time to take issue with this consensus. It is true that the "equal righters" came to the conclusion around 1910 that suffrage would come about only in an independent Poland, their efforts having failed in each of the partitioned Polish territories. Yet it is also true that history proved them correct in this regard. In any case, this does not mean that the Union of Equal Rights subordinated itself and the women's movement to other than women's goals. If the movement viewed women's suffrage as a means rather than an end, then the same could be said of its tactical support for other emancipationist strivings in society, whether social or national. The casting of the "woman question" as a human rights issue or the employment of the romantic Polish revolutionary slogan "For Your Freedom and Ours" in no way deprived the movement of its feminist character, but rather sought to place the movement within the best traditions of Polish political culture. The feminist movement, moreover, was hardly alone in its su pport of the "nation" in the early twentieth century. Polish liberals and socialists, if anything, were even more susceptible to nationalist ideology and arguments, yet historians do not deny the "real" existence of their movements. In other words, the feminist retreat in the face of Polish nationalism was part of a larger social and political phenomenon.

In this essay I have quite consciously referred to the Equal Rights movement as the first wave of Polish feminism. By 1903 it had begun to refer to itself by its "proper name," to use Kuczalska-Reinschmit's phrase. The historian should follow suit. By 1907 the Equal Rights movement had come to represent an autonomous and therefore feminist women's movement. That this wave subsided in the events leading up to and as a consequence of the First World War does not make it any less feminist, nor even unusual compared to women's movements elsewhere during roughly the same period. Finally, the long delay of the "second" wave of Polish feminism does not render the first wave incomplete or inauthentic but rather is a demonstration of the ability of Polish nationalism to drown out the feminist voice, and all others for that matter, on the "woman question."

The political, economic and social transformation of the late nineteenth century led to a reexamination of the role of women in society on the part of the Polish educated elite, which came to be defined as the "woman question," a term borrowed from the larger Western discourse and introduced to the Poles by Orzeszkowa and liberal Warsaw positivism. Yet neither socio-economic change as it affected women nor the public discourse about it fundamentally altered or seriously questioned the status of women in the family, from which the vast majority of Polish women continued to derive their prestige. (91) Thus, the main obstacle to Polish feminism was not nationalism per se but rather a more ancient foe--namely, patriarchal attitudes deeply embedded in all of Poland's "modern" political and social formations. So long as women's social prestige remained defined in terms of their roles as wives and mothers despite the prolifieration of other women's roles, the only possible outcome to the "woman question" was a compr omise that blurred the lines dividing the private domestic realm from the various public realms that were becoming a greater part of women's everyday reality. This compromise ultimately favored the nationalist solution to the "woman question," which was seconded by the problemmatic circumstances of modern nation-building under foreign rule.

That solution is best summed up in the image of the Matka Polka as modified by Polish nationalism--of the Catholic Polish mother, who conscious of her ethnically and religiously defined national identity and nursing it in her children simultaneously resists the intrusion of alien and anti-Polish influences into the larger society, thus fulfilling her major obligation of citizenship. In the end, not only did the Catholic Church find this compromise acceptable for obvious reasons, but so, too, did liberal and "progressive" groups for less obvious ones, all of which is part and parcel of the larger story of Polish nationalism's ultimate success in formulating and dominating public discourse. Suffice it to say that the Matka Polka model, updated and secularized as a "modern" solution to the "woman question" of the turn of the last century went largely unchallenged as the social prescription for women's participation in public affairs until the 1980s. In the process, it became and would long remain the principal o bstacle to the emergence of a second wave of Polish feminism. However, with the collapse of communism and the hopeful emergence of a democratic polity, we should not be surprised that women in Poland are again finding their own voice and are beginning to reclaim their own history.


The author wishes to thank the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the International Research and Exchanges Board (with funds provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the U.S. Department of State), and the Center for Women's Studies at West Virginia University for their generous support of this as well as my larger research project on state and society in Russian Poland on the eve of the Great War.

(1.) In Poland, as elsewhere, the debate over the role of women in "modern" society was inititally dominated by male intellectuals, particularly by the leading lights of liberal Warsaw "positivitism" such as Aleksander Swietochowski and Boleslaw Prus. Among the early female participants in the discourse, Eliza Orzeszkowa, whose views also reflected the "progressive" liberal agenda of Warsaw positivism, was the most noteworthy. In its first phase, the "woman question" in Poland was animated by liberal and socialist writings on the subject of women's subjugation in the contemporary world, both influenced by the emergence of the new science of anthropology and its "evolutionist" first generation. The "classic" works that originally defined the "woman question," as it became known in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, included John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women (1869), August Bebel, Woman and Socialism (1879) and Friedrich Engels, Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884), culmin ating in Theodore Stanton's edited volume of essays (including a contribution by Orzeszkowa), The Woman Question in Europe (1884). As the feminist philosopher and cultural critic, Slawomira Walczewska, has pointed out, women would have to demand their own voice in this largely male discourse about them; see Slawomira Walczewska, Damy, rycerze i feministki: Kobiecy dyskurs emancypacyjny w Polsce (Krakow, 1999), 182.

