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The "Woman Question" in Russian Poland, 1900-1914

Author(s): Robert E. Blobaum

Source: Journal of Social History, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Summer, 2002), pp. 799-824
Published by: Oxford University Press
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By Robert E. Blobaum West Virginia University

By the beginning of the twentieth century, partitioned Poland and es

territories under imperial Russian rule had experienced the initial phase
mental economic, social and political transformation from the agrar
industrial age. This transformation, beginning in the 1860s and although
complete on the eve ofthe Great War, nevertheless left society in a sta
sitional flux. The multiple challenges of adjustment to the emerging,
dustrial world gave rise to a number of burning "questions," or issues,
nated Polish intellectual life and political discourse up to, and in some
beyond the First World War. These included the Polish or "national"
the closely related "Jewish question," the social question (sometimes s
into the "worker" and "peasant" questions) and, for the purposes of this
"woman question."
Why women and what was the question? The "woman question" was,
raised by others besides the Poles?indeed, it appeared under exactly
label in the contemporary discourse of other societies grappling with the
of modernity.1 In Polish circumstances, however, the "woman question
within the specific context of Poland's own social and economic transfo
well as the accompanying rise of modern and competing political mov
the absence ofa Polish state, and therefore in relationship to the other
"questions" ofthe day. Simply put, that transformation affected wome
from all walks of life in a variety of ways, eliciting from them forms of
tion, adjustment and resistance in an increasingly market-driven econ
emerging civil society that at the time seemed to constitute a radical
the past. That a "woman question" was even posed in Polish discours
that women were (and would remain) at the center rather than periphery
transition from an agrarian to an industrial society. As this same tran
inspired the rise of modem political movements and mass organization
larly those of a patriotic and nationalist flavor, women's participation
automatically drew unprecedented attention to the question of wome
the modem and variousiy imagined Polish nation and civil society.
More specifically, it was the contested definition of the boundaries
and the role of women within those boundaries that divided public opini
de-siecle Poland and gave rise to a Polish variation on the "woman q
How the "woman question" was posed, of course, depended on those w
The framers ofthe "woman question" (and all other "questions" ofthe e
matter) had as least one thing in common?namely, they all came from th
educated elite and particularly from the urban-based intelligentsia, wh
derived its origins and outlook from the Polish gentry. This elite social b
would characterize all participants in the discourse, including those b
Poland's first organized feminist movement. Nonetheless, they staked
ety of different positions on the "woman question" that found expre

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800 journal of social history summer 2002
veritably exploding mass circulation press. In this sense there
woman questions and, therefore, a number of envisioned solut
The historiographical literature on women and gender in Pol
the last century, as well as in Polish history more generally, is
origin, dating to the late 1980s, while feminist theoretical ap
now being appiied to historical analysis.2 Moreover, most of th
literature consists of published collections of conference papers
quality.3 To date, the best research has focused more on the so
than discursive side ofthe "woman question," in part due to th
ethnography and anthropology in studies ofthe family during m
nist era,4 in part due to the Marxist training of Polish histor
come engaged in the exploration of women's history at the en
garding the discourse as such, there has been a strong tendenc
(and not only Polish!) to conflate two historical phenomena
the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century public debat
women in society on the one hand, and the emergence of or
movements on the other.5 The two were more or less simultaneo
synonymous. To be sure, without the appearance of a Polish w
and its various components in the public sphere, there many n
ofa debate, but activists and publicists ofthe women's moveme
only parties to it.6 Had they been, the "woman question" in P
been addressed much differently.
The conscious limitation of this essay's focus to Russian Polan
suggest that the "woman question" was confined to its border
and publicists from Prussian and Austrian Poland failed to con
course in meaningful ways. Especially in terms of early Polish
the partition boundaries were quite artificial and permitted a
change of people and ideas. As Warsaw clearly established itsel
center of Polish intellectual life and publishing, especially afte
1905 had created a wealth of new opportunities for the expressi
ion, these "outside" voices figured as prominently in the disco
land as they did on their home ground, if not more so. For ex
Polish feminist tracts, Maria Dule_bianka's Polityczne stanowisk
Politics, 1908) and Kazimiera Bujwidowa's V zrodel kwestfi ko
ofthe Woman Question, 1910) were published in Warsaw, de
of both authors in Austrian Poland. Others, such as Paulina Kulc
the acknowledged leader of mainstream Polish political feminism
War, simply relocated themselves and their publishing and or
ties to Warsaw.
The purpose of the following discussion, therefore, is to exa
question" in Russian Poland, where it became most sharply def
in the years before World War I, from a variety of different ang
fruit, such an exploration ofthe "woman question" requires a m
ibility which intertwines socioeconomic, cultural-intellectual a
sis. In the process, it is hoped that this essay will begin to pro
missing piece to the mosaic of fin-de-siecle Poland's multifac
with modernity.

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

In Central and Eastern Europe, where the transformative processes associated

with industrialization arrived later and where their aggregate impact was less so?
cially penetrating than in Western Europe and the United States, the exact rela?
tionship 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 set-
tings 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 de?
fined 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 ofa women's eman?
cipation movement in Poland coincided with a crisis of noble landowning follow?
ing serf emancipation in the early 1860s, made worse by the simultaneous failure
ofthe 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 szhchta
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 ofthe 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 War-
saw-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 Eu?
rope. This made the future tangible, indeed the future became part ofthe present,
which rendered the actual level of socioeconomic development irrelevant. There?
fore, 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

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802 journal of social history summer 2002
allied male reformers, as had been the case particularly in Gr
United States. Ironically, in the one part of Poland where ca
thorougly reconfigured the traditional agrarian landscape and
something ofa Polish middle class and actually existing Polish "
namely, Prussian Poland?the debate on the role of women in
muted and the women's emancipation movement practically n
That said, I would argue nonetheless that social and econom
was vitally important to the emergence of the "woman quest
land and that its significance in this regard extended far beyo
economic displacement of the Polish nobility following the
Both the "woman question" as public discourse and the women
autonomous historical actor began and peaked in Russian Polan
formational processes were most profoundly felt. What counts h
but the process of development, which was telescoped into de
occurring over centuries, in the case of Great Britain). In other
of the industrial age was not just imagined in late nineteenth-
was actually occurring in the present. And, as Tomasz Kizwalt
though interactions between otherwise simultaneous changes in
life are easier to perceive than to prove, there can be little
emancipation and the effective beginning of industrialization in
the nineteenth century, along with their transformation of ex
tures, affected the situation of women.12
Moreover, the peculiarities of industrialization in Russian Po
its semi-colonial nature and resulting social consequences, ha
that would shape the formulation of the "woman question" an
women's roles in civil society and the imagined nation. The do
industry by foreign capital, the absence of a large and ethnica
entrepreneurial class, the role of the intelligenstia as the cor
Polish life, the impossibility of legal party formation in Russian
and the rise of modern Polish nationalism were all factors that in
of the country's capitalist transfomation would sharply distingu
course on women from its west European counterparts and long
movement with a dual, if not split, personality combining patrio
In contrast to Prussian Poland, the transformation of peasa
Russian Poland, despite the emancipation of the serfs in 1864
ingly slow. Gathering real momentum at the beginning of the t
it assumed dynamic proportions only in the last decade before t
in 1914. Consequently, village women did not figure prominentl
the "woman question" before the turn of the century, after w
came one of its major battlegrounds, pitting populists and fe
Roman Catholic Church. It is, therefore, the latter period which
when peasant agriculture began to produce for the market, wh
scattered strips of peasant smallholders were consolidated into
nearly eight hundred villages, when the desire to acquire literac
became part of the Polish peasantry's own agenda rather than
from the outside.13
These changes affected village women in a number of ways.
sion ofthe peasant household economy remained, but the grow

