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TERESA LABRIOLA E IL SUFFRAGIO FEMMINILE. FONDAMENTI TEORICI E SOLUZIONI OPERATIVE

Marina Tesoro
Il Politico
Vol. 60, No. 2 (173) (Aprile-Giugno 1995), pp. 189-225
Published by: Rubbettino Editore
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43101559
Page Count: 37
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TERESA LABRIOLA E IL SUFFRAGIO FEMMINILE. FONDAMENTI TEORICI E SOLUZIONI OPERATIVE
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Abstract

The daughter of Marxist philosopher Antonio, Teresa Labriola played a non secondary role among Italian intellectual elites in the period between early 1900's and Fascism. In particular she distinguished herself as a rare example of a woman engaged in militant activity, capable to give support to her feminist and suffragist choice even on a theoretical basis with juridical, historical and economical grounds. In the essay her political and intellectual itinerary is followed and particular reference is made to female suffrage that Labriola argued should be requested not as a "natural right" (doctrine of nature law), but on the contrary, as fulfilment, on the juridical level, of the specific functions exerced by women within the family, society, production, government agencies (functionalism). From 1906 on, she began acting concretely within suffragette organizations supporting the aim of the extension of the suffrage to all women regardless their economic and cultural status. From 1912 on, when socialist feminists excluded themselves from united associations, she de facto obtained the leadership of the National Federation for Universal Suffrage. At the outbreak of the war, Teresa Labriola chose interventism and approached the nationalist movement. After the war she declared the beginning of a new era — that of "political feminism". The demand for female suffrage got a meaning of defense and preservation against the revolutionary risk. She didn't believe any more in Parliament and she preferred the representation pattern based upon corporations. She left aside the topic of universal female suffrage, but she kept on insisting upon the request of the administrative vote, or at least reserved to women which would grant assurance of a national sense. The Fascist duce, whom she had laid all her hopes on, didn't keep his promises. Teresa Labriola who would have liked at least a formal recognition of women, didn't stop repeating her requests, although more and more limited, in order to maintain somehow a right of female representation, but nobody would listen to her any more. When, in the mid-thirties, a nationalization of women within the wider totalitarian project took form, Teresa Labriola aknowledged her defeat and slowly slipped into loneliness.

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