(2.) The work by Slawomira Walczewska cited above is aimed at a popular audience and contains a number of basic inaccuracies. Although her book represents the only feminist perspective published in Polish, her linear interpretation of nearly two centuries of women's emancipationist discourse is questionable. For a more scholarly feminist approach as well as a more reliable history, see Natali Stegmann, Die Tochter der geschlagenen Helden: "Frauenfrage," Feminismus und Frauenbewegung in Polen, 1863-1919 (Wiesbaden, 2000).

(3.) Nevertheless, a number of the contributions to these volumes must be considered pioneering. See the following, all edited by Anna Zarnowska and Andrzej Szwarc: Kobieta i spoleczenstwo na ziemiach polskich w XIX w. (Warsaw, 1990), Kobieta i edukacja na ziemiach polskich w XIX i XX w., 2 vols. (Warsaw, 1992), Kobieta i swiat polityki. Polska na tle porownawczym w XIX i poczatkach XX wieku (Warsaw, 1994), Kobieta i kultura: Kobiety wsrod tworcow kultury intelektualnej i artystycznej w dobie rozbiorow i w niepodleglym panstwie polskim (Warsaw, 1996), Kobieta i kultura zycia codziennego; wiek XIX i XX (Warsaw, 1997) and Kobieta I praca; wiek XIX i XX (Warsaw, 2000). In English, see Women in Polish Society, ed. Rudolf Jaworski and Bianka Pietrow-Ennker (Boulder, 1992).

(4.) On the ethnographic and anthropological scholarship on the family in Poland at the end of the nineteenth century, see Anna Zarnowska, "Social Change, Women and the Family in the Era of Industrialization: Recent Polish Research," Journal of Family History, XXII, 2 (April, 1997): 191-203.

(5.) Thus it is unclear whether Jaworski and Pietrow-Ennker, in their preface to Women in Polish Society, are referring to a movement or a discourse when they state, "The women's question first arose in the Kingdom of Poland where it reached its most radical and intensive phase and became a matter of much public discussion" (viii, italics added). Such confusion of the women's movement with the "woman question" also characterizes the most important works on the women's movement(s) in Russia, namely, Richard Stites, The Women's Liberation Movement in Russia (Princeton, 1978) and Linda Edmundson, Feminism in Russia (Stanford, 1984), and much of the American and European literature as well. One of the strengths of Stegmann, Die Tochter, is that the author not only distinguishes the "woman question" from women's movements, but also makes a clear distinction between the latter and feminism.

(6.) For a useful and fairly detailed outline of the literature related to the "woman question," see Adam Winiarz. "The Woman Question in the Kingdom of Poland during the Nineteenth Century: A Bibliographical Essay," in Women in Polish Society, 177-219.

(7.) Edmundson, 1-26.

(8.) For a discussion of the impact of the January Uprising and peasant emancipation on noble families, see Danuta Rzepniewska, "Kobieta w rodzinie ziemianskiej w XIX wieku. Krolestwo Polskie" in Kobieta i spoleczenstwo, 29-50. On the noble social origins of Russian feminists, see Stites, 3-10.

(9.) See Stefania Kowalska-Glikman, "Kobiety w procesie przemian spolecznych w Krolestwie Polskim w XIX wieku" in Kobieta i spoleczenstwo, 11-20.

(10.) For an extended elaboration of this argument, see Jerzy Jedlicki, A Suburb of Europe: Nineteenth-Century Polish Approaches to Western Civilization (Budapest, 1999), particularly Part One, "Images of the Future," 1-170. Readers may also wish to refer to the earlier Polish version of Jedlicki's work, published under the title Jakiej cywilizacji Polacy potrzebuja (Warsaw, 1988).

(11.) Although women in Prussian Poland were politically mobilized by nationalist organizations to counter the pressures of germanization, the women's movement there consequently failed to embrace autonomous feminist goals; Rudolf Jaworski, "Polish Women and the Nationality Conflict in the Province of Posen at the Turn of the Century" in Women in Polish Society, 53-70.

(12.) Tomasz Kizwalter, "Procesy modernizacji a emancypacja kobiet na ziemiach polskich w XIX wieku" in Kobieta i spoleczenstwo, 5-10.

(13.) On the dramatic changes affecting Polish peasant agriculture in the last decade of Russian imperial rule, see Robert E. Blobaum, "To Market! To Market! The Polish Peasantry in the Era of the Stolypin Reforms," Slavic Review, 59, no. 2 (Summer, 2000): 406-426.

(14.) See Jan Molenda, "Postawy kobiet wiejskich wobec unowoczesniania gospodarki chlopskiej w pierwszym dwudziestoleciu XX wieku" in Kobiera i kultura zycia codziennego, 191-218.

(15.) See Wlodzimierz Medrzecki, "Konwenans wiejski i nowe wzorce zachowan kobiet na wsi w Krolestwie Polskim na przelomie XIX I XX wieku" in Kobieta i kultura zycia codziennego, 71-87.

(16.) Wlodzimierz Medrzecki, "Aspiracje oswiatowe kobiet ze srodowiska chlopskiego w Krolestwie Polskim na przelomie XIX I XX wieku" in Kobieta i edukacja, II, 1: 110-111.