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that economy to the market created something of an independent niche for vil-
lage women, whose sale of poultry, eggs and dairy products proved especially prof-
itable. At the end of the period, village women began to participate in coopera-
tives 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 tradi?
tional community relationships, including relationships among village women. In
unconsolidated villages, women worked on a household's scattered strips along-
side their female neighbors and often quarreled with them over wandering poultry
or livestock. Consolidation may have ended such disputes, but it also affected
traditional means of communication among women by suddenly isolating peasant
wives and daughters within the boundaries of households that were often physi-
cally relocated to the new consolidated plots.
Village women responded to these changes with both resistance and accommo?
dation. 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 asso?
ciations 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 never?
theless 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 ofthe 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, particularly 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 pres-
tige in the village and parish. Moreover, as the peasantry became increasingly
status-conscious, the role of dowries, especially in cash, became even more impor?
tant in securing marriage.18 A dowry of 200-300 rubles was considered respect?
able, 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

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804 journal of social history summer 2002
centers, where they were employed primarily as domestic ser
textile workers, or across the Prussian border as migrant farm w
were twice that prevailing in Russian Poland, or ultimately ac
specific feature of Polish migration and emigration is that th
overwhelmingly comprised of single persons, whether male or
latter, those who maintained ties with the village, especially
women engaged in migratory seasonal labor on average in the
had a definite impact on rural communities upon their occasi
return by nature of their attire and their attitudes and as a
reaction of traditional society to them.19 The increasing visibili
too, would form an important component ofthe "woman quest
in relationship to change in rural communities. In particular,
Church discovered dangerous moral implications in the loos
women's moorings in the village and parish, a position which
invited polemical response from radical populists who viewe
principal obstacle to rural "modernization" and from feminist
patriachal definitions of morality.
In the cities and industrial settlements of Russian Poland, th
lage girls to support themeselves, let alone to earn enough for a
as domestic servants and textile workers on abysmally low wa
suceessful. This drove a significant number of recent migrant
domestic servants, to prostitution.20 The rise of criminal prosti
the "trade in women" also belongs to this era. According to the
nist Maria Turzyma, some ten thousand Polish women, the majo
erate girls recently arrived from the countryside, were forcibly
ping and other means into a trade that by the turn of the cen
global dimensions.21 In any case, prostitution and the traffic in
any other issue of the time, dramatically connected the "wom
question of "work" and through the latter to larger social issues
The inability to realize the opportunities created for "real
emancipation created by the market's activization of female w
involved more than inadequate wages, the vagaries of employm
to prostitution. Women who continued their employment as
marriage were viewed negatively within the working class itself
they had children. This unfavorable attitude toward women's
was especially frowned upon in the Jewish community, nonethe
by an economic reality that required wives to supplement th
husbands. In the case of artisans and shopkeepers, a largely Jew
Russian and Austrian Poland, this meant the provision of unpa
of their husbands' craft. In the textile industry, which placed an
ily employment and where marriage itself improved the prospe
many women had no choice but to continue to work after ent
bearing children.23 Those working-class wives and mothers wh
ize the cultural ideal and left the labor force upon marriage h
considerable savings of their own. Yet they also had to manag
husbands' wages, which was difficult in light ofthe high rate of
male breadwinners, or they had to supplement those wages b
occupations, such as taking in boarders and laundry.24

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The stigma attached to married women as earners of wages or salaries, more?
over, was shared by other classes in Polish society. Earlier in the nineteenth cen?
tury before the emancipation of the serfs, women's roles that were acceptable to
prevailing opinion were socially conditioned. As previously noted, the place ofa
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 com-
pletely unprepared. The initial rise ofa 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 ofthe daughters"
ofthe late nineteenth century was dictated in part by the fact that these 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 errumcypantld (emancipationists) therefore placed
utmost emphasis on the "the right to work" as well as on access to education lead?
ing 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, more?
over, 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 prominently featured in Eliza's
Orzeszkowa's famous semi-autobiographical novel Marta (1873), added to a cul-
turally-influenced determination to leave the labor market and professional ca?
reers as soon as possible after marriage. That exit option, however, was not avail?
able to all women of noble background, particularly women ofthe lesser gentry.
Despite these obstacles, the turn ofthe century marked the unprecedented ap?
pearance of women in larger public forums. It was a golden age of women's litera?
ture, characterized by the poetry of Maria Konopnicka, as well as the novels of
Orzeszkowa, Gabriela Zapolska and Zofia Naf kowska, 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 Poiand's modern political movements and
the elaboration of their ideologies. The names of Ester Golde, Rosa Luxemburg,
Cecylia Sniegocka, Iza Moszczeiiska 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 who 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

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806 joumal of social history summer 2002
Courses, which registered with the Russian authorities in 19
dominantly female institution.32
Finally, the first organized Polish feminist movement, origina
groupings of "enthusiasts" in the 1840s and 1850s through th
at the end ofthe nineteenth century and culminating in the Un
for Polish Women formed in 1907, constituted a "first wave"
the term used in feminist scholarship.33 While tracing the o
ment of the feminist movement before the First World War li
of this discussion, its largely forgotten voice in fin-de-siecle
course should hardly be taken as a sign of the movement's in
mere appearance of feminism on the Polish scene marked a b
that did not escape the attention of contemporaries. That it has
quite recently is another matter, one that is bound up with the
dominance of the master narrative of twentieth-century Po
above all, by the political agenda of modern Polish nationalis
Polish nationalism over all other ideological and political co
established in the early twentieth century, would not only hav
the formulation of the "woman question" in public discourse,
posed practical "resolutions."

