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‘La cuestión femenina’ and La España Moderna (1889–1914)

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This article examines the significance of ‘la cuestión femenina’ in La España Moderna (1889–1914). This prestigious cultural review, directed by José Lázaro Galdiano, sought to educate its readers about women, encouraging them to reflect upon their current situation and future role in Spanish society. The variety of articles published was impressively diverse, ranging from pieces on legal concerns, female criminals, scientific theories on women's inferiority and their situation in countries like Turkey and Japan. In publishing controversial articles by important feminists, including Emilia Pardo Bazán, Concepción Arenal and Adolfo Posada, the review proved to be fearless and advanced. However, Lázaro did not attempt to impose a single line of thought upon his readers and, to counterbalance such forward-looking views, the review also published articles by those who believed that feminismo was responsible for ‘la decadencia del hogar’. ‘La cuestión femenina’ was also presented in different genres, such as short stories and dictionaries, thereby making it more ‘digestible’ for those hostile to the topic. The role of the publication, thus, was to educate readers during the fin de siglo about all aspects of ‘la cuestión femenina’ in order to enable them to decide for themselves where their sympathies lay.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Sheffield,

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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