(17.) On the "feminization" of "secret instruction" both generally and specifically in the countryside, see Maria Nietyksza, "Kobiety w ruchu oswiatowym. Krolestwo Polskie na przelomie wiekow" and Tadeusz Wolsza, "Organizatorki ruchu oswiatowego na wsi. Krolestwo polskie na przelomie wiekow" in Kobieta i edukacja, II, 2: 91-119 and 121-133, respectively. Pietrow-Ennker estimates that women comprised 39% of all activists in the educational movement in Russian Poland at the turn of the century; see Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, "Frau und Nation im geteilten Polen" in Geschlecht und Nationalismus in Mittel und Osteuropa, 1848-1918, ed. Sophia Kemlein (Osnabruck, 2000), 135.

(18.) Wlodzimierz Medrzecki, "Kobieta wiejska w Krolestwie Polskim. Przelom XIX i XX wieku" in Kobieta i spoleczenstwo, 93-98.

(19.) Ibid., 94-97; Blobaum, "To Market!," 417-418. On the role of women in Polish emigration to the Rhein Westphalian industrial region of Germany, see Jan Molenda, "Miejsce kobiet wsrod polskiego wychodzstwa w rensko-westfalskim okregu przemyslowym na poczatku XX wieku," Przeglqd Historyczny, 88, no.1 (1997): 117-134. According to Anna Zarnowska, one third of all urban workers, male and female, were single in Russian Poland in 1897, whereas 95.5% of all domestic servants consisted of single women; "Kobiera w rodzinie robomiczej. Krolestwo Polskie u schylku XIX i na poczatku XX wieku" in Kobieta i spoleczenstwo, 126-127. Such patterns of migration and emigration were even more exaggerated in the central Russian provinces; for purposes of comparison, the reader may wish to consult Barbara Alpern Engel, Between the Fields and the City: Women, Work, and Family in Russia (Cambridge, Eng, 1996). According to Jeffrey Burds, however, the threat of whole family departures at the end of the nineteenth century led to an intensified institutional defense of Russian peasant communal patriarchalism; see Jeffrey Burds, Peasant Dreams and Market Politics: Labor Migration and the Russian Village, 1861-1905 (Pittsburgh, 1998), 38-39.

(20.) In Warsaw, for every woman employed in industry, two were employed as domestic servants. It was from this latter group, comprised mainly of young female migrants from the village, that the majority of prostitutes were recruited; Anna Zarnowska, Robotnicy Warszawy na przelomie XIX i XX wieku (Warsaw, 1985), 31-32. In Lodz, the center of Russian Poland's textile industry, female industrial workers slightly outnumbered domestic servants. At the turn of the century, women made up slightly over 40% of the textile labor force in Russian Poland generally and an even higher percentage in Lodz (44% in 1911); see Wladyslaw Lech Karwacki, Zwiqzki zawodowe i stowarzyszenia pracodawcow w Lodzi do roku 1914 (Warsaw, 1972), 1-19.

(21.) Marya Turzym, "Handel kobietami" in Glos kobiet w kwestyi kobiecej, ed. Maryn Turzyma and Kazimiera Bujwidowa (Krakow, 1903), 155. On the role of organized crime in the transformation of prostitution in fin-de-siecle Warsaw, see Stanislaw Milewski, Ciemne sprawy daunych warszawiakow (Warsaw, 1982), 78-113.

(22.) The "struggle against prostitution" was one of the leading themes of Polish feminism at the turn of the century, although on the eve of the Great War, a number of younger, more radical feminists led by Zofia Rygier-Nalkowska argued that the movement should cease its preoccupation with prostitution and the women who practiced it and concentrate instead on the sexual liberation of all women (see below). At the Warsaw Women's Congress of 1907, Nalkowska made a number of provocative statements, including the suggestion that prostitutes be invited to attend the discussions of their trade which so animated moderate feminists; see Zofia Rygier-Nalkowska, "Uwagi o etycznych zadaniach ruchu kobiecego (referat wygloszony na Zjezdzie kobiet)," Krytyka, no. 11 (November, 1907): 358-363. On the divisive role of prostitution in the discourse on the "woman question" in the last decade of Russian imperial rule in Poland, see Walczewska, Damy, rycerze i feminstki, 28, 133-135. For a comparison with the Russian discourse , see Stites, 224-227, Edmundson, 143-146, and Laura Engelstein, The Keys to Happiness: Sex and the Search for Modernity in Fin-de-Siecle Russia (Ithaca, NY, 1992), 71-75, 84-92, 274-284.

(23.) Zarnowska, "Social Change, Women, and the Family," 201. On the practice of family employment in the textile industry, see Laura A. Crago, "The 'Polishness' of Production: Factory Politics and the Reinvention of Working-Class National and Political Identities in Russian Poland's Textile Industry, 1880-1910," Slavic Review, 59, 1(2000): 19, 21.

(24.) Zamowska, "Kobieta w rodzinie robotniczej," 130-133; see also Zarnowska, "Kierunki aktywnosci zawodowej kobiet w Polsce XX wieku (do 1939 r.)" in Kabieta i edukacja, II, 2, 161-175.

(25.) Kowalska-Glikman, "Kobiety w procesie przemian spolecznych," 12-13.

(26.) Rzepniewska, "Kobieta w rodzinie ziemianskiej," 40-42.