What Was the Question? Polish Variations on a Modern The

As mentioned above, the contested definition of the bound

they affected or limited women drew a variety of participants i
the "woman question." What follows below is a thumbnail sk
contestants and the positions they staked out, with somewh
paid to the liberal, nationalist, Roman Catholic and feminist
Active public debate on women's role in society was initiated
by the Warsaw liberals, or positivists, as part of their larger dis
tives over the future direction ofthe Polish nation.35 Orzeszkow
rian refers to as "the loudest and most committed" female vo
saw positivists, played an obviously important role in introd
question" to Polish liberal discourse and in shaping its initial
economic conditions and discrimination in employment.36
during these early years were the writings of Aleksander Swi^t
larly those addressing women's access to education and the in
riage.37 Liberals such as Swi^tochowski and (to a lesser extent
to view the woman question in terms ofthe country's econom
embourgeoisement of urban artisans, and the creation ofa mo
Thus liberals protested gender-based discrimination, deman
form, and promoted the "gainful employment" of women in
nomic life as well as their participation in voluntary associ
patriotic citizenship.38
Although they supported a new model of the working, edu
edgable woman, the Warsaw liberals nonetheless maintained
views of women's roles in the family.39 They also demanded, es
before the First World War, the subordination ofthe women's m
liberally-conceived social and national liberation movements.

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In this regard, the figure of Iza Moszczenska 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 per?
sonal 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 move?
ment and abjured the label for herself. Feminism, according 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 "modern woman" "working on herself by embrac-
ing 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 ofthe Polish nation and its "progress."
Any agenda that went beyond these parameters Moszczenska and the liberal na-
tionalists came to view as selfish and "separatist," especially in the atmosphere of
frustrated political expectations and rising ethno-religious tensions after the 1905
To an even greater extent, the Polish socialist movement rejected the separa-
tion ofthe "woman question" from other emancipationist strivings in society. So?
cialists viewed the "woman question" in terms of class relations, economic exploi-
tation, and the "bourgeois" model ofthe 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 move?
ment, however, few Polish socialists would come to advocate specific organiza-
tional and agitational attention to the matter of mobilizing female factory labor.46
The ultimate resolution ofthe woman question was made dependent on an envi-
sioned social revolution or on an independent Polish state that would carry out
such a revolution. On the eve ofthe Great War, as socialists condemned the femi-
nists' equal rights agenda as one too restricted by its strict adherence to the exist?
ing class-based legal order, feminists countered with an embittered critique ofthe
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 peas?
ant wives as sources of rural "backwardness" and "superstition," the remedy for
which they saw in "enlightenment," or the secular education of peasant daugh?
ters.48 By 1914, the populist movement, in its various conservative, nationalist

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808 journal of social history summer 2002
and "progressive" shades, had created some thirteen "agronom
in the Congress Kingdom in its effort to propagate a new visi
the peasant family and rural economy.49 The first and most fam
was established by Jadwiga Dziubinska in Kruszynek in 1904,
later became a major subject of controversy between the po
Roman Catholic episcopate (see below).50 Along with Dz
Radlinska and Irena Kosmowska (the latter is credited with cr
mark populist slogan of sami sobie?"we ourselves") played a m
siecle Polish populism, which can be traced back to their earl
the clandestine Women's Circle of Popular Education (KK
Oswiaty Ludowej) .5/
The Polish nationalist movement (a coalition of organiz
grouped under the National Democratic Alliance or Endecja), w
the "woman question" would ultimately prove the most influ
dominate the larger political discourse on the Polish "nation,"
bearers and nurturers of peculiarly Polish values and equated pat
those of motherhood and child-rearing. In its secularization o
teachings of women's obligations to faith and family, national
with no less a task than preserving and nourishing the nation,
was prepared to supply them with the means of modern cultura
cal organization in order to do so.52 Women associated with th
ment before the Revolution of 1905 were involved almost excl
cational movement. Early female activists of KKOL (includin
the Society of Secret Instruction (including its founder, Cecy
tually joined the nationalist umbrella educational organizatio
National Education (TON?Towarzystwo Oswiaty Narodow
women's organization, the Circle of Women ofthe Crownland
Kobiet Korony i Idtwy).53
By World War I the most prominent female activists of the
period had parted company with the Endecja, in part because n
had come to distinguish between male and female citizenship.
political rights were not at issue under conditions of Russian
since men also lacked the franchise, patriotism offered wom
self-realization and for engaging in public affairs. The situation
with the emergence of electoral politics as a consequence ofth
pressures of which forced the autocracy to concede a limited
franchise to a legislative Duma in October 1905. The nationali
sequently demanded more varied obligations from women and
to the cause of the "nation" without, however, offering wom
equal political rights.54
In 1907 a series of meetings on the "woman question" in Warsa
to convene its own meeting of "women of the nationalist mo
women were called upon to "do their duty" and "stand on gua
stincts." The argument made by Zygmunt Balicki, one ofthe lead
Endecja, that "women's rights are not a national cause" led t
Moszczenska and other female participants who had otherwi
various tenets of nationalist ideology, including its exclusion of Jew
Thus, female "citizenship" in the nationalist scheme of

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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 ofthe "catholicization" of Polish nationalism, a process
already quite visible on the eve ofthe Great War. Simultaneously, the "national-
ization" and "modernization" of Polish Roman Catholicism led, if not to conver?
gence, 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 "degenera-
tion." For this reason, the Catholic press railed against the migration and emigra-
tion 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 soci?
ety, 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 increas?
ingly 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 histori?
ans 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 ofa 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 opportunity 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 disap-
peared upon their formation, and real organization ofthe circles and their activi?
ties 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 break-

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810 journal of social history summer 2002
ing with the Church if it did not support them in their daily li
movement and schism, which also belongs to this period, pro
perspective on the relationship of women to the Church. Led b
(Mother Maria Franciszka), the Mariavite movement evolved f
religious communities that formed upon the forced dissolution
Catholic convents by the Russian authorities in the aftermat
rection. Active among the poor in urban and mixed urban-rural
clandestine women's assemblies were only loosely tied to th
episcopate.62 Consequently, by the first years ofthe twentieth ce
movement had developed its own theology (eventually denoun
by the Church), had become increasingly critical ofthe "nobl
male parish clergy and the indifference of most priests to so
embarked on its own independent social initiatives, including
day-care facilities for the children of working-class families, so
poor, and cooperative workshops for the unemployed.63
At the time of the excommunication of Kozlowska and her
1906 for various acts of insubordination, the Mariavite mov
the active allegiance of tens of thousands of believers in twenty
its sympathizers may have comprised over ten percent of all
Poland.64 Since the movement's most zealous members were w
alist and official Catholic press portrayed the Mariavites in se
terical" and "fanatical" threats to the existing moral, religious
order.65 For this reason alone, the gender dimensions ofthe Mar
and schism, as well as the sexual tensions within the Mariavit
ing the sect's establishment as an officially recognized Church (
episcopate and parish clergy), require further research and exp
fortunately extend beyond the scope of this essay.
The final contestant in the discourse on the "woman questio
the opposite end ofthe spectrum from the Roman Catholic C
the Mariavites; namely, the "emancipationists" and the "equal
words, the first wave of Polish feminism which by 1907 was
gally-recognized movement, the Union of Equal Rights for Polis
by a relatively coherent leadership whose central figure was
Reinschmit, the Union of Equal Rights was endowed with it
(including the feminist periodical Ster),61 organized the first
congress in Warsaw, and, as far as the "woman question" was c
put voting rights on the table, but in Austrian Poland promot
and animated" suffrage movement that engaged in acts of civ
Indeed, feminists were so successful in their agitation for voting
and during the war that legislation for women's suffrage in the
in 1918 met with very little opposition. The "equal righters
other achievements, for which they have yet to receive credi
the least of which was the redefinition of womanhood itself
that even opponents of women's emancipation were forced to
A prime example of the influence of Polish feminism in t
found in the changing profile of the women's press after 190
illustrated weekly and the most widely read Polish women's peri
War I, was sharply criticized by women's rights activists at the

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for the sentimentalism of its serialized novels, its emphasis on fashion and its fi?
nancial relationship with advertisers of women's products. Iza Moszczenska went
so far as to condemn Bluszcz as a "male-dominated" publication that did not re-
flect the opinion of "intelligent and thinking" women.69 In the last decade before
the war, however, Bluszcz increasingly identified itself with the feminist move?
ment. 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 ofthe 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 Asso?
ciation of Equal Rights in protest ofthe latter's inclusion of men on its executive,
thus leading to the parent body's demise.71 There were tensions, moreover, be?
tween 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 previ-
ously mentioned, viewed motherhood as "more important" and "more ennobling"
than woman's participation in the public sphere (though she vigorously champi-
oned 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 Pol?
ish 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 Pol-
ish-Jewish relations. Kuczaiska-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 move?
ment 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 politi?
cal and social formations were basically in agreement in their opposition to the
women's movement, "uniting the reactionary with the Social Democrat, the
antisemite with the kahalist, the capitalist with the worker."77 In 1908 Dul^bianka
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

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812 journal of social history summer 2002
cardinal error." The future political road of the women's move
"must be our own."78
Meanwhile, the generation of mainstream political feminist
Kuczalska-Reinschmit was increasingly challenged in the imme
by a younger and more radical wing led by Naflcowska that foc
the "old" ethical principles that guided the movement's moder
radical feminist challenge must be viewed in the larger con
intelligentsia's general disillusionment with politics and politi
frustrating postrevolutionary atmosphere on the one hand, and
on female sexuality arising from "modernist" and "expressioni
literature on the other. Thus, Nalkowska's sharp criticism of
Congress, which had advertised itself as the beginning ofa new
essentially conservative in its guiding ethics coincided with
Gabriela Zapolska's controversial Moralnosc pani Dulskkj (Th
Dulska, 1907), a furious attack on the sexual double standard an
"philistine" middle-class family values. For her part, Nalkows
"moral purity" of "honest women," long held by the emancipati
a source of women's ethical advantage over men, which she cla
uct of "submission to conditions of slavery." Instead, Nalkow
creation ofa "new, brave and revolutionary" set of ethical prin
the movement's "old" equal rights agenda, but on the freedom
woman, a freedom that included her sexual liberation.79
The introduction of "modernist" ideas of "sexual revolution
some members of the older generation of emancipation
Konopnicka who led a walkout in protest of Na^fkowska's spe
equation of traditional female "cleanliness" with prostitution
including Kazimiera Buj widowa, took up the radical challenge, in
it necessary. The unhappy and dissatisfied female characters wh
of love in the "erotic" literature of the younger generation,
"are taken from life itself." She claimed, moreover, that the des
more" in women's sexual relations with men was nothing ne
existed in the female "imagination." Bujwidowa, however, re
"free love" as a "disease" driven by despair, one that was dange
women in that it was based on the prevailing male understand
dom rather than on the liberation of the female "self."80
Such debates, I would argue, are indicative ofthe movement's
than of its weaknesses. In the years 1907-1912 a full-fledged Polish
with Warsaw at its epicenter. Preceded by the evolution of an in
"voice," represented by the publication GIos kobiet w hwestyi ko
Women on the Woman Question, 1903), the postrevolutionary
pation movement acquired all the attributes of autonomy charac
nist "first wave." During this period, moreover, feminists were
independence of their movement had to be defended, not so
obvious foes, but more emphatically from its self-proclaimed pr
This wave, however, could not be sustained. Beginning in 1912,
as the feminist center and right were reunited under the umbre
alism before it receded even more into the stormy seas of wa
feminist retreat also coincided with the eclipse ofthe "woman

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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 in?
creasingly on the defensive. The feminist declaration of independence from Pol?
ish liberalism, marked by the formation ofthe Union of Equal Rights in 1907, was
soon treated as a dangerous sign of "gender separatism." Employing distorted im-
ages of English suffragettes as "twentieth-century amazons" and "hysterical van-
dals" who engaged in "criminal assaults" on "civilization," the liberal press led by
Kurjer Warszavuski took aim at a domestic target, the "cultural immaturity" of con?
temporary 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 de-
cide 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 sup-
porters, liberals held up the model of native-born Madame Curie-Skf odowska
"who is doing 100 times more for the cause of women."83
Of greater issue for the majority of Polish liberals, however, was national soli?
darity at a time of sharply deteriorating Polish-Jewish relations on the very eve of
the war. In Warsaw, econonic 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 objec-
tion 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" ofthe "Jewish ques?
tion" (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 hori-
zon, the mounting pressures on feminists and on women more generally to support
the Polish national cause proved irresistible.
Consequently, there is something ofa 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
ofthe 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
ofa feminist liberation movement" were already being undermined by the "mysti-
fied traditions ofthe nation struggling for liberation" on the eve ofthe war, which
then succeeded in bringing these two contradictory traditions together under one
patriotic (but nolonger feminist) roof.89 Finally, MaTgorzata Czyszkowska-Peschler