(27.) Ibid., 44; Kowalska-Glikman, "Kobiety w procesie przemian sporecznych," 13-18.

(28.) On women in the teaching profession, see Jolanta Niklewska, "Bye kobieta pracujaca--czyli dola warszawskiej nauczycielki na przelomie XIX i XX wieku" in Kobieta i edukacja, II, 2, 267-279. On the feminization of the librarian "profession" at the end of the nineteenth century, see Henryk Hollander, "Zawod-bibliotekarka. Narodziny pewnej tradycji (koniec XIX wieku)" in Kobieta i edukacja, II, 2, 281-292.

(29.) For a discussion of the female "genius" in Polish literature during this period, see Grazyna Borkowska, "Literatura i 'geniusz' kobiecy: wiek XIX, wiek XX" in Kobieta i kultura, 29-43 and Malgorzata Czyszkowska-Peschler, "She is a Nobody without a Name: The Professional Situation of Polish Women-of-Letters in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century" in Women in Polish Society, 113-142.

(30.) For an analysis of the Polish literary marketplace's creation of "patronized saints," especially through the vehicle of jubilee celebrations (including those held in honor of Konopnicka and Orzeszkowa), see Beth Holmgren, Rewriting Capitalism: Literature and the Market in Late Tsarist Russia and the Kingdom of Poland (Pittsburgh, 1998), 150-177. The achievements of such "famous women" were also utilized by the Polish women's emancipation movement for purposes of political mobilization and propaganda. For example, the 1907 Warsaw Women's Congress met ostensibly to honor the literary legacy of Orzeszkowa; Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, "Women in Polish Society: An Introduction" in Women in Polish Society, 22. For more on the emancipationist movement's feting of Orzeszkowa and Konopnicka, see Walczewska, Damy, rycerze i feministki, 156-163.

(31.) On the leading Polish female political personalities of the early twentieth century, see Michal Sliwa, "Kobiety wsrod tworcow mysli spoleczno-politicznej w Polsce w pierwszej polowy XX wieku" in Kabiety i kultura, 225-239. On Moszczenska and other publicists associated with the radical periodical Gras at the turn of the century, see Magdelena Marcinkowska-Gawin, "Jadwiga Szczawinska-Dawidowa, Iza Moszczenska, Helena Landau Zofia Daszynska-Golinska. Publicystki z kregu radikalnej inteligencji ('Glos,' 1900-1905)" in Kobieta i kultura, 255-264.

(32.) On the "Flying University" and the Society of Scientific Courses, see Nieryksza, "Kobiety w ruchu oswiatowym," 106-114.

(33.) The entuzjastki, represented above all by the figure of Narcyza Zmichowska, sought to establish individually conceived forms of self-realization, especially through work and education. The term emancypantki (emancipationists) is derived from the title of an 1894 novel by Boleslaw Prus, a liberal supporter of the women's movement; see Winiarz, "The Woman Question," 187. For an introduction to the Union of Equal Rights for Polish Women, see Katarzyna Sierakowska, "Aspiracje polityczne Zwiazku Rownouprawnienia Kobiet Polskich" in Kobieta i swiat polityki, 245-253.

(34.) Bianka Pietrow-Ennker quite rightly refers to the women's unions and associations for equal rights after 1905 as representing "splinter groups of the intelligentsia"; see PietrowEnnker, "Frau und Nation," 140. However, she forgets that such a designation could have been applied to all political and ideological movements in Russian Poland a mere decade earlier. Moreover, during the postrevolutionary period of 1907-1914, the mass socialist, nationalist and populist organizations which had emerged during the 1905 revolution experienced dramatic declines in membership. That a feminist movement focused on women s suffrage managed to find a place on the political map under such conditions was therefore no mean accomplishment. The general postrevolutionary withdrawal from politics, however, affected the feminist movement as well, characterized by a younger generation's quest for alternative structures of action. On "mass politics" during and immediately after the Revolution of 1905, see Robert E. Blobaum, Rewo lucja: Russian Poland, 1904-1907 (Ithaca, 1995), 188-233.

(35.) For the liberal-conservative debate on the "woman question" within a larger context, see Andrzej Jaszczuk, Spor pozytywistow z knoserwatystami o przyszlosci Polski, 1870-1903 (Warsaw, 1986).

(36.) Winiarz, "The Woman Question," 185. Prior to the appearance of Marta in serial form in 1872, Orzeszkowa published "Kilka slow o kobietach" in 1871 in Tygodnik mod i powiesci, which like Marta appeared in book form in 1873. Unlike her male positivist colleagues, Orzeszkowa would continue to address women's issues in both her novels and journalism of the 1880s and 1890s. The latter includes her essay on Polish women for the famous and previously cited Stanton volume, The Woman Question in Europe (1884) and O kobiecie (Warsaw, 1891), which moved away from specifically Polish conditions to address larger global issues confronting women.

(37.) Swietochowski's most important writings on the "woman question" included "W sprawie kobiet," Niwa, 10(1872): 231-245, "Klauzorowe i swobodne wychowanie kobiet," Niwa, 44(1872): 972-97 and his cycles of articles on marriage ("Kwestia malzenstwa") of 1872-1873 in Przeglad Tygodniowy, and on women's secondary education ("O srednim wyksztalceniu kobiet") and higher education ("O wyzszym wyksztalceniu kobiet") of 1873 and 1874, respectively, which also appeared in Przeglad Tygodniowy.

(38.) The early positivists saw in "work" (in the form of learning a trade or entering a profession) a panacea for the problems of women, even though women in the liberal audience were drawn almost exclusively from the szlachta and intelligentsia and, therefore, were culturally unprepared for what was essentially artisanal labor, the only real "work" readily available to them. In the 1180s, the liberals shifted their emphasis on "work" to higher education, which was an even more elitist proposition; see Andrzej Szwarc, "Aspiracja edukacyjne i zawodowe kobiet w srodowiskach inteligencji Krolestwa Polskiego u schylku XIX wieku" in Kobieta i edukacja, II, 1, 95-108.

(39.) Andrzej Szwarc, "Krytyka kobiecosci czy prozniaczego stylu zycia? Stare i nowe wzorce zycia codziennego kobiet w publicystyce i literaturze pieknej epoki pozytywizmu" in Kobieta i kultura zycia codziennego, 295-307.

(40.) Walczewska, Damy, rycerze i feministki, 176-180. Such calls led to a spirited debate between Swietochowski and Paulina Kuczalska-Reinschmit, perhaps the leading fin-de-siecle Polish feminist, at the 1907 Warsaw Women's Congress as well as in the pages of Ster; see Paulina Kuczalska-Reinschmit, "Slowko wyjasnienia" and Aleksander Swietochowski, "Mowa," Ster, no. 4 (1907).

(41.) For an excellent summary of Moszczenska's views in this regard, see Iza Moszczenska, "Mezczyzna i kobieta," in Glos kobiet w kwestji kobiecej, 121-142.

(42.) See especially Iza Moszczenska, O zyciu i pracach Orzeszkowej (Warsaw, 1910).

(43.) See Moszczenska's series of articles, "Kwestja kobieca w chwili obecnej," Glos, no. 25(June 7/20, 1903), 390-392; no. 26(June 14/27, 1903), 406-407; and 27(June 21/July 4, 1903), 422-424.

(44.) The socialist-feminist debate over socioeconomic side of the "woman question" was touched off in 1903 by an article by Felicja Nossig, one of the leading socialist commentators in Austrian Poland on women's issues, intended for the landmark volume, Glos kobiet w kwestyi kobiecej edited by Turzyma and Bujwidowa. Although the feminist editors eventually published Nossig's article, it was the only one in the volume which was followed by a lengthy editorial disclaimer and polemic; see Dr. Felicya Nossig, "Ekonomiczna strona kwestyi kobiecej," 91-113, followed by the editors' "note," 113-120.

(45.) The role of the "woman question" in Polish socialist thought has thus far escaped the attention of serious scholarship. It is dealt with only in passing by Michal Sliwa, "Wzorzec osobowy: kobiety-socjalistki w Polsce" in Kobieta i edukacja, II, 1, 231-243. On the other hand, Pawel Samus, "Socjalistki w Krolestwie Polskim przelomu XIX I XX w. Szkic do portretu zbiorowego" in Kobieta i swiat polityki, 191-217 provides an excellent preliminary analysis of women in the socialist movement. According to Samus, despite the existence of high profile female socialist intellectuals, a gendered division of labor kept all but a few women from performing executive functions in the parties and factions comprising the Polish socialist movement.

(46.) Thus the Polish movement failed to create a figure similar to that of Alexandra Kollontai, who headed the movement to organize female labor in Russia. On the socialist women's movement in Russia, see Stites, The Women's Liberation Movement, 233-237.

(47.) For more on the increasingly antogonistic relationship between socialists and feminists, particularly following the reincarnation of the feminist periodical Ster in 1907, see Walczewska, Damy, rycerze i feministki, 83-84.

(48.) The early twentieth century populist images focused on the "backwardness and fanaticism" as well as the "mindless devotionalism" of village women, against whom they held up as models a younger generation of girls who participated in populist organizations and initiatives; see Wlodzimierz Medrzecki, "W spolecznosciach lokalnych i w parafii. Kobiety w zyciu publicznym wsi polskiej na przelomie wiekow" in Kobieta i swiat polityki, 163-164. Such judgements, however, were even more extreme among the Russian intelligentsia who "invested peasant women with their disappointment and disillusionment in rural society"; Kathy Frierson, Peasant Icons: Representations of Rural People in Late 19th Century Russia (New York, 1993), 180. Negative images of the "baba" as a main obstacle to rural progress, moreover, continued well into the Soviet period and were employed to explain peasant opposition to collectivization; see Lynn Viola, "Bab'i bunty and Peasant Women's Protest During Collectivization" in Russian Peasant Wo men, ed. Beatrice Farnsworth and Lynn Viola (New York, 1992), 189-205.

(49.) Medrzecki, "Aspiracja oswiatowe," 118; Molenda, "Postawy kobiet wiejskich," 205-211. According to Molenda, however, the instruction received in such schools, as well as in the agricultural courses organized by the farm circles associated with the populist movement, followed the gendered division of labor in the peasant household. For example, women were taught nothing about grain cultivation which was considered by modernizing populists to be an exclusively male sphere.