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814 journal of social history summer 2002
maintains that "traditional habits of thought and conduct fre
strong to overcome" and as a consequence "a full-scale women's
real sense of the word, never grew up in Poland."90
It is time to take issue with this consensus. It is true that th
came to the conclusion around 1910 that suffrage would com
independent Poland, their efforts having failed in each of the
territories. Yet it is also true that history proved them correct in
case, this does not mean that the Union of Equal Rights subo
the women's movement to other than women's goals. If the
women's suffrage as a means rather than an end, then the same
tactical support for other emancipationist strivings in society
national. The casting of the "woman question" as a human r
employment of the romantic Polish revolutionary slogan "For
Ours" in no way deprived the movement of its feminist character
to place the movement within the best traditions of Polish po
feminist movement, moreover, was hardly alone in its suppor
the early twentieth century. Polish liberals and socialists, if an
more susceptible to nationalist ideology and arguments, yet hist
the "real" existence of their movements. In other words, the fem
face of Polish nationalism was part ofa larger social and polit
In this essay I have quite consciously referred to the Equal Rig
the first wave of Polish feminism. By 1903 it had begun to re
"proper name," to use Kuczalska-Reinschmit's phrase. The hist
suit. By 1907 the Equal Rights movement had come to repres
and therefore feminist women's movement. That this wave subs
leading up to and as a consequence of the First World War do
less feminist, nor even unusual compared to women's moveme
ing roughly the same period. Finally, the long delay ofthe "seco
feminism does not render the first wave incomplete or inauthen
demonstration ofthe ability of Polish nationalism to drown out
and all others for that matter, on the "woman question."

The political, economic and social transformation ofthe late

tury led to a reexamination of the role of women in society
Polish educated elite, which came to be defined as the "woman
borrowed from the larger Western discourse and introduced
Orzeszkowa and liberal Warsaw positivism. Yet neither socio-e
it affected women nor the public discourse about it fundamenta
ously questioned the status of women in the family, from which
of Polish women continued to derive their prestige.91 Thus, t
Polish feminism was not nationalism per se but rather a more an
patriarchal attitudes deeply embedded in all of Poland's "mo
social formations. So long as women's social prestige remained de
their roles as wives and mothers despite the prolifieration of ot
the only possible outcome to the "woman question" was a compro

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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 ulti-
mately favored the nationalist solution to the "woman question," which was sec-
onded by the problemmatic circumstances of modern nation-building under for?
eign rule.
That solution is best summed up in the image of the Matka Polka as modif ied by
Polish nationalism?of the Catholic Polish mother, who conscious of her ethni-
cally and religiously defined national identity and nursing it in her children simul-
taneously 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 ofthe larger story of Polish nationalism's ultimate success in formulat-
ing 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 obstacle to the emergence of a second wave
of Polish feminism. However, with the collapse of communism and the hopefui
emergence of a democratic polity, we should not be surprised that women in Po?
land are again finding their own voice and are beginning to reclaim their own

Department of History
Margantown, WV 26506-6303

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

1. In Poland, as elsewhere, the debate over the role of women in "modern" society w
inititally dominated by male intellectuals, particularly by the leading lights of liberal War?
saw "positivitism" such as Aleksander Swi^tochowski ana Bolesfew Prus. Among the ear
female participants in the discourse, Eliza Orzeszkowa, whose views also reflected the "pr
gressive" liberal agenda of Warsaw positivism, was the most noteworthy. In its first pha
the "woman question" in Poland was animated by liberal and socialist writings on the su
ject of women's subjugation in the contemporary world, both influenced by the emerge
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 quar
of the nineteenth century, included John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women (1869
August Bebel, Woman and SociaUsm (1879) and Friedrich Engels, Origtn ofthe Family, P
vate Property and the State (1884), culminating in Theodore Stanton's edited volume
essays (including a contribution by Orzeszkowa), The Woman Question in Europe (188
As the feminist philosopher and cultural critic, Slawomira Walczewska, has pointed ou
women would have to demand their own voice in this largely male discourse about the
see Slawomira Walczewska, Damy, rycerze i feministki: Kobiecy dyskurs emancypacyjny
Pohce (Krakow, 1999), 182.

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816 journal of social history summer 2002
2. The work by Slawomira Walczewska cited above is aimed at a p
contains a number of basic inaccuracies. Although her book represen
perspective published in Polish, her linear interpretation of nearly two
emancipationist discourse is questionable. For a more scholarly femin
as a more reliable history, see Natali Stegmann, Die Tbchter der g
"Frauenfrage," Feminismus und Frauenbewegungin Polen, 1863-1919

3. Nevertheless, a number of the contributions to these volumes

pioneering. See the following, all edited by Anna Zarnowska and An
i spoleczenstwo na zJemiach polskkh w XIX w. (Warsaw, 1990), Kobieta i
pohkich w XIX i XX w.t 2 vols. (Warsaw, 1992), Kobieta i swiat po
pordwnawczym w XIX i poczqtkach XX wieku (Warsaw, 1994), Kobie
wsrdd tworcow kultury intekktualnej i artystycznej w dobie rozbiordw i w
polskim (Warsaw, 1996), Kobieta i kultura zycia codziennego; wiek XIX
and Kobieta i praca; wiek XIX i XX (Warsaw, 2000). In English, see Wome
ed. Rudolf Jaworski and Bianka Pietrow-Ennker (Boulder, 1992).

4. On the ethnographic and anthropological scholarship on the fam

end of the nineteenth century, see Anna Zarnowska, "Social Chan
Family in the Era of Industrialization: Recent Polish Research,' 'Journ
XXII, 2 (April, 1997): 191-203.

5. Thus it is unclear whether Jaworski and Pietrow-Ennker, in their

Polish Society, are referring to a movement or a discourse when they
question first arose in the Kingdom of Poland where it reached its m
sive phase and became a matter ofmuch public discussion"(viii, italics ad
of the women's movement with the "woman question" also characteri
tant works on the women's movement(s) in Russia, nameiy, Richard
Liberation Movement in Russm (Princeton, 1978) and Linda Edmundson
(Stanford, 1984), and much of the American and European literature
strengths of Stegmann, Die Tbchter, is that the author not only disti
question" from women's movements, but also makes a clear distinctio
and feminism.

6. For a useful and fairly detailed outline of the literature related to the "woman ques?
tion," 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.
Kr6lestwo Polskie" in Kobieta i spoleczenstwo, 29-50. On the noble social origins of Rus?
sian 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 CiviUzation (Budapest, 1999), particularly
Part One, "Images of the Future," 1-170. Readers may also wish to refer to the earlier
Polish version of Jediicki's work, published under the title Jakiej cywilizacji Polacy potxzebujq
(Warsaw, 1988).

11. Although women in Prussian Poland were politically mobilized by nationalist organiza-
tions to counter the pressures of germankation, 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 Wbmen m
Polish Society, 53-70.

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12. Tomasz Kizwalter, "Procesy modernizacji a emancypacja kobiet na ziemiach polskich w
XIX wieku" in Kobkta i spoteczenstwo, 5-10.

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

14. See Jan Moienda, "Postawy kobiet wiejskich wobec unowoczesniania gospodarki
chlopskiej w pierwszym dwudziestoleciu XX wieku" in Kobieta i kultura zycia codzknnego,

15. See Wlodzimierz Mexlrzecki, "Konwenans wiejski i nowe wzorce zachowan kobiet na wsi w
Krolestwie Polskim na przelomie XIXIXX wieku" in Kobieta i kukurazycia codzknnego, 71-87.

16. Wlodzimierz M^drzecki, "Aspiracje oswiatowe kobiet ze srodowiska chlbpskiego w

Krolestwie Polskim na przelomie XIX IXX 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. Krdlestwo Polskie na
przelomie wiekow" and Tadeusz Wolsza, "Organizatorki ruchu oswiatowego na wsi. Krolestwo
polskie na przelomie wiekow" in Kobktai 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 tum ofthe century; see Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, "Frau
und Nation im geteilten Polen" in Geschkcht und NationaUsmus in MitteU und Osteuropa,
1848-1918, ed. Sophia Kemlein (Osnabruek, 2000), 135.

18. Wlodzimierz Medrzecki, "Kobieta wiejska w Krolestwie Polskim. Przelom XIX i XX

wieku" in Kobieta i spoteczenstwo, 93-98.

19. Ibid., 94-97; Blobaum, "To Market!," 417-418. On the role of women in Polish emi-
gration to the Rhein-Westphaiian industrial region of Germany, see Jan Moienda, "Miejsce
kobiet w?rod polskiego wychod^stwa w rensko-westfalskim okreju przemyslowym na
poczajku XX wieku," Przeguqd Historycmy, 88, no. 1 (1997): 117-134. According to Anna
2amowska, 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; "Kobieta w
rodzinie robotniczej. Krolestwo Polskie u schylku XIX i na poczatku XX wieku" in Kobieta
i spoteczenstwo, 126-127. Such patterns of migration and emigration were even more exag-
gerated in the central Russian provinces; for purposes of comparison, the reader may wish
to consult Barbara Alpern Engel, Between the Fkik 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 PoUtics: Labor Migration and the Russian Village, 1861-1905 (Pittsburgh, 1998), 38-

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 2arnowska, Robotnky Warszawy
naprzelomk%lXiXKwieku(Wmsaw, 1985),31-32. InLodf, 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 Lodt (44% in 1911); see Wladyslaw
Lech Karwacki, Zwiqzid zawodowe i stowarzyszenia pracodawcdw w Lodzi do roku 1914 (War?
saw, 1972), 1-19.

21. Marya Turzyma, "Handel kobietami" in Ghs kobkt w kwestyi kobkcej, ed. Marya 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 dawnych warszawiakdw (Warsaw, 1982), 78-113.

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818 journal of social history summer 2002
22. The "struggle against prostitution" was one ofthe leading themes
the turn of the century, although on the eve of the Great War, a num
radical feminists led by Zofia Rygier-Nalkowska argued that the mov
preoccupation with prostitution and the women who practiced it an
on the sexual liberation of all women (see below). At the Warsaw
1907, Nafkowska made a number of provocative statements, includin
prostitutes be invited to attend the discussions of their trade which
feminists; see Zofia Rygier-Nalkowska, "Uwagi o etycznych zadan
(referat wygfcszony na Zjefdzie kobiet)," Krytyka, no. 11 (Novemb
the divisive role of prostitution in the discourse on the "woman questio
of Russian imperial rule in Poland, see Walczewska, Damy, rycerze if
For a comparison with the Russian discourse, see Stites, 224-227,
and Laura Engelstein, The Keys to Happiness: Sex and the Searchfor Mod
Russia (Ithaca, NY, 1992), 71-75,84-92, 274-284.

23. Zarnowska, "Social Change, Women, and the Family," 201. On th

employment in the textile industry, see Laura A. Crago, "The Tolish
Factory Politics and the Reinvention of Working-Class National and
Russian Poland's Textile Industry, 1880-1910," Skvk Review, 59,1

24. Zarnowska, "Kobieta w rodzinie robotniczej," 130-133; see also Za

aktywnosci zawodowej kobiet w Polsce XX wieku (do 1939 r.)" in Ko

25. Kowalska-Glikman, "Kobiety w procesie przemian spofecznych,"

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

27. Ibid., 44; Kowalska-Glikman, "Kobiety w procesie przemian spoT

28. On women in the teaching profession, see Jolanta Niklewska, "B

czyli dola warszawskiej nauczycielki na przefomie XIX i XX wieku" in
2,267-279. On the feminization ofthe librarian "profession" at the e
century, see Henryk Hollander, "Zawod-bibliotekarka. Narodziny pe
XIX wieku)" in Kobieta i edukacja, II, 2, 281-292.

29. For a discussion ofthe female "genius" in Polish literature during th

Borkowska, "Literatura i 'geniusz* kobiecy: wiek XIX, wiek XX" in K
and Malgorzata Czyszkowska-Peschler, "She is a Nobody without a
sional Situation of Polish Women-of-Letters in the Second Half of t
tury" in Wbmen in PoUsh Society, 113-142.

30. For an analysis ofthe Polish literary marketplace's creation of "pa

cially through the vehicle of jubilee celebrations (including th
Konopnicka and Orzeszkowa), see Beth Holmgren, Rewriting Capitalis
Market in Late Tsarist Russk and the Kingdom of Poland (Pittsburgh
achievements of such "famous women" were also utilized by the Polis
tion movement for purposes of political mobilization and propagand
1907 Warsaw Women's Congress met ostensibly to honor the literary le
Bianka Pietrow-Ennker, "Women in Polish Society: An Introduction
Society, 22. For more on the emancipationist movement's feting
Konopnicka, see Walczewska, Damy, rycerze ifeministki, 156-163.

31. On the leading Polish female political personalities of the early t

Michal Sliwa, "Kobiety wsrod tworcow mysli spoleczno-politicznej
pofcwy XX wieku" in Kobiety i kultura, 225-239. On Moszczenska
associated with the radical periodical Gfos at the turn of the cen
Marcinkowska-Gawin, "Jadwiga Szczawinska-Dawidowa, Iza Moszcz
i Zofia Daszynska-Golinska. Publicystki z kr^gu radikalnej inteligenc
in Kobieta i kultura, 255-264.

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32. On the "Hying University" and the Society of Scientific Courses, see Nietyksza, "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 edu?
cation. The term emancypantki (emancipationists) is derived from the title of an 1894
novel by Bolesfaw 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 Zwi^zku Rdwnouprawnienia
Kobiet Polskich" in Kobieta i swiat polityki, 245-253.

34. Bianka Pietrow-Ennker quite rightiy refers to the women's unions and associations for
equal rights after 1905 as representing "splinter groups of the inteiligentsia"; see Pietrow-
Ennker, "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 ex?
perienced 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, how?
ever, 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, Rewolucja: 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, Sp&r pozytywistdw z konserwatystami o przysztofci Polski, 1870-1903
(Warsaw, 1986).