(50.) For more on Dziubinska and the school at Kruszynek, see Zenon Kmiecik, Ruch oswiatowy na wsi: Krolestwo Polskie, 1905-1914 (Warsaw, 1963), 110-115.

(51.) Sliwa, "Kobiety wsrod tworcow," 240. On the KKOL, see Nietyksza, "Kobiety w ruchu oswiatowym," 96-98.

(52.) The best treatment of Polish nationalism's approach to the "woman question" before the First World War is by Joanna Kurczewska, "Der fruhe polnische Narionalismus und die Frauenthematik" in Geschlecht und Nationalismus, 49-76. According to Kurczewska, early Polish nationalism had "nothing essential" to say on the "woman question," primarily because it subordinated all public issues to the "national question." From the radical nationalist perspective, only the abstract nation was capable of acting as an historical protagonist and in this sense its "Polish nation" was gender-neutral. However, fin-de-siecle nationalists conceived a gendered division of labor which confined women's public role to the cultivation of "national instinct" in future generations. For nationalists, the model Polish wife was an organizer of the family with a discipline similar to that of [malel soldiers of the national cause, although outside the home she was expected to be active in different organizations and associations, primar ily at the local and community level-that is, in the "small politics" of Polish public life.

(53.) Nietyksza, "Kobiety w ruchu oswiatowym," 100-101; Wolsza, "Organizatorki ruchu oswiatowego na wsi," 126-130.

(54.) According to Kurczewska, so long as Polish nationalism conceived the nation in terms of a "moral community," it was willing to grant women equal membership in it. As the former gave way to the nation-state idea on the eve of the Great War, however, women were increasingly viewed as subordinate subjects. Thus in later nationalist discourse the "woman theme" became "biologized" in Kurczewska's view, forcing women back into the home and the Catholic family and replacing social and political activism with motherly and national "instinct"; Kurczewska, "Der fruhe polnische Narionalismus," 76.

(55.) For a description of the nationalist women's meeting and Moszczenska's walkout within the larger context of mainstream Polish feminism's struggle for equal political rights, see Paulina Kulczalska-Reinschmit, Wyborcze prawa kobiet (Warsaw, 1907), 28. On Moszczenska's role in the articulation of modem Polish antisemitism after the 1905 revolution, see Theodore R. Weeks, "Polish 'Progressive Antisemitism', 1905-1914," East European Jewish Affairs, 25, no. 2 (1995): 55-62.

(56.) Polish nationalism, which began by criticizing the "Matka Polka" formula as too passive and "feminine," thus ended by infusing new content into an old form. On the "Matka Polka" model in nationalist discourse, see Kurczewska, "Der fruhe polnische Nationalismus," 73-75. For more on nationalism and the "woman question," see Walczewska, Damy, rycerze i feministki, 41-53. On the traditional "Matka Polka" image, tied by the Church tot a o Mary, "the holy mother of Poland" and symbolized in the iconography of Czestochowa, as well as its cultural and political significance in the era of the partitions, see Pietrow-Ennker, "Women in Polish Society," 1-12.

(57.) See Andrzej Chwalba, "Spor o wartosci: sympatyczki ruchu emancypacynjnego wobec religii i Kosciola katolickiego" in Kobieta i kultura, 267-284.

(58.) The Church condemned Dzinbinska's school for "indifference to the Catholic faith," claiming that young girls could not be trained in rural economic management without cultivation of the "spiritual side." The Church also maintained that the girls were permitted to read "anti-clerical" books and newspapers and that Dzinbinska had not alloted any time for school prayer. Since the Kruszynek curriculum included religious instruction offered by the parish priest, however, the real issue was one of clerical control over the entire curriculum of the school. On the Church's position, see "List o szkole w Kruszynku," Gazeta Swiqteczna, no. 1517 (February 27,1910): 5-6 and "Prawda o Kruszynku," Gazeta Swiqteczna, no. 1520 (March 20, 1910): 1-3. The Church's attack on Dziubinska's school called forth an equally vigorous feminist defense of the Kruszynek model; see Jozefa Bojanowska, "Walka o ducha kobiety," Srer, no. 3 (March, 1910): 97-100.

(59.) On the involvement of clergy in the educational movement in the Polish countryside and in the popularization of the conservative populism associated with the weekly Gazeta Swiqteczna, see Ryszard Bender, "Chrzescijanska mysl i dzialalnosc spoleczna w zaborze rosyjskim w latach 1865-1918" in Historia katolicyzmu spolecznego w Polsce, 1832-1939, ed. Czeslaw Strzewszewski and Ryszard Bender (Warsaw, 1981), 209-211.

(60.) See, for example, Molenda, "Miejsce kobiet wsrod polskiego wychodzstwa," 126-130. Evenually, the Church came to accept emigration as a necessary evil and made every effort to maintain contact with emigrants after their depature to preserve in them the Faith, their bonds to the Church and ties to their native land. The organization of rosary circles among emigrant women was considered an important part of this strategy of accommodation; see Archiwum Diocezjalne w Plocku, Vicar-General of Plock Diocese Antoni Nowowiejski to the Diocesan Clergy, April 20, 1904.