36. Winiarz, "The Woman Question," 185. Prior to the appearance of Marta in serial form
in 1872, Orzeszkowa published "Kiika sl6w o kobietach" in 1871 in Tygodmk modipowiesxi,
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 kobkck
(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 Przeglqd Tygodniowy, and on women's secondary education ("O srednim
wyksztalceniu kobiet") and higher education ("O wyzszym wyksztalceniu kobiet") of 1873
and 1874, respectiveiy, which also appeared in Przegjqd Tygodniowy.

38. The early positivists saw in "work" (in the form of learning a trade or entering a profes-
sion) a panacea for the problems of women, even though women in the liberal audience
were drawn almost exclusively from the szhchta and inteiligentsia and, therefore, were cui-
turally unprepared for what was essentially artisanal labor, the only real "work" readily
available to them. In the 1880s, 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 Kroiestwa Polskiego u schylku
XIX wieku" in Kobkta i edukacja, II, 1,95-108.

39. Andrzej Szwarc, "Krytyka kobiecosci czy prozni^czego stylu zycia? Stare i nowe wzorce
zycia codziennego kobiet w publicystyce i literaturze pieknej epoki pozytywizmu" in Kobkta
i kukura zycia codzknnego, 295-307.

40. Walczewska, Damy, rycerze i feministki, 176-180. Such cails led to a spirited debate
between Swietochowski and Pauiina Kuczaiska-Reinschmit, perhaps the leading fin-de-

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820 journal of social history summer 2002
siecle Polish feminist, at the 1907 Warsaw Women's Congress as well as
see Paulina Kuczalska-Reinschmit, "Sfcwko wyja?nienia" and Aleksan
"Mowa," Ster, no. 4 (1907).

41. For an excellent summary of Moszczenska's views in this regard

"Me^czyzna i kobieta," in Glos kobiet w kwestji kobkcej, 121-142.

42. See especially Iza Moszczenska, O zyciu i pracach Orzeszkowej (W

43. See Moszczenska's series of articles, "Kwestja kobieca w chwil

25(June 7/20,1903), 390-392; no. 26(June 14/27,1903), 406-407; and
1903), 422-424.

44. The socialist-feminist debate over socioeconomic side of the "

touched off in 1903 by an article by Felicja Nossig, one of tlie leadin
tors in Austrian Poland on women's issues, intended for the landmar
w kwestyi kobkcej edited by Turzyma and Bujwidowa. Although the
tually published Nossig's article, it was the only one in the volume whi
lengthy editorial disclaimer and poiemic; see Dr. Felicya Nossig, "Ekono
kobiecej," 91-113, followed by the editors' "note," 113-120.

45. The role of the "woman question" in Polish socialist thought has
attention of serious scholarship. It is dealt with only in passing by M
osobowy: kobiety-socjalistki w Polsce" in Kobieta i edukacja, II, 1, 23
hand, Pawef Samus, "Socjalistki w Kroiestwie Polskim przelomu
portretu zbiorowego" in Kobieta i swiat polityki, 191-217 provides an
analysis of women in the socialist movement. According to Samus, de
high profile female socialist intellectuals, a gendered division of lab
women from performing executive functions in the parties and fac
Polish socialist movement.

46. Thus the Polish movement failed to create a figure similar to that o
who headed the movement to organize female labor in Russia. On
movement in Russia, see Stites, The Women's Liberation Movement,

47. For more on the increasingly antogonistic relationship between

nists, particularly following the reincarnation of the feminist perio
Walczewska, Damy, rycerze ifemmistki, 83-84.

48. The early twentieth century populist images focused on the "bac
cism" as well as the "mindless devotionalism" of village women, again
as models a younger generation of girls who participated in populist
tiatives; see Wlbdzimierz Mecirzecki, "W spoiecznosciach lokalnych i
zyciu publicznym wsi polskiej na przelomie wiekow" in Kobkta i sw
Such judgements, however, were even more extreme among the Rus
"invested peasant women with their disappointment and disillusionm
Kathy Frierson, Peasant Icons: Representations of Rural Peopk in Lat
(New York, 1993), 180. Negative images ofthe "baba" as a main obsta
moreover, continued well into the Soviet period and were employ
opposition to coilectivization; see Lynn Viola, "Bab'i bunty and Peasa
During Coilectivization" in Russkn Peasant Women, ed. Beatrice F
Viola (New York, 1992), 189-205.

49. Medrzecki, "Aspiracja oswiatowe," 118; Molenda, "Postawy ko

211. According to Molenda, however, the instruction received in su
in the agricultural courses organized by the farm circles associated wit
ment, followed the gendered division of labor in the peasant hou
women were taught nothing about grain cultivation which was consid
populists to be an exclusively male sphere.

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

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

52. The best treatment of Polish nationaiism's approach to the "woman question" before
the First World War is by Joanna Kurczewska, "Der fruhe polnische Nationalismus und die
Frauenthematik" in Geschkcht und Nationalismus, 49-76. According to Kurczewska, early
Polish nationalism had "nothing essential" to say on the "woman question," primarily be?
cause it subordinated all public issues to the "national question." From the radical nation?
alist 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 cultiva-
tion 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 [male] soldiers of the national
cause, although outside the home she was expected to be active in different organizations
and associations, primarily at the local and community level?that is, in the "small poli?
tics" 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 friihe polnische Nationalismus," 76.

55. For a description ofthe nationalist women's meeting and Moszczenska's walkout within
the larger context of mainstream Polish feminism's struggle for equal political rights, see
PaulinaKulczalska-Rein^hmit, Wyl?orc?:e|>rawak)te?(Warsaw, 1907), 28. On Moszczenska's
role in the articulation of modern 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
ifeministki, 41-53. On the traditional "Matka Polka" image, tied by the Church to that of
Mary, "the holy mother of Poland" and symbolized in the iconography of Czestochowa, as
well as its cultural and political significance in the era ofthe 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 Dziubiflska's school for "indifference to the Catholic faith,"
claiming that young girls could not be trained in rural economic management without
cultivation ofthe "spiritual side." The Church also maintained that the girls were permit-
ted to read "anti-clerical" books and newspapers and that Dziubinska had not alloted any
time for school prayer. Since the Kruszynek curriculum included religious instruction of?
fered by the parish priest, however, the real issue was one of clerical control over the entire
curriculum ofthe school. On the Church's position, see "List o szkole w Kruszynku," Gazeta
$wiqteczna> 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 Dziubiflska's school called forth

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822 journal of social history summer 2002
an equaliy vigorous feminist defense ofthe Kruszynek model; see Jozefa
o ducha kobiety," Ster, no. 3 (March, 1910): 97-100.