(61.) As a consequence, according to Wlodzimierz Medrzecki, women's participation in church-sponsored activities could also lead to gender-based conflict in the peasant family whose male members resented women spending time outside of the household; Medrzecki, "W spolecznosciach lokalnych i w parafie," 163-168.

(62.) Before their further development was checked by the decision of the episcopate to reduce the movement to those groups sharing a common life, the assemblies grouped over eight thousand women at their peak and provided charity and care for some 100,000 working poor; Maria Nietyksza, "Tradycyjne i nowe formy aktywnosci publicznej kobiet w warunkach zaborow" in Kobieta i swiat polityki, 94. The growth of Polish women's religious assemblies was paralleled by a similar development of Orthodox women's communities in nineteenth-century Russia, which focused more, however, on individual salvation than on the plight of the underprivileged; see Brenda Meehan-Waters, "To Save Oneself: Russian Peasant Women and the Development of Women's Relgious Communities in Prerevolutionary Russia" in Russian Peasant Women, 121-133.

(63.) On the movement's social program, see "Spoleczna dzialalnosc Matki Marii Franciszki," Mariawita, 4, no 3 (1962): 29-31.

(64.) "Statystyka sekty mariawitow," Miesiecznik Pasterski Plocki, no. 10 (1906): 282-283. For more on the Mariavite schism, see Tadeusz Krawczek, "Rewolucja 1905-1907 a zycie religijne. Ruch mariawitow" in Spoleczeristwo i polityka---dorastanie do demokracji, Kultura polityczna w Krolestwie Polskim na poczqtku XX wieku, ed. Anna Zarnowska and Tadeusz Wolsza (Warsaw, 1993), 115-136 and Robert Blobaum, "The Revolution of 1905-1907 and the Crisis of Polish Catholicism, Slavic Review, 47, no. 4 (1988): 677-679.

(65.) The Church's vicious attacks on the Mariavites and Kozlowska in particular were often cast in openly sexist language; see especially Ks. Br. O., "Wichrzenia herezyi 'mankietnikow'," Przeglqd Katolicki, no. 9 (1 March 1906): 125-127, "Pseudomarjawici, ich poczatek i odstepstwo od Kosciola," Miesiecznik Pasterski Plocki, no. 1 (1906): 18-32, and Ks. M. Szkopowski, "Czarny mankiet," Wiadomosci Pasterskie, I, no. 10 (1905): 613-619. Such gendered images were also employed by the nationalist press on the eve of the war; see "Sfanatyzowane maryawitki," Gazeta Warszawska, no. 53 (22 August 1912): 2. Polish feminists, for their part, cited Kozlowska's leadership of the Mariavites to counter the view of Swedish author Ellen Key, a former activist of the women's movement and subsequently a major critic, who contended that women had not contributed anything of note to theosophy; see Ludwika Jaholkowska-Koszutska, Herezje w ruchu kobiecym (Warsaw, 1907), 7.

(66.) The Union of Equal Rights for Polish Women, registered in Warsaw on July 16, 1907, was modeled after but autonomous from a similarly titled Russian organization formed in 1905. According to its statutes, the Union sought to achieve equal civil and legal rights by affecting legislation, by defending the professional interests of women, by developing institutions of mutual assistance, by promoting the scientific study of all questions connected with equal rights, and by social action against sexual inequality, prostitution and alchoholism. Members of the Union participating in other organizations were required to demand in them the introduction of equal membership rights for women if such did not exist; the Union's statutes can be found in Archiwum Panstwowe m. st. Warszawy i Wojewodztwa Warszawskiego, Zarzad Oberpolicmajstra Warszawskiego, 764.

(67.) Ster was originally published in Lwow from 1895-1897. According to its editor, Kuczalska-Reinschmit, the 1890s was a "reactionary" time when the women's emancipation movement had yet to adopt the feminist label and was guided by a cautious, gradualist and "utilitarian" strategy for fear of alienating "progessive circles" who had already come to consider women's emancipation as "an issue that had seen its day"; see Kuczalska-Reinschmit, "Z historyi ruchu kobiecego" in Glos kobiet, 322-330. Following the closing of the first incarnation of Ster, the only periodical in all of Poland that sought to raise women's issues in the consciousness of a general Polish readership was the Krakow-based Nowe Slowo (1902-1907) edited by Maria Turzyma, Even in its pages, according to Moszczenska, there was "more data than discussion"; Moszczenska, "Kwestja kobieca," Glos no. 25 (June 7/20, 1903), 390-392. Because Nowe Slowo also refrained from identifying itself with feminism, it can be argued that the second incarnation of Ster in Warsaw, which represented a "systematic program" whose goal was the achievement of "equal rights," was the first openly feminist periodical in partitioned Poland.

(68.) Irena Homola-Skapska, "Galicja: Initiatives for Emancipation of Polish Women" in Women in Polish Society, 86. In 1908 Maria Dulebianka announced her illegal "candidacy" for the Galician Sejm from Lwow. Meant to protest the neglect of women's political rights in recent imperial and crownland legislation providing for universal male suffrage, Dulebianka's write-in campaign garnered over five hundred votes from an electorate of 12,000. Had Dulebianka been elected against all odds, the results would have been nullified in any case. Supported by the Warsaw-based Union of Equal Rights, Dulebianka's candidacy nevertheless marked the emergence of independent women's politics in Poland. On Dulebianka's political program, see Maria Dulebianka, Polityczne sranowisko kobiet (Warsaw, 1908); for a discussion of the women's suffrage movement in Galicja and Dulebianka's campaign, see Stegmann, Die Tochter 161-165, 183-187. The Union of Equal Rights itself was formed primarily as a women's suffrage movement, although ac cording to its principal founder, "political rights [were] a means, not an end"; Kuczalska-Reinschmit, Wyborcze prawa kobiet, 30.

(69.) Moszczenska, "Kwestja kobieca," Glos, no. 25 (June 7/20, 1903), 390.

(70.) Kalendarz Kobiety Polskiej (Warsaw, 1910), 8-9 of advertising section. For the role of Bluszcz in development of "modern" advertising in Poland and in fashioning the image of the "modern Polish woman," see Agnieszka Janiak-Janinska, "Kobieta jako adresar Orloszen prasowych w Krolestwie Polskim na poczatku XX w." in Kobieta i kultura zycia codziennego, 171-180. For a critical examination of both Bluszcz and Ster as historical sources, see Stegmann, Die Tochter 17-21.

(71.) Walczewska, Damy, rycerze i feministki, 175-176.

(72.) Whereas Moszczenska claimed Orzeszkowa for Polish "national" literature, Kuczalska-Reinschmit treated the novelist's work as a "catechism" for women; compare, for example, Moszczenska's previously cited O zyziu i pracach Orzeszkowej with Kuczalska-Reinschmit, "Orzeszkowa w ruchu kobiecym," Wedrowiec, no. 11 (March 24, 1906): 207-210.

(73.) For references to Moszczenska's views of motherhood, see fn. 44. For Kucazlska-Reinschmit's views, see her essay "Z historyi," 306-308.

(74.) Kuczalska-Reinschmit, "Z historyi," 330.

(75.) Kuczalska-Reinschmit, Wyborcze prawa kobiet, 30.

(76.) Teodora Meczkowska, Ruch kobiecy. Idealy etyczno-spoleczne ruchu kobiecego (Warsaw, 1907), 34.

(77.) Maria Turzyma, Wyzwalajaca sie kobieta (Krakow, 1906), 28.

(78.) Dulebianka, Polityczne stanowisko kobiety, 3, 10.

(79.) Rygier-Nalkowska, "Uwagi," 358, 361. On the modernist and expressionist streams of feminist consciousness in Poland represented by Nalkowska and Stanislawa Przybyszewska (the latter one of the few voices in feminist discourse from Prussian Poland), respectively, see Walczewska, Damy, rycerze i feministki, 35-36, 124, 129-135.

(80.) Kazimiera Bujwidowa, U zrodel kwestji kobiecej (Warsaw, 1910), 25-38.

(81.) "Amazonki XX wieku," Kurjer Warszawski, no. 76 (16 March 1912), 3-4; "Zbrodnicze zamachy sufrazystek," Kurjer Warszawski, no. 200 (21 July 1912), 11; "Szalenstwa sufrazystek," Kurjer Warszawski, no. 143 (25 May 1914), 7. Only once did the daily permit the publication of an opposing opinion in the form of an article by Zofia Bielecka, "My i one," Kurjer Warszawski, no. 90 (30 March 1912), 4-5, in which the author refuted the charge that the English suffragettes had damaged the cause of the women's movement.

(82.) "W obronie sufrazystek," Kurjer Warszawski, no. 308 (7 November 1913), 5.

(83.) B[oleslaw] K[oskowski], "Wandalizm sufrazystek," Kurjer Warszawski, no.78 (19 March 1914), 2-3.

(84.) On the relationship of the boycott of 1912-1914 to the rise of modern antisemitic politics in Poland, see Robert Blobaum, "The Politics of Antisemitism in Fin-de-Siecle Warsaw," Journal of Modern History 73, 2(June 2001): 275-306.

(85.) For a discussion of Polish feminist support for the boycott, see Stegmann, Die Tochter, 213-219.

(86.) "Handel kobietami," Kurjer Warszawski, no. 330(29 November 1913), 2-3.

(87.) Martha Bohachevsky-Chomiak, "How Real Were Nationalism and Feminism in 19th Century Galicia?" in Geschlecht und Nationalismus, 151.

(88.) Pietrow-Ennker, "Frau und Nation," 140.

(89.) Natali Stegmann, "'Wie die Soldaten im Feld': Die wiederspruchliche Kampf polnisher Frauen fur 'Vaterland' und Frauenrechte im Ersten Weltkrieg," in Geschlecht und Nationalismus, 203, 212-214.

(90.) Czyszkowska-Peschler, "She is a Nobody," 137.

(91.) Feminists, too, came belatedly to an issue which should have been a central part of the discourse on the "woman question." "The future historian will be surprised," wrote Jozefa Kodisowa on the eve the war, "that in the period for the struggle for women's equality, there was so little discussion of the issue of the family"; Jozefa Kodisowa, Kwestja rodziny w sprawie kobiecej (Warsaw, 1909), 1.
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Date:Jun 22, 2002
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"Warsaw-Moscow/Moscow-Warsaw, 1900-2000": Zacheta National Gallery of Art.
Russian and Polish relations: a new era.

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