59. On ttie involvement of clergy in the educational movement in th

and in the popularization of the conservative populism associated wi
SwkfteczrwL* see Ryszard Bender, "Chrzescijanska mysl i dzialalnos
rosyjskim w latach 1865-1918" in Historia katoUcyzmu spolecznego w
Czeslaw Strzewszewski and Ryszard Bender (Warsaw, 1981), 209-211.

60. See, for example, Molenda, "Miejsce kobiet wsrod polskiego wy

Evenuaily, the Church came to accept emigration as a necessary evil a
to maintain contact with emigrants after their depature to preserve in
bonds to the Church and ties to their native land. The organization of r
emigrant women was considered an important part of this strategy o
Archiwum Diocezjalne w Plocku, Vicar-General of Plbck Diocese An
the Diocesan Clergy, April 20,1904.

61. As a consequence, according to Wlbdzimierz Medrzecki, wom

church-sponsored activities could also lead to gender-based conflict i
whose male members resented women spending time outside of the
"W spofecznosciach lokalnych i w parafie," 163-168.

62. Before their further development was checked by the decision o

reduce the movement to those groups sharing a common life, the ass
eight thousand women at their peak and provided charity and care for
ing poor; Maria Nietyksza, "Tradycyjne i nowe formy aktywnosci
warunkach zaborow" in Kobkta i swiat polityki, 94. The growth of Po
assemblies was paralleled by a similar development of Orthodox wom
nineteenth-century Russia, which focused more, however, on individ
the plight of the underprivileged; see Brenda Meehan-Waters, "To S
Peasant Women and the Development of Women's Relgiou
Prerevolutionary Russia" in Russkn Peasant Wbmen, 121-133.

63. On the movement's social program, see "SpoTeczna dzialalnosc Mat

Mariawita, 4, no 3 (1962): 29-31.

64. "Statystyka sekty mariawitow," Mksiecznik Pasterski Ptocki, no

For more on the Mariavite schism, see Tadeusz Krawczek, "Rewolu
religijne. Ruch mariawitdw" in Spoteczenstwo i polityka?dorastank d
poUtyczna w Krolestwk Polskim na poczqtku XX wkku, ed. Anna Za
Woisza (Warsaw, 1993), 115-136 and Robert Blobaum, "The Revolu
and the Crisis of Polish Catholicism, Skvk Revkw, 47, no. 4 (1988)

65. The Church's vicious attacks on the Mariavites and Kozlbwska in

east in openly sexist language; see especially Ks. Br. O., "Wichrzenia her
PrzegU&l Katolicki, no. 9 (1 March 1906): 125-127, "Pseudomarj
odstepstwo od Kosciola," Miesigcznik Pasterski Plocki, no. 1 (1906
Szkopowski, "Czarny mankiet," Wiadomosci Pasterskie, I, no. 10 (
gendered images were also employed by the nationaiist press on the
"Sfanatyzowane maryawitki," Gazeta Warszawska, no. 53 (22 Aug
feminists, for their part, cited Kozlbwska's leadership ofthe Mariavites
of Swedish author Ellen Key, a former activist ofthe women's movem
a major critic, who contended that women had not contributed anythin
phy; see Ludwika Jaholkowska-Koszutska, Herezje w ruchu kobkeym

66. The Union of Equal Rights for Polish Women, registered in War
was modeled after but autonomous from a similarly titled Russian or
1905. According to its statutes, the Union sought to achieve equal civ

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affecting legislation, by defending the professional interests of women, by developing insti?
tutions 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 Wojew6dztwa
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 emancipa?
tion 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 Gtos 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 Stowo
(1902-1907) edited by Maria Turzyma. Even in its pages, according to Moszczenska, there
was "more data than discussion"; Moszczenska, "Kwestja kobieca," Gtos, no. 25(June 7/20,
1903), 390-392. Because Nowe Stowo also refrained from identifying itself with feminism,
it can be argued that the second incarnation of Ster in Warsaw, which represented a "sys-
tematic program" whose goai was the achievement of "equal rights," was the first openiy
feminist periodical in partitioned Poland.

68. Irena Homola-Skapska, "Galicja: Initiatives for Emancipation of Polish Women" in

Women in Polish Sockty, 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 nulli-
fied 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 stanowisko kohkt (War?
saw, 1908); for a discussion ofthe women's suffrage movement in Galicja and Dulebianka's
campaign, see Stegmann, Dk Tochter, 161-165, 183-187. The Union of Equal Rights
itself was formed primarily as a women's suffrage movement, although according to its prin-
cipal founder, "political rights [were] a means, not an end"; Kuczalska-Reinschmit, Wyborcze
prawa kobiet, 30.

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

70. Kakndarz Kobkty Polskkj (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-Jasinska, "Kobieta jako adresat ogloszefl
prasowych w Krolestwie Polskim na pocz4tku XX w." in Kobkta i kultura zycia codzknnego,
171-180. For a criticai examination of both Bluszcz and Ster as historical sources, see
Stegmann, Dk Tochter, 17-21.

71. Walczewska, Damy, rycerze ifeministki, 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 zyciu i pracach Orzeszkowej with Kuczalska-Reinschmit,
"Orzeszkowa w ruchu kobiecym," Wgdrowkc, no. 11 (March 24,1906): 207-210.

73. For references to Moszczenska's views of motherhood, see fh. 44. For Kuczalska-
Reinschmit's views, see her essay "Z historyi," 306-308.

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

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824 journal of social history summer 2002
75. Kuczalska-Reinschmit, Wyborcze prawa kobkt, 30.

76. Teodora Meezkowska, Ruch kobkcy. Idealy etyczrwspoteczrxe ruch

1907), 34.

77. Maria Turzyma, Wyzwakjqca sig kobkta (Krakow, 1906), 28.

78. Dulebianka, PoHtyczne stanowisko kobktyf 3,10.

79. Rygier-Nalkowska, "Uwagi," 358,361. On the modemist 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 ifeministki, 35-36,124,129-135.

80. Kazimiera Bujwidowa, Vzrodetkwestjikobkcej (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 puhlica-
tion 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[oles?aw] Kloskowski], "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," Jowmolo/Modem History 73, 2(June 2001): 275-306.

85. For a discussion of Polish feminist support for the boycott, see Stegmann, Dk Tbchter,

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 Geschkcht und Nationalismus, 151.

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

89. Natali Stegmann, "*Wie die Soldaten im Feld': Die wiederspruchliche Kampf polnisher
Frauen fiir 'Vaterland* und Frauenrechte im Ersten Weltkrieg," in Geschkcht 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 ofthe
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 ofthe issue ofthe family"; Jozefa Kodisowa, Kwestja rodzjny w sprawk
kobkcej (Warsaw, 1909), 1.

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